Give thanks for Pacifica's cool, coastal summer climate, because it is hot and dry just about everywhere else in California, as Karen Rosenstein (see her snapshot above), yours truly, and several dozen other railfans discovered this weekend on an unusual Amtrak Coast Starlight train detour via Niles Canyon, Altamont Pass, San Joaquin Valley, Tehachapi, Mojave, Palmdale, and Soledad Canyon (nonstop from Oakland to Los Angeles). If you ever get a chance to take this trip, or just ride any regular route, train travel is the only way to go (in our humble opinion).
Ride Amtrak’s San Joaquin train to Merced and catch a cushy YARTS bus (three-point seat belts!) to Yosemite National Park. Check out this mysterious boulder (above) on the Valley Trail, near the John Muir millrace site. I call it Bear Head Rock. Can you see why?
We live in an area rich with resources of the non-mineral variety (though you might find pirate or smuggler booty stashed in a cave or buried in the sand somewhere along this scenic coast of ours). The San Mateo County Convention and Visitors Bureau offers a series of handsome brochures on places to see and things to do here: Film Locations; Beaches and Parks (but three jeers for omitting Linda Mar and Sharp Park beaches in the text and the maps!); Sports and Recreation; Public Transit Guide; Graves, Ghosts and Ghouls. Do yourself a favor and get the whole set. Call 650-348-7600.