Some moments in life make you stop in your tracks, to really evaluate your current circumstances. These occurrences often take place during stressful or overwhelming situations, but there are also those that happen when your mind is free to wander and drift.
Last year, one of our buddies told us about cabins available for rent at the base of Steep Ravine Canyon. They are owned and operated by the California Park Service, and are notoriously hard to book. Reservations are made online and usually sell out within the first minute of the park releasing bookings; up to seven months before you’ll ever step foot inside of them. I became slightly obsessed with the idea of us experiencing these abode’s from a bygone era, so when reservations opened up on October 1, 2012, I was ready and waiting. Two mind racking, endless screen refreshing minutes later, I had one Saturday night for April 2013 securely in my cart. Congratulations and high fives were distributed accordingly, calendars were marked, and we looked forward to the reservation night we were finally able to enjoy this past weekend.
There isn’t much information available on these cabins, and now that I’ve been there, I’m not surprised. This place is such an amazing gem, and already so hard to get your hands on, that I wouldn’t be shocked to find out the interwebs are monitored to keep visitor traffic low.
The cabins were built in the 1940’s, and aside from some maintenance updates in the mid-80’s, they haven’t changed since then. Perched on the edge of an ocean cliff, the homes stand in a staggered formation that ensures each cabin has a world class view of the breaking waves just below. There is a private beach for those staying at the site, where a trickling waterfall meets the ocean. While Mount Tamalpais has thrilled us for years, seeing the world from this secluded spot, stunned us more than we anticipated. We wandered down to tide pools and viewed starfish, sea anemone, mussels, ocean grasses and endless shells. Around the bend we were greeted with a view of the Farallon Islands off the coast, and Stinson Beach across the bay. The Egg, a climbing rock with multiple bolted routes within site of the cabin’s kitchen, jutted out from the sea. When the top was reached, a pod of dolphins passed as cheers erupted.
While we were sad that we could only enter this paradise for one night, we made the most of our time by walking the grounds, sipping sunset wine at the overlook, and whooping it up in our cabin courtesy of whiskey and modern day musical devices.
The next morning as we sat around the table enjoying one last fire, slowly sipping our coffee, I opened the window to hear the waves roaring onto the beach. I took a deep breath of the crisp ocean air and couldn’t help but whisper to myself … nailed it!