The Thursday Picture – Blue Sky

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken on my “home course” trail in the Santa Rosa Open Space in the hills above Los Gatos, California.

Is there anything bluer than a September sky in California?!

I really like the contrast between the blue sky and the greens and browns of this Oak.  I also like the picture quality I get from my iPhone 6 (when there is good light).  Has anyone out there upgraded to the new iPhone 7?

Where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

 

 

 

 

The Thursday Picture – TBT Alpine Pond

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken about a year ago.

This is a view of Alpine Pond, which is adjacent to the Daniels Nature Center in the Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve.  This preserve is one of my favorite places to hike in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

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The views west from the Ipiwa Trail, which is part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail, are fantastic.  With over 10 miles of trails, from easy to challenging, the Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve is a good place for every age group to enjoy some time outside.

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View of Horseshoe Lake from the Sunny Jim Trail.

After parking in the large gravel parking lot at the main entrance off of Skyline Boulevard, take the Sunny Jim Trail to the connection with the Ipiwa Trail.  Enjoy the great views of the Santa Cruz Mountains while you follow the trail to the Alpine Pond.  Loop around the pond and head back the way you hiked in to the preserve.  This makes a nice 4 mile loop with a total of 600 feet in elevation gain.

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Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve is only about a 45 minute drive from California’s Oldest Public University, San Jose State University, which is located in the heart of downtown San Jose.

 

So, where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

 

 

The Thursday Picture – Umpqua

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That’s a view of the South Umpqua River in Southern Oregon.  I’ve spent a lot of time fishing, splashing, swimming, wading, and skipping rocks in this river.

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My Grandparents and Aunt moved up to Roseburg when I was young.  I spent many happy weeks in Oregon with my sisters, brothers, and cousins in this area.

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This time, we were up in Oregon to visit colleges with our youngest daughter.  I didn’t get to do much hiking.  However, I did get to visit the Umpqua again!

Where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill!

The Thursday Picture: Sun on the Grinder

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken on the Priest Rock Trail in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve.  I like this shot of the sun as it is filtered by this large oak.  Ironically, it was taken in one of the few spots on this trail that has some shade.

The Priest Rock Trail is a challenging hike from the trailhead near Lexington Reservoir up past the Limekiln Trail junction.  As I was stopping for a water break, a mountain biker passed me…pushing his bike up the hill.  This particular section of trail was in the sun for 2 miles with very little shade.  The mountain biker just said to me, “Welcome to the Grinder.”

I eventually turned around and took the Limekiln Trail on the way down.  My modified loop was 6.1 miles with over 1,200 feet of total elevation gain.  I know that it is no Mission Peak hike…but, the Grinder could go on the list of hikes that would help you train for Half Dome.  If you want to take on the Grinder, I suggest you try it in the Fall or Spring.  This is a tough summer hike.

So, where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

 

 

The Thursday Picture -Tunnel View: A Look Back

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Tunnel View, Yosemite Valley, around 1960.

The Thursday Picture this week was taken by my grandfather, Dale Lackey.  I’m thinking that this easily recognizable landmark was taken on a family trip to Yosemite sometime around 1960.  The more things change…

Yes, our family has been taking trips to Yosemite for a long time.  You might even say that when we are asked to #FindYourPark, Yosemite National Park is on the top of our list!  Which reminds me, I am way overdue for a trip to Yosemite National Park!

Where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m Over the Hill.

 

 

Look Up

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The Weekly Photo Challenge:  Look Up

I consider myself very lucky.  I love the outdoors and have so many great places to hike here in Northern California.  But, sometimes, I catch my “Engineer Brain” focusing on how many miles I’ve hiked, or which trail to explore on the map.

Occasionally, I catch myself doing too much of this…

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When, I should….well, look up.

I completed my 30th hike of the 52 Hike Challenge (see, there is my Engineer brain…LOL!) this past Sunday at California’s first state park.  Located only a little over an hour from San Jose/Silicon Valley, Big Basin Redwoods State Park is located in the heart of Redwood Country.  It is known for big trees.  Really big trees!

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Coast Redwoods make their home in many parts of the mountains that surround San Jose/Silicon Valley.  I find it to be interesting that a place that focuses so much on the future is surrounded by Coast Redwoods that are anchored in the past.  I think that it is a good balance.  If you are ever out this way on business or vacation, I strongly urge to take some time to visit Big Basin Redwoods State Park or, Henry Cowell Redwoods Sate Park and….look up.

So, where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.