By Lupita Peimbert.
(Road Tripping) – A last minute opportunity took me to Sacramento the other day. I quickly booked a trip on GetAround.com and chose a Smart Car, loving it because it is small thus easy to park and a gas saver.
Friday afternoon came and so my time to return to the San Francisco Bay Area. As I was driving on Highway 80 West I noticed the traffic. I believe nobody likes to be stuck on a freeway for hours and so I dreaded it. But an idea arose. What if I took off on either 12 or 37 towards the coast? It would take me a little longer but the lack of traffic and views would compensate for time lost.
In Northern California, Highway 12 takes you to Sonoma County, a glorious land of wineries and scenic roads. Highway 37 takes you to Napa, also famous for its wine and marvelous views. I chose the latter and took another turn so that I would come out directly to Novato, a town in Marin County, and rapidly found ways to move closer to greenish hills and finally to Point Reyes Station on highway 1. It was tempting to stop and have a drink at the local bar in this tiny, charming, earthy town both sides of the road, but I had to keep going as the sky was announcing the end-of-the-day on its way.
I had a cup of coffee with me and very nice tunes; on my little Smart Car like a dancing bug along the road I took off South. Zero Traffic. I had found my way right into a countryside. And wait until I tell you what I found at the end.
The area was green even though it was December. For a few miles all I saw was a forest; the fog and the lichen trees painting the surroundings with contrastingly somber and cozy tones. I knew I would pass by Bolinas, the town they don’t want you to know where it is –but I know it. And so I smiled when I saw the no-signs road to the town where, some say, the hippie movement was born.
Soon after I passed a lake and there it was, as friendly and as open as always: My Stinson Beach. There is something special about this town and I hope it never changes. It is so local that local people make the public park look so homey; hence, the Christmas tree. Several restaurants serve delicious food and I still can’t believe how some of them insist on closing early, at a time when visitors abound.
What really takes your breath away is the Sunset at the beach, a long stretch of sand and friendly waves. I parked by Parkside Cafe and walk just a little and in front of me, there it was, a reddish sky on a low-tide evening saying goodbye to the sand. Not windy at all, just a calm breeze. My sunset on My Stinson Beach.
When the dark came in, I jumped into my Smart Car and drove back to San Francisco via Mill Valley. End of my impromptu trip to see the Sunset instead of getting annoyed in the freeway. That’s what some people do to avoid traffic on a Friday.
Except when noted, all pictures and text by Lupitanews.
About the Writer:
Lupita Peimbert is a former television news reporter who covered immigration and other hard news, currently freelancing as web content provider focusing on travel, the arts, and culture. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.