ESCAPE to the Golden Gate

A whirlwind tour through the Golden Gate and Marin Headlands area…

It was a beautiful day by the Bay. This trip has been a rainy one the past few years, so we enjoyed the chance to be out in the sunshine. About 50 of us started out from DeJean with a full itinerary. Our first stops were Lombard Street and the Palace of Fine Arts. We didn’t get to see the wild parrots—after all, they are wild–but both spots are always great for us to see.

We moved on to Fort Point in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s always fun to walk the dark hallways, look out over the ocean and bay, and see the history of the place. But the highlight this year was seeing A WHALE RIGHT IN FRONT OF US IN THE BAY!!! It didn’t stay long, but it was a special moment for sure!

After lunch, we walked to the first tower on the Golden Gate Bridge, and then drove across it to the Marin Headlands. We got a great tour of the Marine Mammal Center, and got to see some animals we don’t normally get to see there. It’s too early for the elephant seals that fill the place in the spring, but there was a fur seal and a blind sea lion, and we were introduced to all the things that go on at the Center.

Our final stop was Battery Spencer above the bridge. We enjoyed the spectacular views, explored the ruins, and just hung out with each other. A little smoke in the air made the sunset amazing, and we called it a day. Thanks to the several chaperones for making this logistically challenging day happen!

It’s been a great start to the year, and we’ve got a fantastic group of kids, so we’re looking forward to 2018! Check out the video if you have a few minutes.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and a prosperous new year. Thanks for your support, and we’ll see you soon!

Many more photos and videos from the day are here!


ESCAPE to Elkhorn Slough

ESCAPE Club trip #150 was another great adventure!

The ESCAPE Club began 18 years ago in 1999. We’ve been taking about nine trips each year, and just this past month, we are grateful to say we’ve reached our 150th trip! What an amazing accomplishment! Thanks to each of you for your support, your time, and your encouragement.

Trip #150 was all that we’d hoped it would be as we spent the day at three very special locations.  About 50 of us set out from DeJean early in the morning, headed south to Moss Landing. But on the way, one of our caravan suffered a flat tire, which altered our plans. Most of our group detoured to the wharf in Santa Cruz. It was the perfect spot to spend a little extra time, enjoying the sea lions and the sunshine.

Our group reunited at Elkhorn Slough, and we got prepped for kayaking. The water was calm, and loaded with wildlife. We paddled about a mile into the slough, and then back to the harbor. Paddling can be hard work, and a challenge, but also a great experience and accomplishment. The slough was full of otters, jellies, seals, pelicans, and much more.

We wrapped up our day at an old favorite–the monarch migration at Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz. By the time we got there, the sun was low, and the weather too cool to see many butterflies in flight. But we were able to enjoy seeing thousands hanging together in the trees. We all had a taco for the road, and headed home. Check out the video below if you have a few extra minutes.

We’re looking forward to our next trip to Fort Point, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Marine Mammal Center, and are working out plans for the rest of the year. Maybe we’ll even try something different? Or not. We’d love to have you join us!

See all the photos and video of the trip here!