The Thursday Picture – Blue Sky


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 -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.



View from My Truck – Driving to the Clouds


My entry in the Daily Post “Landscape” 

Driving through the La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve checking on the condition of some of our ranch roads.  I took this shot while I waited for a colleague to check on another road just before we reached the top of this hill.  On the other side of the hill, we could clearly see the Pacific Ocean.  I like this shot because of the contrast in the colors.  I did not boost the color at all!

This is Northern California cattle country.  Although, in this shot, only a lone hawk could be seen from this road.

This preserve can be accessed by obtaining a permit here.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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



The Weekly Photo Challenge – Landscape


The Weekly Photo Challenge: Landscape

We had been hiking along this old ranch road checking on the condition of a berm on the south side of a ranch pond.  About 30 cattle scanned us and decided to trot off.  They weren’t sure what to make of these two humans…one carrying a camera and a large clipboard.

I was actually looking at the condition of this road when I looked up.  Sometimes, when I am out hiking or driving my truck at La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve, I am overwhelmed with the vibrant colors of nature.  No, I haven’t done any “post processing” to boost the greens and blues shown in this picture.  This is what we typically see when working in the coastal mountains of San Mateo County, California.

You too can enjoy these vibrant spring colors by visiting 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.

Where are you hiking this spring weekend?

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


The Thursday Picture – Feeling Young



Today’s Thursday Picture was taken at Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve in the Sanra Cruz Mountains above San Jose / Silicon Valley.  

These Coast Redwoods are probably well over 150 years old.  What is interesting is that I am writing this entry on my new Apple iPad 2 that my family gave to me for my 56th birthday.  I love it….although, I am going to have to get used to typing on a screen and not a keyboard.  I can’t help but feel young when hiking through one  of California’s forests!  So, I guess this kid will just have to keep learning new things…. Like typing on my iPad screen!

Any suggestions on what sort of cover I should get to protect my iPad2 while I’m out hiking?  I would like to experiment with taking pictures with my iPad2 and my iPhone 6 while also uploading them to my iCloud storage.  I can then access them on my iPad2 and write a first draft for my hiking blog.  Am I getting too ambitious?

So, what are you going to do to feel young this weekend?

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


Reminder of Spring


In the midst of a wet winter here in California a reminder of Spring.

I took this shot after hiking to the top of Mission Peak in the Mission Peak Regional Preserve.

This was a challenging hike with about a 2,000 foot gain in a little over 3 miles.  Tough hike but, great views!

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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



The Thursday Picture – Fluorescent Forest



Today’s Thursday Picture was taken on the Alec Canyon Trail at Uvas Canyon County Park in Santa Clara County.

No photoshop tricks were done to this image.  These are the colors that caught my eye as my daughter and I hiked back down this steep trail after visiting the Triple Falls about an hour earlier.

One part dead oak tree.  One part fungi.  One part moss.  Wham!  Nature supplies a great photo opportunity.  I just did a little adjusting of my Nikon D3300 for the existing light and pressed the shutter button.

Now, I just need to get a little better at being able to identify different types of fungi and moss!

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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




Climbing Kamet in the Himalayas


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…


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 :


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:


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:


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



Thanks for visiting my hiking / photography blog!

– Dale


As always…

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