48 Hours in Northern California

 
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I had 2 short days in Northern California and wanted to make the most of my visit. I landed in San Francisco early afternoon and rented a car. 

My first stop was a bowl of ramen at Marafuku Ramen and boy, was it worth it. The broth was nice and thick, and the braised pork belly was warm and delicious. One of my favorite things about San Francisco is that the food is excellent. It doesn't matter where you stumble into, it's bound to be good. After ramen, I went in search of the best Kouign Amanns I could find. I heard that B. Patisserie was the place to go. I found my way there and had some incredible pastries and a nice cup of afternoon coffee. 

Now that my belly was full and my heart content, I drove north to Point Reyes. Point Reyes is a National Park with cliffs, hiking, and outdoor adventures, nicely nestled by the ocean. What I didn't know about this area is that during the winter months a beautiful fog hangs around all day and night. Some people find that undesirable, but for me, it was a photographer's dream. I booked a room through Air BnB and stayed in Inverness with Ewa. Being that it was not peak travel season, it was easy and inexpensive to find. By the time I reached Point Reyes, the sun had already set, so I checked into my room and called it a night. 

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The next morning I started off early. I stopped by a grocery store to get some food for the day. I grabbed cured meats, cheese, fruit, etc. and embarked on my journey. 

I started at Bear Valley Visitor Center and leisurely made my way west through the empty park. I stopped frequently along the road for photos. A very memorable moment for me was when I started driving down a hill and saw a set of trees by the side of the road. The mist was moving fast, and by the time I parked and ran back to the top of the hill, the mist was gone. I watched and waited as another batch of thick fog started moving towards the trees. 

Then, at the perfect moment when it enveloped the trees, I snapped my photo and walked back to the car. Nearing the car, I waited for the fog one more time and snapped a closer perspective of the trees. Since the park was so quiet, I was able to stop effortlessly and capture the images I wanted. 

By lunchtime I was hungry and settled at Chimney Rock Point to enjoy the view and eat my lunch. Before making the 1.5 hour drive down to San Francisco I wanted to visit the Point Reyes Pier and Shipwreck. The Shipwreck is an iconic symbol of the area. According to the National Parks Service, “…the wrecks were not glamorous. They did not carry the gold and jewels that thrill treasure hunters, but the goods and supplies that fueled the growth of far-flung cities and outposts…” This particular wreck is photographed by thousands of people every year.

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Since it was still light out, I took the scenic route south towards the Bay Area and made frequent pullovers to take photos of the incredible Sequoia trees. My last and final stop before the night stole the sun away was the Golden Gate Bridge and Baker Beach. Bakers Beach is located on the southwest side of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

On this particular day, the weather was chilly, and the fog so thick that the bridge could not be seen from the shore and the cliffs were barely visible. This created a sense of mystery, and intrigue, some might think it evokes a sense loneliness, but for me, I sensed peace. I truly reveled in the hours I spent sitting on that beach, reading, taking pictures, and simply observing my surroundings, doing my best to not take anything for granted.

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Photography by P. Thien Nguyen Developing and Scanning by The FIND Lab