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Monday, October 18, 2021

Haypress Campground

 Bowen seemed to really like Point Reyes and the various trips we'd made there. Every so often I'd check and everything in the area would be taken. Then one day I found the Haypress Campground available. I'd never been there before, and was intrigued, and what the heck, the $5 reservation fee was reasonable.

The weekend we were due to go, a mass of bad air from the various fires in California visited the Bay Area. Purple Air didn't have coverage of the campground, however, so we elected to go, bringing our TemTop to check the air quality to decide whether we would stay the night.

Full Trip Photos

Arriving at the campground, I as astonished as to how crowded it was. We had to park an extra quarter mile from the trail head as a result, and it took me a while to get both kids bikes off the car, load up the trailer (which last saw use when Bowen was 3), and then load the first bunch of camping equipment onto it.

The campground looked far different from the photos. For instance, from the pictures you might think that there were places to hang a hammock. You'd be wrong. All the trees were awkwardly positioned and difficult to get to. Many photos made the campground looked like it was shadeless, but in fact, it was positioned in such a way that most of the campground was shaded from mid morning on, and before that the frequent marine layer would make shade unnecessary.

I made another trip to fetch lunch materials and various sleeping materials, but still had dinner to bring over. I decided that we'd wait until 4pm, check the TemTop, and then decide to commit. In the mean time, we had time to go to the beach!

Going to the beach was a mistake. It was hot, and shadeless. It was a good thing we ate in the shade at the campground before going. An hour in the sun and I was cooked. I told the kids that I was going to take a walk, but the kids had also had enough, and so we all went back to the campground together. There, Boen finished the rest of his lunch, and I read until 4pm. The AQI had fluctuated between  70-110, but at 3pm, it took a dive down to around 70 and stayed there, so I rode to the car, and exchanged the lunch cooler for the dinner box, taking the opportunity to move the car much closer to the entrance of the park for easier loading the next morning.

Getting back, Bowen was hungry, so I made dinner, using up as many canisters of backpacking fuel as possible. By then it was starting to get cool, and I suggested watching the sunset to Bowen, who agreed. Boen decided to stay in the tent.

This second ride proved to be spectacular. First, we chose not to ride to the beach, opting to climb up to the Ridge. Secondly, we had evening light, and it was nothing short of beautiful.

We did discover to our dismay that the descent back to Tennessee valley was either on the Fox trail (marked forbidden to bikes) or all the way to Muir Beach, risking an after dark visit to the Miwok trail. We opted to take the illegal trail, which turned out to be wide as a fire road and was only marked illegal for bikes because it was steep and inexperienced cyclists (Bowen not being one of them) would probably crash.

We got back to camp to find Boen already fast asleep. We woke him up to brush his teeth, then unpacked all the sleeping bags and got everyone to sleep. I noted that the AQI was now in the 20s, a far cry from the 160s that Mountain View was at this morning.

The morning arrived with a thick marine layer and clean fresh air, and it wasn't cold at all! I made some coffee but the kids weren't up for breakfast, so I made a first trip to drop all the sleeping bags and then came back and packed everything up and brushed everybody's teeth, and then we were out! Such an easy trip! No bears to worry about, and a pleasant escape from bad air.

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