Escape Plan Part 1: West Point Inn

This past week-end Ben and I went on a four-day trip to a few hidden nooks of Northern California, only to return back to the city via an epic drive down Highway 1 . The trip represented some sort of escape plan or celebration for both of us, an occasion to reconnect with nature, meditate, cleanse and recharge batteries. For me, it was a celebration of ending my previous full-time job, starting a new, exciting and creative job, and committing myself to working as a photographer.  For the most part we didn't have any cell phone reception, nor any wifi or even electricity. We were really truly blessed to also travel right after and during heavy rains, experiencing a ferociously lush California that is only to be seen in spring. Ben mentioned at some point that he felt like being in a foreign country.  We took hundreds of photos in completely different and equally majestic locations, so I've decided to split them up in 4 different blog posts, each of them representing a different day of the road trip. 

On the first day of the trip we went to West Point Inn, a lodge built at the top of Mt. Tam in 1904 that is accessible only via hiking. Since you can't drive up there, and since there's no electricity at the inn, and you have to hike with all your gear and food, it's not a crowded place despite the proximity to the city. We also went on a Thursday night, so we pretty much had the entire place to ourselves, aside from the inn keeper and her friends. 

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Secluded among the trees on the upper south slope of Mt. Tamalpais, the Inn was once a stopover for passengers who rode the “Crookedest Railroad in the World” up from Mill Valley to the top of the mountain. The railroad is gone now, but the Inn remains as a haven for hikers and a monument to the rich historic heritage of the region. 

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Photo by Ben Lotan

Photo by Ben Lotan

Photo by Ben Lotan

Photo by Ben Lotan

The main building of the inn is lit with propane lamps, while the cabins nearby have no electricity. I brought a few battery operated candles, and Ben brought a beautiful Lumio lamp. It was the first time I saw one in person, and immediately fell in love with the exquisite design. That thing is a jewel, not to mention that it's a practical lamp as well. It completely lit our cute little mountain cabin. 

Photo by Ben Lotan

Photo by Ben Lotan

We were very lucky that it only rained at night, and not while we had to hike up to the inn and back to where we left the car.  Night rain also made our stay even more romantic. :) We didn't however get to see any of the view, as everything was covered in a dense fog.  A photographer's dream I suppose. 

Photo by Ben Lotan

Photo by Ben Lotan

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