400!

400! I surpassed my 365 Mile Challenge and keep on going. 365 Mile Challenge

Although I have been kept off the trail for the past two weeks because of the unhealthy, smoky air here in Northern California, I am thinking of my fellow Californians who have lost so much in the horrible wildfires in our state.

Rainy weather cleaned our air and I was able to get out on the Los Gatos Creek Trail yesterday for a run/hike. Time to get back to it after my Spartan Sprint Obstacle Course Race a couple of weeks ago. It was wet and windy…and, I loved it!

Thank you Santa Clara County Parks for maintaining this trail! Santa Clara County Parks

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

2017 – The Big 65

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It is fitting that I begin with the end in mind.  This is a shot from hike number 65 of 2017.  I’ve never hiked this much in my life…or, taken as many pictures.  This shot was taken at the high point of the Folger Ranch Loop Trail in the newly opened La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve in the mountains of San Mateo County.

My longest hike:  La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve – I hiked the Harrington Creek/Folger Ranch Loop for a total of 9.1 miles!

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This shot is taken from the top of the long climb up the Harrington Creek Trail to the upper pond.  I waited at the top for about 12 hikers who were behind me.  One of them slowly passed me at the top and, after stopping to suck in some air, coughed out, “that’s a grinder!”  So, there you go, my new name for this section of the trail is, “The Grinder.”

Greatest total elevation gain: Deer Springs Trail to Suicide Rock in the San Bernardino National Forest = 1,928 Feet!

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The view from Suicide Rock looking south west.IMG_1421.jpgHere I am dangling my feet over the edge….I’m surprised that the picture isn’t blurry!  LOL!

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Hiking amongst giants!  Muir Woods National Monument

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Best spot to stop and watch hawks soaring above a valley:  Sierra Vista Trail, Sierra Vista Open Space

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I nailed my personal challenges this year:

  1. I completed Santa Clara County Parks “Magnificent Seven Challenge” at the John Nicholas Trail, Sanborn County Park, Santa Clara County Parks (above).

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2) I also completed the 52 Hike Challenge on the spectacular Mt. Umunhum trail, which is part of the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve.

Finally, I became a member of the Volunteer Trail Patrol for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Preserve.  I really enjoy meeting and helping hikers, bikers, and equestrians while I’m on the trail.  I plan on keeping up this “calling” in 2018!

Phew!  2017 was quite a year for me on the trail.

I completed 65 hikes that totaled 261.6 miles.  The total elevation gain for all 65 hikes was 32,997 feet.  My average hike was just over 4 miles.

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So, what’s in store for 2018?  I would definitely like to improve my iPhone and SLR photography.  So, look out for more pictures to be posted this year.

I also plan on going after the 52 Hike Challenge and Magnificent Seven hike challenges again.  What are the challenges you are going to take on this year?  Any suggestions for me?

I’ve also signed up to run my first Spartan Race this upcoming March!  This will be my first OCR race!  I haven’t done a pull up in 20+ years…so, training for this race should be….interesting!

As always, if you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

Photography Challenge: Scale

 

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Photography: Developing Your Eye II – Scale

My post today is in response to the WordPress Photo Challenge:  “Today, play with scale: use anything and everything — from your Chihuahua to your Mini Cooper — to convey size in your image.”

In this shot, I used the scale of the hiker in the foreground to compare to the height of the Mt. Umunhum Tower in the background.  The tower is 5 stories tall.  Note the height of the visitors standing and sitting at the base of the tower.  Also, note the valley – the Silicon Valley – on the right side of this shot extending off into the distance.

You too can enjoy this spectacular mountaintop view by hiking the Mt. Umunhum trail in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve.

Where are you hiking and taking photos this weekend?  If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

 

Photography Challenge: Mystery

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Photography: Developing Your Eye II – Mystery

My post today is in response to WordPress Photo Challenge:  “Today, share an image that creates a sense of mystery.”

I took this shot with my iPhone 7 on the Mt. Umunhum Trail in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve.  

An early morning shot, the sun is rising but not seen in the upper left-hand corner of the picture.  I like how there are splashes of sunlight illuminating this terrific stone stairway that is leading…somewhere up the mountain.

I am interested in your comments on this #developingyoureye photo challenge.

Where are you hiking and taking photos this weekend?  If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Challenge: Warmth

 

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Photography: Developing Your Eye – “Warmth”

I took this shot on the Mt. Umunhum Trail in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve on a short out-and-back hike I took last night.  I was hoping to catch some good early evening sunlight at the Guadalupe Creek Overlook.  However, I started just a bit too late.  However, I did capture some good light along the trail.

I took this shot with my iPhone 7.

I would be interested in your comments on this #developingyoureye challenge.

Where are you hiking, and taking photos this weekend?  If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill.