The Straw Hat

While in Europe in October we receive an email from Matthew Boyer, the Director of Major Gifts at National Park Foundation. The email announces a docent led hike in Muir Woods, and who better to lead this hike than the park's superintendent, Mia Monroe. A day in a National Park, accompanied by a superintendent who is probably a superfactmina… where we get to be superquizmos? Oh my! And it gets better: there is reserved parking!! OMG! Could a hike be any more down our alley? (The answer is no, for those wondering).

We reply not having much hope of scoring one of the coveted 20 spots, but it turns out we do score! Of course we do know that this is a fund-raising-in-disguise hike, but who cares! We get a parking spot! Anyone who has ever tried to park at Muir Woods on a weekend knows what this means.

The weather during the days leading up to the hike is rainy, cold, and just plain crappy. Fortunately the hike doesn't get cancelled. We are the first to arrive -- what's new?! We meet Matthew and spend some time chatting about parks in general, NPF, his role in fund-raising, the new Parks in Your Backyard program (to which this hike belongs), etc. We also learn about the coveted ranger paraphernalia, especially the summer straw hat! And of course, we provide all sorts of unsolicited advice and opinion about what NPF should be doing to raise money. Matthew, the super cool dude that he is, politely nods and puts up with us.

The hike is great, albeit a bit short. Not only it doesn't rain, we even get a few nanoseconds of blue skies. We end the hike with a fabulous cup of tomato soup and the award winning Marin Melt sandwich: Cowgirl Creamery's Mt. Tam and Pt. Reyes Toma melted on whole grain wheat bread. Soooo yummy.

Not that we need any more motivation to donate to the parks, but this hike definitely increases our good will. We hope the program is successful and that the parks get the assistance they deserve.

National Parks are treasures. It would be irresponsible not to take care of them. Please donate to NPF!

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