The Weekly Photo Challenge – State of Mind

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The Weekly Photo Challenge – State of Mind

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
― John Muir, The Mountains of California

 

We had been in the field most of the day.  Checking the condition of a bridge and a ranch road.  We were figuring out what repairs were needed.  Finally, we stopped for lunch on a crest that overlooked the hills rolling down to the Pacific Ocean…and, to take a deep breath and just look around.

You too can visit the La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve …but, entrance to this preserve requires a permit.  Visit the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s Permits page to find out how you can enjoy La Honda Creek OSP.

It looks like rain this weekend in California.  Put on your rain gear and get outside.  Where are you going to hike?

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

 

 

 

 

Climbing Kamet in the Himalayas

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2015 was a big year for me hiking.  No, I didn’t actually climb Kamet in the Himalayas.  However, the total elevation gain from all of my hikes did add up to 25,407 feet!  Kamet, pictured here, rises up to 24,446 feet.  Kamet’s elevation is the closest that I could find to the total elevation I gained while hiking over the year.

Of course, I didn’t need any oxygen on any of my hikes!  So, how did I do in achieving my hiking and photography goals for 2015?  As a reminder, here were my goals posted last year at about this time:

For 2015, I will hike at least 20 times for a total of 120 miles and complete at least 20 “training” hikes around my neighborhood at the base of the Sierra Azul Mountains here in Northern California.  I will also venture further out into the East Bay and up the San Francisco Peninsula to discover more trails, take more pictures, and write more about my adventures.  Finally, I would also like to hike in any OSP of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) that I have not yet visited and explore more trails in the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority lands!

My year started out in one of the Open Space Preserves (OSP) that I have not visited:  Thornewood OSP in the Santa Cruz Mountains above the Town of Woodside.  I’ve now hiked in nearly every preserve of the MROSD.  You can tell this was my first hike because I have very cleverly provided a clue…

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I did fairly well on my goals.  I actually went on a total of 20 “Regional Hikes” for a total of 105 miles and 39 “Training Hikes” for a total of 107 miles.  My Regional Hikes took place in the parks and open spaces around California that I visited.  As you can see, I’m still working on my outdoor photography skills.  I’m getting better at composition…but, light still gives me trouble sometimes!  Typical of my Regional Hikes was my 3rd hike (7.3 miles/1,089 feet elev. gain) at Russian Ridge OSP :

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My 7th hike (3.9 miles/16 feet elev. gain) along the San Francisco Bay at Ravenswood OSP at Cooley Landing was my hike with the smallest elevation gain:

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My 9th hike (8.6 miles/2,500 feet elev. gain) took me to the top of Tahquitz Peak in our San Bernardino National Forest .  This was my hike with the greatest elevation gain.  The hike was challenging, but the views from high up in the Sierra Mountains were spectacular:

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In fact, like 2014, I hiked in some beautiful places and was able to spend a lot of time working on my outdoor photography skills.  Here are just a handful of my favorite shots of 2015:

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Unfortunately, one goal that I didn’t accomplish was to hike in the East Bay Regional Parks.  This will be a goal that I will carry over to 2016!

So, where will I go in 2016? I’d like to explore even more of the great trails at the Mid Peninsula Regional Open Space District, the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, the Santa Clara County Parks, the California State Parks, and the National Parks here in California.  To help ease my “engineering brain” which compels me to assign numbers to my hikes, I’ve signed up for the 52 Hike Challenge.

I do know that whether the trail is flat…or, I’m squeezing by a railing on a trail up in the sky, DSC_6432

I will be having fun challenging myself while I explore California!

 

“I only went out for a walk…, for going out, I found, was really going in.”- John Muir

 

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Thanks for visiting my hiking / photography blog!

– Dale

 

As always…

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

 

 

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops

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The Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops

I had a hard time with this photo challenge.  A hard time because when I get home from one of my hike’s, download my pictures from my trusty Nikon into Picasa 3, and review them….well, let’s just say that there are always 1 or 2…or more pictures where I say, “Oops!”  LOL

I took this horrible picture in the beautiful Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Northern California.  Our daughter Casie had to complete a writing assignment describing something in it’s natural environment.  Naturally (no pun intended), I thought of visiting the ancient coast redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains above the western edge of Silicon Valley.  This particular trail, the Redwood Grove Loop Trail, takes you through some beautiful old growth Coast Redwoods.

I intended my picture to come out like this one:

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Although, as you can see, I still didn’t get the mottled sunlight drifting through the forest canopy correct.  Oops.

I’ve got to work on my outdoor photography skills where the light is mixed like this in the forest.  This picture of Casie sitting on a redwood log that has been made into a bench, surrounded by redwoods and bay trees, is the best shot I took on this day.  A day I really enjoyed…even if it was a day filled with oops.

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Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

The Thursday Picture – Southern Sierra View

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken from the Tahquitz Peak trail. The views from this trail at about 8,000 feet are fantastic.

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Located in the San Bernardino National Forest and the San Jacinto Wilderness, I took the Devil’s Slide trail from Humber Park up to the Saddle Junction.  From the Saddle Junction, turn south along the Pacific Coast Trail for about 1 1/2 miles.  The trail to the USFS Fire Lookout on the top of Tahquitz Peak is another 1/2 mile up (about an 800 foot climb) where you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of Southern California.

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On this day, from the USFS Fire Lookout, I was able to see the top of Catalina Island down to Palomar Observatory in San Diego!

Because this hike is located in a wilderness area, a USFS Wilderness Permit and an Adventure Pass are required.  Both of these can be picked up at the Idyllwild Ranger Station. One of my favorite hikes in the Southern Sierras!

So, where are you hiking this weekend?

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