Water Trail Festival, April 27th 2002.

A BASKer friend of mine, Casey Walker, is spearheading the effort locally to create a “Water Trail” in San Francisco Bay. This could become something as wonderful as a network of camping platforms in remote estuaries around the bay. Casey arranged to have speakers come from other areas that have water trails and give presentations. This was taking place at The Bay Model in Sausalito, a city that I’m not fond of trying to find a parking space in. So I parked my car at Horseshoe Cove and paddled my kayak to the meeting. Casey had arranged for this and Sea Trek, a kayak instruction/rental outfitter next to the Bay Model, was offering to watch the boats for people who paddled in for the all day meeting.

After the meeting there was a party scheduled at the Kirby Cove campground in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This campground has a beach that I have landed on several times, but I have never camped there or even walked up from the beach to look at the facilities. It is one of the few places around The Bay that you can already camp on, so it was an excellent choice for a place to go after this meeting. Of course I paddled there in my kayak, after stopping at Horseshoe Cove to load up with all my camping gear.

The Kirby Cove campground turns out to be a very nice spot with secluded campsites in a heavily wooded valley above the beach. This is such a nice campsite that it is heavily used by people who can drive their cars here from the huge surrounding metropolitan area and spend a pastoral evening with fantastic views of the Golden Gate Bridge. So getting a reservation to stay here may be very difficult. I was happy to have the opportunity to be there this time.

The full moon rose UNDER the Golden Gate Bridge and put on a spectacular show for us.

Several people who paddled to the campground took the opportunity to have friends drive their boats home the next morning. Despite the discomfort of putting on a cold wet slimy wetsuit first thing in the morning (never quite as bad as you think it is going to be) I insisted on having the complete experience and paddled back to my car.

All text and images Copyright © 2002 by Mike Higgins / contact