Mt. Tamalpais, also called "The Sleeping Indian" for a mystical Indian Princess who lies asleep at the top, was home to the Miwok Indian people for many years.
The name Tamalpais is a combination of the Miwok words “tamal” meaning coast or west and “pais”, meaning hill. It is also known as the “Sleeping Princess.”
From Sausalito looking north one can see the outline of a woman’s figure from the top of Mount Tamalpais cascading down to the east.
 Mt. Tamalpais has a few legends surrounding the name “Sleeping Princess.” 

Rhododendron Occindentale
7 November, 2013   by Mike McCullough

There are two reasons for this page.
The main being to record
the efforts of Mike McCullough
 in his following of Azaleas, LEFT <
There was a ship with the same name!

Then there is this beautiful model

The ship is named for TAMALPAIS CREEK which is, a tributary of Coyote Creek, flowing from the area into the bay north of Sausalito. . Glorious panoramas of the Pacific coastline and San Francisco Bay were attracting walkers to the mountain top well before Mt. Tam was preserved as a state park in 1928.  See "Land of Tamalpais VIDEO".

View from Mount Tam
Images by Gary Yost

View the "BAY MODEL"

Rhododendron Occindentale  r.e.[ R. occindentale ]
     Mike's trek on the day before Thanksgiving of 2013, brought him to Poterero Meadow. He was seeking to gather seeds from the  vines of the three variety of Rhododendrons shown right.
     This meadow is a quarter mile west of the radar dome and a mile WSW from the Fire Lookout.

All Images have links >

R. occindentale 2303

R. occindentale 2704

R. occindentale 3110

Mikes email to me goes like this: "I went to Mount Tamalpais on the final and hardest of my seed collecting hikes for 2013. All but one of my discoveries on Mount Tamalpais are on Marin Water District land, the other, R. occidentale Mount Tam 1310, is located next to the Bootjack Trail approximately 230 strides E of sign that states 1.0 miles to Muir Woods.

The best place to see R. occidentale on Mount Tamalpais is on the land operated by the water district and not at Muir Woods or the state park.  At Muir Woods and some places in the water district land such as the Mickey O’Brian trail there is R. occidentale, but there is too much shade for flowers.  Along the Cataract trail I have seen R. occidentale in bloom in only one area where R. occidentale Mount Tam 1311 is located.

Instead of parking at the parking lot North of the junction with Ridgecrest Boulevard, which is next to the Rock Spring Picnic Area (where I normally park), I headed East on Ridgecrest Boulevard and parked at the parking lot located East of the Mountain Theater and South of the Lagunitas Rock Spring Fire Road.  The parking lot is not shown on the map.  Arrived at the parking lot at 8:05 AM, after traveling 71.6 miles from home.

The Lagunitas Rock Spring Fire Road

<- At the southeastern border of Potrero Meadow is the junction with the Laurel Dell Fire Road, hiked West on that road. Further West on the Laurel Dell Fire Road I reached an area where I could see the western end of Potrero Meadow and the colony of R. occidentale.

Continued a short distance further on the road until I reached the road
which heads North to the Potrero Meadow Picnic Area. Before reaching
 the picnic area, I headed East to the azalea colony, passing my
discovery R. occidentale Mount Tam 3110 [blossom above] which is at the southwestcorner of the azalea colony.  Collected seed from this discovery.

At about 9:10 AM I reached R. occidentale Mt Tam 1312 which is at the eastern border of the R. occidentale colony, right next to Potrero Meadow. In this trip, like the Big Basin trip, I traveled light.  Had the bags for the seed in my multi pocket coat, and instead of a back pack carried a plastic grocery store bag which had inside a Safeway Kitchens Apple Fruit Pie and a Safeway Kitchens Chocolate Crème Pie.  The only other equipment I carried was my camera case, tripod, and my four quart canteen.

Plastic bags are 100 percent recyclable.  Many stores have boxes for the drop off of plastic bags. Many of the bags collected at these stores are recycled into various products such as the decking made by Trex. People like myself use plastic grocery bags for trash bags, food storage bags, as temporary planting containers, and for other uses.

<- A short distance to the West of R. occidentale Mt Tam 1312 is R. occidentale Mt Tam 2303 [Photo above] and R. occidentale Mt Tam 2302 which had no seed; but a short distance to the North R. occidentale Mt Tam 1804 had seed.  Unfortunately I was unable to be here in June, ergo there was fewer seed than I would have liked.

In this area are some possible R. occidentale seedlings.  I have rarely
spotted seedlings. Unfortunately R. occidentale Mt Tam 3203 had no
Fall Foliage.  In June it has purplish brown foliage. At the R. occidentale
colony at Potrero Meadow there are quite a few R. occidentale with
reddish Fall foliage

From the northern end of the R. occidentale colony and from the picnic area the radar dome on Middle Peak can be seen. This dome is easily spotted from San Francisco, Sausalito, and from several locations along the Panoramic Highway.  I have photographed the radar dome from the area of Lands End in San Francisco near the USS San Francisco Memorial. The radar dome was a part of Mill Valley Air Force Station.  After the Air Force left, the radar in the radar dome was used by the FAA until 2005.
At about 10:35 I had lunch at the picnic area.  Could only eat the apple pie. Instead of going home via the Golden Gate Bridge, I headed North on Highway 1 and came home via the Richmond San Rafael Bridge and Interstate 880. Thought about visiting USS Red Oak Victory, in Richmond, but I was to tired.

Arrived home at 2:07 PM after driving 150.5 miles on the trip. Processed some seed lots but went to bed early. R. occidentale Mt Tam 3110 was the last seed lot I processed.  In the photo on the left I am splitting a seed pod with an Exacto knife, and in the photograph on the right I am using sieve to separate the seed from the chaff. In preparing two types of envelopes (the smaller ones being hand crafted), I used over two bottles of glue. With the larger envelopes I sealed the seams sealed to prevent spillage.

At the Strybing plant sale featuring rhododendrons, Don Mahoney indicated that he would be interested in some R. occidentale seed. Besides sending seed to the ARS Seed Exchange; I sent seed also to the Rhododendron Species Foundation (they have had no R. occidentale for far to long even though they have or had R. occidentale."

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