“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” – John Muir

DSC_0290Time for reflecting on last year and deciding what my hiking and photography goals will be for this year.

2016 was a big year for me professionally.  I left the City of San Jose Public Works Department after many years of leading design and construction teams.  I learned so much from my colleagues about building and maintaining infrastructure on very tight budgets.  More importantly, I made many life long friends.

In July of this year, I happened to be in the right place at the right time and was lucky to be hired as one of the new Capital Project Managers at the Mid Peninsula Regional Open Space District.  I feel very fortunate to work with so many colleagues who are both dedicated to designing and building quality projects and are committed to fulfilling the Mission Statement of the District: “To acquire and preserve a regional greenbelt of open space land in perpetuity, protect and restore the natural environment, and provide opportunities for ecologically sensitive public enjoyment and education.”

Did I mention that they are fun too?  It sure helps when you can combine a love for the outdoors with being able to work on outdoor projects everyday!

So, what are my hiking and outdoor photography goals this year?  Well, I’ve decided to try something different.  I am going to attempt to complete the 52 Hike Challenge Adventure Series.  I can’t help it…maybe it is the engineering gene lodged in every cell in my body.  I enjoy keeping lists and striving to complete hiking challenges.  The Adventure Series challenge fits neatly into my twisted engineering brain.  In addition to completing 52 hikes this calendar year, I will try to add in the following additional challenges:

  • 5 Waterfalls (even if they are dry)
  • 1 Forest (if not possible, go to National Park/ Site)
  • 1 National Parks, Monuments, Preserves, Recreation Area or Historic Trail
  • 2 Hikes to bodies of water: Lakes, Rivers, or Ocean
  • 1 Stewardship hike (pick up trash or join group to help with a restoration project)
  • 1 Group hike (if you are regular to one group, visit a new group to meet new people)
  • 1 Introduce someone new to hiking (on an easy trail)
  • 1 Hike from your Bucket list (somewhere you have always wanted to go)
  • 3 Reflection hikes (journal at the beginning, middle, and towards the end of your challenge).
  • My add: Go hiking in Yosemite at some point this year.

As always, I will post pictures and do a better job of regularly writing about my adventures.

I would also like to acknowledge the following outdoor blogs for publishing entertaining posts and inspiring me to push myself to go farther while also slowing down to look around!

Dipper Ranch – Great stories about life on a ranch in Central California.  After reading one post, she inspired me to do a better job of looking around me while on the trail and to take pictures like this one I shot on a recent hike:


Modern Hiker – I enjoy reading about some of the best hikes in Southern California on this blog.  I’ve even done a little “peak bagging” after reading great trail write ups.  Here’s a shot from the top of Tahquitz Peak from last summer:


Finally, I enjoy reading Hiking The Trail .  I’ve had a few of my pictures posted on this site and feel that he helps push me to get better.  If I get my act together, I am going to shoot to earn the Golden Boots Blogger Award .   I better set aside time to do some more writing!

Oh, I’m sure you are wondering who that young lady is in the trail picture above.  That’s our youngest daughter Casie on the trail at Uvas Canyon County Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains today!  We had a great day on the trail and enjoyed seeing creeks that had turned into small rivers and several of the waterfalls in the park!


So, Away I go over the hill.  You see, I agree with Mr. Muir, for going out, I have found, I am really going in.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

Lots of trails in Mt San Jacinto State Park!  Signpost at 9700 feet

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

12 thoughts on ““I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” – John Muir

  1. I wish Florida has better hiking trails than North Carolina! The flatness and the swamps and the palm trees don’t make much for good hiking environment for me.


  2. Dale: you gotta give me location/habitat and size on that track to make a decent guess but could it be a ground squirrel? A very strange track indeed, so could be a double registered skunk. Congratulations on your 2015 changes and those are some cool 2016 goals. Now I am inspired to sign up for a 4-day fund-raising hike across Mount Diablo in April. Today I volunteered at Golden Gate National Park for MLK service day and learned a new way to pop a plant out of a pot. Thanks for the plug on the Dipper Ranch blog – I am writing about the effect of the California drought on the walnut harvest and climate change right now. Funny that we only have time to talk via blogging. Have a great 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like this quote from Astronaut Neil Armstrong: “I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine.” 🙂 Always enjoy you’re photos from France! Thanks for visiting “I’m Over the Hill.”


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