Monday, August 11, 2008
The West Point Inn near the top of Mount Tamalpais is serving a special pancake breakfast occasionally (about once a month) through the summer and fall season. It sounded so appealing, and I was doubtful my father could hike in 45 minutes each way. A quick call revealed that there is a service road used for handicapped access, so we set off for a special pancake breakfast at the Inn yesterday. The Inn was the terminal point for the "Crookedest Railway in the World" which started in the town of Mill Valley and went up Mt. Tam.
I was a little worried as we hit wisps of fog on the way, but soon we were rewarded with spectacular views of San Francisco peeking out from above the clouds.
The service road is near the East Peak, and if you need this handicapped access you'll need to call ahead (preferably 24 hours in advance) to get more specific directions and the code to open the gate.
The handicapped parking is conveniently located next to a well maintained ramp entering the building from behind into the large cozy room with a fireplace.
As you wind your way to the veranda in front of the building, you are greeted by old-timers who are friendly and funny! There is a window on the veranda where you place your breakfast order with a warm and welcoming woman. She explains that you wait for your number to be called, then flag down the server to have it placed before you. The servers were all cute kids, and I mean something like 10-12 year olds.
And out came our jumbo pancake breakfasts. It was a breakfast made for those who had actually expended the energy to HIKE for 45 minutes here, or maybe the two hours from Mill Valley proper. The melon was perfectly ripe and juicy, and we appreciated as much of the pancakes as we felt reasonable to eat (the vegetarian version proffers 4 pancakes, while the regular version adds two sausage links with three pancakes).
It was a beautiful day, and we were rewarded by lovely scenic views from our seat on the veranda. Dad kept saying how much he LOVED the trip - he usually doesn't use such superlatives. Forest scenes along the drive reminded us several times of the forests near our home town (greater Seattle area), especially the ferns at higher elevations.
And how sweet! The Inn was quite dog friendly with a watering place and shade for canine hiking companions.
The West Point Inn is run by an association of members who have work parties to maintain and improve the buildings and grounds. You are not too late for breakfasts this season as there are more scheduled on September 7th and October 12th! Reservations for breakfast are not required, and the hours are from 9 - 1 p.m. In general the veranda and picnic tables are available for public use. The Inn is open Tuesday thru Sunday - Summer 11am/6pm, Winter 11am/5pm. Refreshments and water are available for sale at the Inn as well.