2017 – The Big 65

DSC_5618

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!

DSC_5645

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!

IMG_1418.jpg

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!

DSC_5224

Hiking amongst giants!  Muir Woods National Monument

DSC_4698

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

IMG_0603

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).

IMG_3280.jpgIMG_3561.jpg

IMG_3605.jpg

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.

IMG_4564

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.

Advertisements

2016 – By the Numbers

dsc_3171

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

DSC_0301-001

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

DSC_0051.JPG

Talles Trees:  Big Basin Redwoods State Park 

DSC_1610

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

dsc_0301

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.

IMG_2614

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

dsc_1556

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!

dsc_1557

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

 

Hike 30 – “Look UP”

Hike 20 – “I Like Big Rocks” 

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 – “Going to the Woods is Going Home”

DSC_1152

“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?

tower-hall

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.

 

 

 

The Thursday Picture – Flume Fun


Today’s Thursday Picture was taken on the Flume Trail at St. Joseph’s Hill Open Space Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Located just minutes from downtown Los Gatos, California, this preserve sees heavy use by hikers, bikers and families.  I typically park at Vasona Park and hike the Los Gatos Creek Trail up to St. Joseph’s Hill.  There are some steep sections of trail…so, hiking here can be a good workout.  However the scenery so close to an urban area makes the sweat well worth it!

My hike: A nice 7 mile loop with 650 feet of total elevation gain.  Park at Vasona Lake County Park.  Take the Los Gatos Creek Trail south to the pedestrian bridge at Church St.  Cross the bridge and hike through the parking lot past the historic Forbes Mill.  The Los Gatos Creek East Trail head is located just to the east of Forbes Mill.  Follow this trail that runs parallel to Los Gatos Creek for about 1/2 mile.  The trail will end with a short climb up a hill that leads you to the Town Of Los Gatos’ Novitiate Park.  This park borders St. Joseph’s Hill OSP and the Flume Trail head.  Head south on the Flume Trail for a little over .5 mile and continue to the end of this trail where it intersects the Jones Trail.  Continue south on the Jones Trail for a mile where you will exit the OSP and walk north along Alma Bridge Rd. for .5 mile to Lexington Dam.  Hike down the paved trail that traverses the north side of the dam where it connects back up to the Los Gatos Creek Trail.  Follow the Los Gatos Creek Trail for about 3 miles back to Vasona County Park!  This was hike number 16 of my quest on the 52 hike challenge!

 

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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