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Angel Island Backpacking

Day 2 of 2

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Sunday, May 31st
Ridge camp site 5 to ferry landing
1.5 miles
15 vertical feet (ascent)
260 vertical feet (descent)

In the morning, we discovered the bad news. Raccoons had opened the cabinet door and made off with much of our breakfast. Gone was all our hot chocolate and oatmeal packets, as well as half our bagels and leftover quesadillas. Thankfully they didn't make off with everything, and we still had plenty of food for breakfast and lunch.

Close up of raccoon paw print on my backpack

Raccoon paw print on my backpack

Thinking back on the night, I had heard somebody open the cabinet door, but had thought it was someone else getting a late night snack. Later, I heard a shriek that scared the crap out of me. At the time I didn't know what kind of animal it was, and I didn't associate the two events. Thinking back on it, a raccoon opened the cabinet, and later two of them were probably fighting over the spoils. In the morning we found bits of hot chocolate powder and shredded packets on the ground, but never did find the bag of bagels. Comically, there was also a very distinct paw print on my backpack. I am guessing the raccoon stood on his tip-toes, put one paw on the pack and sniffed at my bag before deciding there wasn't anything to eat in it.

The cabinet was not in very good shape to begin with. On further inspection, there were some rusty old bent nails which apparently we were supposed to turn in to help keep the door shut. But it wasn't obvious at the time and there weren't any instructions. Keep that in mind if you ever stay at site 5 (and they haven't improved the cabinet).

After breakfast, we headed down the hill to Perimeter Road and made our way back to the ferry landing. The return trip was quick, under an hour. We had lunch on a picnic table in front of the visitor center, then took the 12:20pm ferry back to Tiburon.

Battery Ledyard and the Golden Gate Bridge


Looking straight out at the Tiburon ferry landing from above the Kayak camp site

Trail leading back down toward the visitor's center

Once on the other side, of course, we stopped at a place for ice cream before returning to our cars. All in all, a great trip to a wonderful camp site, and we didn't even need to take any days off from work or school. I'm a bit hesitant to even publish this on my web site, since it may make it a bit harder to get reservations in the future, but I figure it's already pretty well known since it fills up fast already and is already well-documented in a book I have.

If you're willing to make reservations far in advance, and willing to carry all your stuff in, it's a great way to spend a night in the Bay Area. It's incredible to think that the California legislature is even considering closing such a great state park (along with many others) because of the short-sighted budget process. Hopefully that will never happen and we'll all look back years from now and laugh at the idea.

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