February 22, 2016
A crisp winter Sunday morning on my beloved mountain. A glorious day and I opted for the road (or trail, less traveled) – Simmons Trail to Collier Spring, via Potrero Meadow and Barth’s Retreat instead of the more popular Cataract Trail. It’s still early for wildflowers, but I did find a couple of gems. I was most excited to find a type of orchid, the Fairy Slipper (Calypso bulbosa) near the meadow. I don’t know if it’s rare, but it’s the first one I’d seen in my six years of hiking on Tam. I’m thankful that I like hiking early, especially on a weekend in Marin. Usually I hike mid-week when the crowds are non-existent. When I pulled into the Rock Spring trailhead parking lot (Ridgecrest Blvd) at just before 8:30, I was the second car in the lot and all I could hear was birdsong in the canopy. When I came off the trail at 1:00 there were nearly a hundred cars parked and more overflowed along the roadside turnouts.