2016 – By the Numbers

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So…what does my record of 52 hikes look like?  Hike 52 looked a lot like one of my favorite places to hike, Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve (above).

I completed 52 hikes.

Longest Hike:  Pinnacles National Park = 9.5 Miles

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Greatest total elevation gain:  Mission Peak, East Bay Regional Parks = 2,047 feet!

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Talles Trees:  Big Basin Redwoods State Park 

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Best spot to hike along a creek on a cloudy day: Uvas Canyon County Park

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That’s our youngest daughter Casie…picking up the pace!

I completed 52 hikes that totaled 254.2 miles.  The total elevation gain for all 52 hikes was 33,782 feet.  My average hike was just over 5 miles.

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Phew!

What to do for 2017?  Well, I do know that I am going to take up the Pix In Parks challenge and hike the “magnificent 7.”  I’m also going to try to take some longer hikes…increase my mileage.  Stay tuned!

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

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Wow.  I did it.  52 hikes in one year.

Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, one of my favorite places to hike, was just spectacular yesterday!


I pushed myself to get outside on many of my hikes.  But, once on the trail, I easily fell into my hiking rhythm.  I took some good pictures too.  Well, most of them were ok.  


Most of all, Given the choice, I opted to get outside.  


There is a lot of trail to explore…

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

The Thursday Picture – Sierra Azul


Today’s Thursday Picture was taken at Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

This “Trail selfie” was taken on the Priest Rock Trail – AKA “the grinder.”

This was also hike #27 of my 52 hike challenge.  I finished hike #47 in the Santa Cruz Mountains above my home here in California.

I am very thankful to have so many trails provided by Santa Clara County Parks, Los Gatos Parks, Santa Clara County Open Space Authority and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.  

So, 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: 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 – “Going to the Woods is Going Home”

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“Going to the Woods is Going Home” – John Muir

Today’s Thursday Picture was taken on a 7 mile loop hike that I did on Memorial Day.  My 24th hike of the 52 Hike Challenge started out at Stevens Creek County Park, looped up the Coyote Ridge Trail to Fremont Older Open Space Preserve, and then returned via the Tony Look Trail that winds past the Stevens Creek Reservoir through…Stevens Creek County Park.  I would estimate that half of this hike is exposed to the sun.  So, spots like this wonderful, shady section of trail really helped cool me down!

How close is Stevens Creek County Park to San Jose State?

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It’s an easy 45-50 minute drive from California’s First Public University in downtown San Jose to Stevens Creek County Park!

Spartan Note: Silicon Valley companies hire more Engineering Graduates from San Jose State University than any other university in the United States!

 

So, where are you hiking this weekend?

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