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About halfway through the summer, I received a Facebook message from Emily telling me Nena was in Oakland, working in San Francisco - and boy am I glad we got together. Nena invited me on a camping trip to Point Reyes National Seashore with a bunch of young people from the bay area. Some were Berkeley grad students, some worked at Mountain Hardware, and some worked at other Silicon Valley companies. We hiked 1.8 miles to the beach, set-up a bunch of tents, and barbequed enough chicken kebabs, corn on the cob, and steaks to feed a large village. After stuffing ourselves, we hauled firewood to the beach and made a fire to cook s'mores. Having so many people helped block the fire from the ocean wind, which made it last longer. The campsite is probably one of the best within driving distance of Palo Alto. For the entire 10+ miles of beach there is only one other campsite, plus there were composting toilets and trashcans! The beach was full of wildlife. Nena and I found starfishes the size of an adult human face, rocks covered in muscles, anemones, a seal, and a cohort of 11 otters who did not appreciate the seal's presence. Nena explained the workings of lagoons from an environmental engineer's perspective. We took a walk down the beach and found the most mature, beautiful Eucalyptus tree I've ever seen. Someone was literally sleeping under the first branch though, so we could not climb it.

The next morning, some early risers went for runs on the beach and dips in the Pacific. Nena, Beth, another friend, and I hiked most of the way to the lighthouse on the point. Fog consumed us and the different species of deer that lurked farther down the bluffs. Next, our cohort stopped for sandwiches and bottled root beer at a cute deli just outside the park, off the Pacific Coast Highway. My drive home, going into San Francisco over the Golden Gate bridge my have been the most beautiful part of the trip.