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.

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 – Lines and Shapes

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken in San Mateo County near the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s La Honda Creek Open Space.

 

I work in Engineering and Construction.  In this world, straight lines represent order.  Engineers love order.  I know that I do.  I know that we all seem to be pretty good with numbers, and most of us are common-sense types of people.  But, sometimes, it drives me nuts.

For example, I will be out hiking, and catch myself observing that a trail dip isn’t at quite the right angle…or, I wonder why this cattle fence is angled the way it is…

Luckily, when I should be out enjoying myself in the wonders of the natural world, my “left brain” will kick in and shut down my “engineer brain.”

Most of the time.  LOL

Get out on the trail!  The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District has some fantastic trails for you to go outside and breathe.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thursday Picture – Feeling Young

 

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken at Bear Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve in the Sanra Cruz Mountains above San Jose / Silicon Valley.  

These Coast Redwoods are probably well over 150 years old.  What is interesting is that I am writing this entry on my new Apple iPad 2 that my family gave to me for my 56th birthday.  I love it….although, I am going to have to get used to typing on a screen and not a keyboard.  I can’t help but feel young when hiking through one  of California’s forests!  So, I guess this kid will just have to keep learning new things…. Like typing on my iPad screen!

Any suggestions on what sort of cover I should get to protect my iPad2 while I’m out hiking?  I would like to experiment with taking pictures with my iPad2 and my iPhone 6 while also uploading them to my iCloud storage.  I can then access them on my iPad2 and write a first draft for my hiking blog.  Am I getting too ambitious?

So, what are you going to do to feel young this weekend?

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

 

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle

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The Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle

I took this picture while hiking down a hiking/equestrian trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains earlier this week.  If you look to the left of this trail, notice how these Coast Redwood trees are growing in a circle.

What you can’t see is the trees are growing around a stump of an old growth Coast Redwood that was cut probably more than 100 years ago.  One of the secrets of the longevity of our Coast Redwoods is that new trees will will sprout from the shallow roots of the “mother” tree…even if it has been cut down!  In fact, a DNA sample would reveal that these trees growing in a circle are genetically identical!

For more great hiking through the fantastic redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains, try the trails through some of my favorite open space preserves and state parks:

Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve – Pursima Creek Trail

Big Basin Redwoods State Park – Berry Creek Loop

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park – Redwood Grove Loop Trail

 

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops

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The Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops

I had a hard time with this photo challenge.  A hard time because when I get home from one of my hike’s, download my pictures from my trusty Nikon into Picasa 3, and review them….well, let’s just say that there are always 1 or 2…or more pictures where I say, “Oops!”  LOL

I took this horrible picture in the beautiful Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Northern California.  Our daughter Casie had to complete a writing assignment describing something in it’s natural environment.  Naturally (no pun intended), I thought of visiting the ancient coast redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains above the western edge of Silicon Valley.  This particular trail, the Redwood Grove Loop Trail, takes you through some beautiful old growth Coast Redwoods.

I intended my picture to come out like this one:

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Although, as you can see, I still didn’t get the mottled sunlight drifting through the forest canopy correct.  Oops.

I’ve got to work on my outdoor photography skills where the light is mixed like this in the forest.  This picture of Casie sitting on a redwood log that has been made into a bench, surrounded by redwoods and bay trees, is the best shot I took on this day.  A day I really enjoyed…even if it was a day filled with oops.

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Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Gathering of Fungi

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The Weekly Photo Challenge: Gathering

I came across this cool looking gathering of parchment fungi in the Santa Cruz Mountains while hiking around looking for a water line on a rainy day.

Our group was hiking down a very wet and muddy trail when this caught my eye.  I hit the brakes on my Keen’s and slipped and mud-skied to the side of the trail to get this shot.  Disclaimer: No old hiker/photographers were injured during the taking of this shot.

I didn’t have my Nikon with me today.  Luckily, I always have my iPhone 6 with me…and, with it comes a pretty decent camera!  I’ve taken so many shots up in the mountains with my iPhone 6.  Although my Nikon DSLR is a much better camera and takes incredible pictures, I always have my iPhone 6 with me.

The best camera is the one that you have with you to get the shot.

Where are you hiking this holiday weekend?

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