North of San Francisco and along Highway 1 are some of the most beautiful areas in the US. The drive on Highway 1, sometimes called the Pacific Coast Highway, is spectacular. The road winds along dramatic cliffs, passing through lovely small towns and beach areas. Liz, Shirin, and I took this trip in early November with Point Reyes National Seashore as our destination. Point Reyes National Seashore is part of the National Park system and occupies much of the Point Reyes Peninsula, which is geologically separated from the main land by the rift zone of the San Andreas Fault. The park offers great trails for hiking, fantastic views, and is a great place to wind down and relax. I created a black and white album from our trip to the lighthouse .
The location by the water, the hillsides, the streetcars, the people, and the laidback feeling of San Francisco makes it one of the most intriguing and attractive cities in the US. I enjoy hiking around the city with the occasional stop at a cafe, bar, or a gastropub such as the Monks Kettle, before stopping at one of the many really good restaurants. Also, the city now has a new aquarium at the California Acadademy of Sciences that alone is worth the trip to the city. I have collected some pictures from San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge from May 2009.
In Monterrey County in California is the charming town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Going south on Highway 1 towards Big Sur is the Garrapata State Park. This is a small park that offers the best of the Big Sur region including some steep ascends to the peaks of the Santa Lucia Mountains that offers views of the Pacific. Liz and I followed the Rocky Ridge, Soberanes Canyon Trails, which gain 1200 feet of elevation. The hike is medium hard but well worth the effort. As you move away from the road you enter a nice secluded forest with a little stream, but soon the path takes you higher into areas of wildflowers, before you start to gain elevation and you are stunned by the views of the Pacific and the rolling green hills. Pictures are posted here.
Traveling South from San Francisco we followed California State Route 1 along the coastline. The route is beautiful as it follows the jagged cliffs and the green rolling hills along the coastline. Scattered along the road there are a myriad of small and larger State Parks, and all of these parks have unbelivable hikes and beautiful scenery. Liz and I went hiking in Garrapata State Park and climbed to one of the taller peaks in the area, which gave us a wondeful view of the coastline. We hiked the area during May at a time when tons of wildflowers were blooming. We also explored several other State Parks in the area and pictures are found here.
Last May I had the opportunity to go on a roadtrip in the US. The trip started and ended in Phoenix Arizona and I was on the road for one month. I will publish a special roadtrip gallery later, but I wanted to publish some pictures from one of the many amazing parks I got to see during that month on the road. These pictures are from Red Rock State Park just outside Sedona, Arizona (link). On this leg of the roadtrip I travelled with Jordi from Catalunya in Spain.
Liz got her paper published in Plos One today! The paper is global analysis of the effectiveness of marine protected areas in preventing coral loss (link)