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” 

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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 Weekly Photo Challenge: Future

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The Weekly Photo Challenge: Future

I took this picture this week while on a field visit to some projects we are working on to expand access to the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve.  The Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve is part of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District which, along with the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority , was created by the smart taxpayers living down there in that valley we are viewing from this trail lookout.  That’s not just any beautiful green valley.  In fact, you are looking at the southern half of the world famous Silicon Valley.  Yes, the home of Apple, Google, Facebook, Cisco Systems, Adobe, and thousand of other big and small companies that are working on the future of networking, biotech, web, space exploration, aviation, etc.

If you look really hard…and, zoom in just a bit…You will see the main campus of California’s oldest public university – San Jose State University.

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San Jose State University’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering  is regularly ranked among the top five Engineering programs in the country.  It should be no surprise that San Jose State University supplies more Engineers to Silicon Valley firms than any other university in the world.  What may surprise you is that the Sierra Azul OSP is located only about 15 miles from San Jose State University and downtown San Jose.

So, thinking about the future, in the valley where people work on the future everyday, the smart taxpayers of Silicon Valley have decided to set aside vast amounts of the surrounding mountains for future generations to enjoy.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

 

 

 

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant

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The Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant

I took this week’s photo challenge shot at Rancho Canada del Oro in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains just south of San Jose’s Almaden Valley.  These berries are on a California Native, the Heteromeles arbutifolia !  Commonly known as the Toyon bush, or, sometimes, Christmas Berry, I see this native plant probably every time I go hiking in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Rancho Canada del Oro is just 30 miles from Levi’s Stadium!

If you look really closely, you will see that I was photobombed while on the trail!

So, where are you hiking this upcoming Super Bowl Weekend?

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

 

 

 

The Blue and the Green

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I’ve been nominated by my friends, Kathy Bauman and Laura Better-Henry, to participate in a seven day nature photography challenge. I will post one nature video/photograph every day for seven days.

Day Five Above:  I took this shot on the Longwall Canyon Trail in the Rancho Canada Del Oro Open Space Preserve located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains just a short drive from San Jose’s Almaden Valley.

I hiked here on the last day of January, 2016.  It had rained the night before, so the trails were fairly muddy in places.  It started out cloudy and threatened to rain some more.  However, I stayed dry – although it did get windy and cold along the ridge line – for most of this 6.75 mile hike.  The sun did start to peak through as I was hiking back to the nice staging area off of Casa Loma Road.  Now, parts of this hike up to the the ridge line are quite steep.  However, the view from the ridge along Bald Peaks Trail is spectacular.  I was able to see downtown San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco from the trail!  I was also able to see Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, home of Super Bowl 50, from the same trail!  Rancho Canada del Oro OSP, along with neighboring Calero County Park  offer hiking, biking, and equestrian trails for everyone!

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

Sierra Vista View

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I’ve been nominated by my friends, Kathy Bauman and Laura Better-Henry, to participate in a seven day nature photography challenge. I will post one nature video/photograph every day for seven days.

Day Three Above:  I took this shot on the Sierra Vista Trail in the eastern foothills above San Jose/Silicon Valley.

Located just above the City of San Jose’s Alum Rock Park is the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve.  There are some fantastic hiking trails in both Alum Rock Park and Sierra Vista OSP with some pretty views of the eastern foothills above San Jose.  This is one of my favorite hikes along the Sierra Vista Trail.  It’s not unusual for me to see several Red Tailed Hawks soaring above this valley.

If you’re looking for a good out and back Half Dome training hike, try starting out from Alum Rock Park on the North Rim Trail/Weather Trail/Todd Quick Trail and continue up the hill and take the Boccardo Loop Trail to the Sierra Vista Trail/Lower Calaveras Loop Trail.  It’s about 14 miles out and back with a total elevation gain of well over 1,200 feet.  It’s not as steep as Mission Peak in Fremont…but, it is a good long, scenic trail.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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