Note: Jasmine and I almost never write about the same topics – this time we did. This week the Tourist Club is getting twice the love. Here is Jasmine’s take:
Last year, Joe and I hiked through Muir Woods for two hours, up and up and up, through redwood grooves and out onto sunny hillsides, so we could just walk by the tourist club. Luckily, we knew it was going to be closed–as we took a break and ate our lunch on their doorstep, we saw many others devastated when they found out there would be no beer for them. I’ve wanted to go back when it was open ever since.
Enter Dan’s 30th birthday celebration–the plan was to park in Mill Valley and hike up from the other side. We got sandwiches from the deli in the grocery store (it was crowded on a Sunday morning) and started up the Dipsea Trail.
The hike begins with 600+ steps past people’s houses and crossing small roads. I thought I was going to die. Apparently doing yoga twice a week did not whip me in decent enough shape to be able to trot on up without feeling like my lungs were going to collapse (tip: you can do this slowly and not die. I was trying to keep up with a bunch of people who run for FUN). At the top of the stairs, you strike out across the Sun Trail, a fairly level route cut into the hillsides, with sweeping valley views below. Plenty of people find a place to park in this area, skipping the stairs, and then do this easy 15 minute hike to the Tourist Club.
It’s quite a party out there. Sommerfest, I imagine, brought out extra throngs of people. There was an oompah band, pitchers of beer, sausage, and beautiful views.
I’d like to go on a regular Sunday, when there is no event but it’s just open to the public. It was hard to even find a place to stand. They turned on overhead sprinklers when the sun got too hot, which was nice and cooling for a while, but got damp and tiresome after a while. By the time we left, there was a lot of drunken shenanigans happening from what looked like small groups of frat boys.
Overall, it was a great time with good brew and better views. I’d highly recommend putting this on your California to-do list. I preferred our first hike, through the redwoods, for that really zen, one with nature, and now I deserve a beer, feeling.