Working as my own boss sometimes includes weekends glued to the computer—writing, editing, internet surfing … when all of a sudden I glance at the upper right hand side of the computer screen and realize it’s 5 p.m. on a Saturday. What have I done? I haven’t seen the sun today and as I browse through Instagram and I see my friends relaxing on rafts, sipping wine and exploring cool waterfalls, I realize I’m doing something wrong.
I don’t need Wi-Fi for most of my work, so why always be connected? So, I introduce to you my mini series I’m calling, “Office Anywhere.” This week’s focus: the Marin Headlands.
As a side note, you do not just have to go here to work. It is a beautiful place that can be explored for hours on end.
Well-known Sacramento photographer Nicholas Wray and lesser-known Sacramento photographer, myself, decided we had enough of urban, coffee shop work days, day after day after day. Nick recently invested in a pimped-out, ultra-hipster, dirtbag climber van, equipped with lighting and electricity powered by solar panels—perfect for plugging in a laptop on the road. So, on Thursday we headed for the coast in search of a better work space.
We spent the first two days in one of my favorite little coastal towns (if I told you the name of it, I would have to kill you. It’s a well-kept secret that will stay well-kept with me, at least for now), parked next to the beach, opened all the doors and started up shop. Surely, folks who walked by scoffed at the fact that we were on our laptops instead of experiencing the scenery, but we were experiencing the scenery, also while getting work done.
On Saturday we grabbed breakfast after hanging out with our new Aussie friend who was exploring California on a motorcycle and headed toward the Marin Headlands. All I really knew about the the headlands was the over-populated lookout point providing a view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city. Passing that, we headed down the road, further and further; no semis allowed. The road was steep and windy and the fog weaved in and out of the trees surrounding us. As we continued to drive we came across old buildings, tunnels and cement forts peeking out from behind the fog.
Continuing down the road did not cease to amaze—surrounded by peninsulas with violent waves crashing on the giant coastal boulders, little trails leading to abandoned fortresses overlooking the ocean or buried under the earth and giant buildings at the bottom of the hill that looked like something out of the movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Here is a list of things to do and see there. Some of these I experienced, but many I need to go back for:
Hawk Hill (aka Battery 129), a historic military site with tunnels, gun pits and supposedly great bird watching, but all I saw was bright white fog.
Just down the road and to the left, a trail down to Black Sands Beach. Unfortunately I found out about this one after the trip.
Battery Mendell: My favorite part of this one was the smaller fort up the hill. We stood on the balcony of the old deserted fort looking out over large cliffs to the Pacific Ocean (er … Gulf of the Farallones—gotta get to the Farallon Islands one day).
Obviously, the Point Bonita Lighthouse. Though, I will say this was the most touristy of all our adventures and although beautiful, not my favorite stop.
Walking into the Marin Headlands Hostel, the pleasant aroma from organic, homemade dinners floated throughout the high ceilings of the kitchen. We didn’t stay here, but I’m definitely going back for this one. Must book in advance.
Finally, you must head to Rodeo Beach for either a morning surf session or simply to be in awe of the beauty of the sea. The coastal trail just at the end of the road is a nice, easy hike that provides views of the ocean … maybe a little too close to the edge of the cliff.
After a day of exploring we parked the van down at Rodeo Beach for some dinner and work. Opening the backdoors to the moist fog air and listening to the sound of the small pebbles move with every crashing wave, was, well, the best office I’ve ever had.