52 TRAVEL+LEISURE | OCTOBER 2019
Then it dawned on us: we might
not be able to trek mountain loops
between Tuscan villages, but we could
hike the coastal trails of Marin County,
which head from the Golden Gate
roughly 40 miles north to Point Reyes
National Seashore. These trails
connect small beach towns, so it’s
possible to stop each night for a meal
and a bed at an inn. It would be the
easy version of backpacking, a bit of
Italy in our own backyard. We mapped
a plan to hike 34 miles in three days,
enlisted grandparents to watch our
kids, and packed a few clothes.
Just strapping on backpacks for
this rare trip without children made
us feel giddy. “I feel like a college kid,”
I said to Taylor, as we transformed
from suburban parents with endless
loads of laundry into intrepid explorers.
The first hours were wonderful, as
if we had entered another dimension.
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge,
the city at our backs, we fell into step
together, admiring the red arches
disappearing above us in the fog, the
harbor seals in the bay below. As we
climbed into the Marin Headlands,
we talked about kids, work, writing,
dreams. I loved the slow, deliberate
traversal, each step taking us farther
from San Francisco.
OUR TENTH ANNIVERSARY neared this
past fall, my husband, Taylor, and I
began imagining a trip to celebrate.
We’ve taken our share of fabulous vacations over
the years, but as parents of two young children,
we couldn’t realistically get away for more than
two nights. Still, I wanted to avoid the ordinary.
I wanted to get off the grid. I wanted us to
WHEN MARRIAGE IS A TREK
On a three-day hike along the rugged coastline of Marin County,
California, TESS TAYLOR and her husband discover the virtue of slowing
down and taking things one step at a time.
Admiring the Pacific
from Muir Beach’s
A pit stop in the