My old friend Fernando, from Germany, was in Palo Alto for a month of work, teaching SAP workers how to use his software creations. I promised him a memorable weekend of kayaking and biking while we caught up on the last 10 years. It was an outstanding weekend! A rare treat for me to have someone I could discuss ideas with, as Fernando is studying philosophy in an effort to get a firmer understanding of what this life is really all about.

The hostel used to be part of a ranch nearly a century ago. It's in a beautiful little valley far from civilization.

Fernando plays acoustic guitar beautifully.

Pt. Reyes is my favorite place to bring work which needs quiet and time to think, as this fellow hosteler has also discovered.

In the kitchen. Fernando prepares some mango and other delicacies for breakfast

First up was a bike ride, starting in Inverness at Chicken Ranch Beach. Fernando borrowed my mountain bike.

Me shooting Fernando shooting me!

At a ranch before the last big hill. We then backtracked to Blue Waters Kayak and got Fernando outfitted with a rental boat.

The adventure begins; north along the peninsula coastline

Fernando's first 'yaking experience - quite fun!

Pulling ashore at Heart's Desire Beach, where we had lunch and a long conversation about philosophy and life


A tidal lagoon at the next beach further north, paddling towards...

...a pond at the end of the narrow, short, meandering channel

Exploring a sea cave. Note the fresh-picked seaweed on my spray skirt - tasty snacking for the paddle back

A Hemingway'esque moment, as I valiantly do hand-to-hand (hand-to-shell?) battle with this ancient creature from the sea, at Drakes Bay Oyster Farm

Fernando engages...


Climbing Mt. OysterShell

I'd forgotten to tie the kayak to the roof at the oyster farm - and off it came as we headed up to the lighthouse. Lucky it's a polyethylene body, not fiberglass. Here, I'm re-tying.

Pt. Reyes itself, is the windiest place on the North American west coast - a fact born out today. For a summer day, the wind chill felt freezing.

The coastline north of the point, rendered in black and white

Driving back to Palo Alto, across the Golden Gate on a foggy early evening