A Year In Mill Valley

Kosek’s Christmas Tree Farm

On Saturday we made our yearly pilgrimage to the Kosek’s Christmas Tree Farm on the coast. Exactly 5 miles below the Pigeon Point lighthouse, about half way between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, I’ve been going there every year — except the two we were in Cornwall — since 1979.

That year I was at UCB in the doctorate program in Operations Research, and I spent most every weekend at the Kosek’s (homesick as all get out), and usually at the ranch. Jon would pay me $35 a day…planting trees (I must have planted 5,000), trimming trees before the tree-selling season, or doing any number of other chores that needed doing. Two or three weekends a month and I could make between $150-$200, enough to supplant my scholarship which covered fees plus a stipend which covered the rent (but not enough for food, books or anything else).

We met a bunch of friends out there…Whitney and her Mom, Dave, Michael and Teresa, Julie and Steve and their two. Dr. Jon was there of course, and all of his kids were there too…Peter and Marion and their four down from Oregon, Mary and Rich and their three, Ann and William and their two, Mugs and Pablo in from Peru, and JonJon and Julie with Rose down from Mill Valley. Wow, I don’t think I’ve seen them all in one place since Mugs went off to Peru about 10 years ago.

We ate, and we talked, and we hiked, pushed the kids on the swings, made wreaths, rode the tractor, ate marshmallows by the fire, and relaxed in a way that only happens with lots sunshine, fresh air, and good friends.

On the way home we stopped at Duarte’s in Pescadero. If you’re ever in that part of the coast, I highly recommend stopping in for the fresh local fish, and a piece of black bottom pie. The oysters were especially good too.

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