52

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.

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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 – 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!

Look Up

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The Weekly Photo Challenge:  Look Up

I consider myself very lucky.  I love the outdoors and have so many great places to hike here in Northern California.  But, sometimes, I catch my “Engineer Brain” focusing on how many miles I’ve hiked, or which trail to explore on the map.

Occasionally, I catch myself doing too much of this…

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When, I should….well, look up.

I completed my 30th hike of the 52 Hike Challenge (see, there is my Engineer brain…LOL!) this past Sunday at California’s first state park.  Located only a little over an hour from San Jose/Silicon Valley, Big Basin Redwoods State Park is located in the heart of Redwood Country.  It is known for big trees.  Really big trees!

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Coast Redwoods make their home in many parts of the mountains that surround San Jose/Silicon Valley.  I find it to be interesting that a place that focuses so much on the future is surrounded by Coast Redwoods that are anchored in the past.  I think that it is a good balance.  If you are ever out this way on business or vacation, I strongly urge to take some time to visit Big Basin Redwoods State Park or, Henry Cowell Redwoods Sate Park and….look up.

So, where are you hiking this weekend?

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

 

 

The Thursday Picture – Color on the Trail

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Today’s Thursday Picture is of Aqualegia elengantula commonly known as Columbine.

CORRECTION:  Thanks to some sharp eyed readers who are “in the know” about flowers, I believe that the correct name of this flower is a Aquilegia formosa !  Thank you Cindy!  Please visit Cindy’s great blog, “Dipper Ranch.”  Cindy always has something interesting to read!

I took this shot on the Zinfandel Trail at the Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve in Cupertino, California.

Where is Picchetti Ranch OSP?  I am going to try something new starting with this post.  Because San Jose State University is centrally located in downtown San Jose, I will be referencing all of my hikes with a Google map that shows a distance from SJSU to that location.  I’m going to call this section,

“How far from San Jose State?”

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Picchetti Ranch OSP is only a short 30 minute drive from San Jose State Universtiy and downtown San Jose.

So, where are you hiking this weekend?

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

 

The Thursday Picture – Mule Ears

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Today’s Thursday Picture is of Wiethia Helenioides commonly known as Gray Mule Ears.

I came across this large yellow flower while hiking at Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve.

Here’s another shot of the Gray Mule Ears plant:

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I’ve spent a busy week in Southern California “hiking” around several college campuses on tours with my wife and daughter.  It is an exciting time in our family as our daughter prepares to go off to college next year!

Some of our daughter’s favorite campus tours were at Loyola MarymountPepperdine, UCLA and UC Irvine .  She is looking to study Biology.  I am looking forward to hiking this weekend to get some good shots of more wildflowers in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Although, I can see that in addition to wildflowers, we will be needing to search for scholarships! 🙂

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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