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.

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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.

Buzzards Roost and the 52 Hike Challenge

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I can see the finish line.  It’s kind of like standing on the trail looking up at the summit.  In this picture, the summit is reaching Buzzard’s Roost at Big Basin Redwoods State Park.  The hike to Buzzard’s Roost is a fairly challenging 5 mile round trip hike with well over 1,000 feet of elevation gain.

Challenging….but, not too crazy.  This hike is similar to the 52 Hike Challenge.  The 52 Hike Challenge can be as challenging as you make it.  I’m lucky….I live in Northern California where there are many different trails from crazy tough, like the Mission Peak Trail  or, hiking in Pinnacles National Park  to great hikes that are a short drive from downtown San Jose in the Santa Rosa Open Space.

The point is, to #OptOutside.  I’m so close…three hikes to go!

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

 

Hike 30 – “Look UP”

Hike 20 – “I Like Big Rocks” 

The Thursday Picture – Sweeney Ridge

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken on the Sweeney Ridge Trail that is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.  Located on the San Francisco Peninsula, I like hiking here when it is warm in Silicon Valley.  I can almost always count on a cool sea breeze here when I hike in the late afternoon.  The views of the Pacific Ocean are spectacular!

This was Hike #40 in my 52 Hike Challenge for 2016.  I’m up to 49 hikes with just over a week of 2016 left.  I better get going!

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 -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.

 

 

The Thursday Picture – I Like Big Rocks

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I like big rocks and I can not lie,

You other hikers can not deny…

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Because big rocks force me to be spry…

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Yo, some of ‘dem make me feel like I’m going to fly…

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Big Kahuna Likes BIG ROCKS

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All of these snaps were taken at Pinnacles National Park in Central California.  I tried to do my best “Kanye Scowl.”  Unfortunately…I had so much fun hiking around those big rocks…that, I couldn’t help but smile!

How close is Pinnacles National Park to San Jose State?

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It’s 95 miles from California’s first Public University to the West Gate of Pinnacles National Park!

So, where are you hiking this weekend?

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