Trailside Meadow in the Sierras

Trailside Meadow

Trailside Meadow on the way to Outpost Camp

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 Two Above:  I took this shot on the Mt. Whitney trail on the way to Outpost Camp for a water break.

I had a great time hiking with my good friend Greg Jobe.  Here’s a decent shot of Greg cooking us some good eats!

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Well, I was having a great time until I was hit with altitude sickness at about 12,000 feet.  But, that is a story for another day.  What is ironic is that I started feeling really bad just about the time that our trail grub was ready.  See below…LOL

Dale at 12,000 feet I feel worse than I look

Dale at 12,000 feet I feel worse than I look

Other than getting sick…I had a great time hiking on the Mt. Whitney trail!  Let’s go back to a happier picture:

Trailside Meadow

Trailside Meadow

So, where are you hiking this weekend?

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

Climbing Kamet in the Himalayas

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2015 was a big year for me hiking.  No, I didn’t actually climb Kamet in the Himalayas.  However, the total elevation gain from all of my hikes did add up to 25,407 feet!  Kamet, pictured here, rises up to 24,446 feet.  Kamet’s elevation is the closest that I could find to the total elevation I gained while hiking over the year.

Of course, I didn’t need any oxygen on any of my hikes!  So, how did I do in achieving my hiking and photography goals for 2015?  As a reminder, here were my goals posted last year at about this time:

For 2015, I will hike at least 20 times for a total of 120 miles and complete at least 20 “training” hikes around my neighborhood at the base of the Sierra Azul Mountains here in Northern California.  I will also venture further out into the East Bay and up the San Francisco Peninsula to discover more trails, take more pictures, and write more about my adventures.  Finally, I would also like to hike in any OSP of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) that I have not yet visited and explore more trails in the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority lands!

My year started out in one of the Open Space Preserves (OSP) that I have not visited:  Thornewood OSP in the Santa Cruz Mountains above the Town of Woodside.  I’ve now hiked in nearly every preserve of the MROSD.  You can tell this was my first hike because I have very cleverly provided a clue…

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I did fairly well on my goals.  I actually went on a total of 20 “Regional Hikes” for a total of 105 miles and 39 “Training Hikes” for a total of 107 miles.  My Regional Hikes took place in the parks and open spaces around California that I visited.  As you can see, I’m still working on my outdoor photography skills.  I’m getting better at composition…but, light still gives me trouble sometimes!  Typical of my Regional Hikes was my 3rd hike (7.3 miles/1,089 feet elev. gain) at Russian Ridge OSP :

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My 7th hike (3.9 miles/16 feet elev. gain) along the San Francisco Bay at Ravenswood OSP at Cooley Landing was my hike with the smallest elevation gain:

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My 9th hike (8.6 miles/2,500 feet elev. gain) took me to the top of Tahquitz Peak in our San Bernardino National Forest .  This was my hike with the greatest elevation gain.  The hike was challenging, but the views from high up in the Sierra Mountains were spectacular:

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In fact, like 2014, I hiked in some beautiful places and was able to spend a lot of time working on my outdoor photography skills.  Here are just a handful of my favorite shots of 2015:

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Unfortunately, one goal that I didn’t accomplish was to hike in the East Bay Regional Parks.  This will be a goal that I will carry over to 2016!

So, where will I go in 2016? I’d like to explore even more of the great trails at the Mid Peninsula Regional Open Space District, the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, the Santa Clara County Parks, the California State Parks, and the National Parks here in California.  To help ease my “engineering brain” which compels me to assign numbers to my hikes, I’ve signed up for the 52 Hike Challenge.

I do know that whether the trail is flat…or, I’m squeezing by a railing on a trail up in the sky, DSC_6432

I will be having fun challenging myself while I explore California!

 

“I only went out for a walk…, for going out, I found, was really going in.”- John Muir

 

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Thanks for visiting my hiking / photography blog!

– Dale

 

As always…

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

 

 

The Thursday Picture – Stay on the Trail!

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken at the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve in the foothills above San Jose/Silicon Valley.

I hike a lot.  Before this year is over, I will have gone on over 50 hikes.  Many of my hikes are up Harwood Hill in the Sierra Azul Mountains above my neighborhood.  I’ve also hiked this year on trails in National Parks, California State Parks, Santa Clara County Parks, Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Authority.  All of these agencies struggle with maintenance budgets that just barely allow them to maintain our trails and the natural environments around them.  When hikers venture off marked trails, like these clowns above, bad things can happen to our trails, parks, and open spaces:

  • Surface vegetation, animal habitat, fragile soils, and/or entire communities of life can be trampled beyond recovery.
  • Organic matter, such as leaves and even the soil itself, helps protect land from the erosive forces of rainfall and wind. Walking, biking, or riding your horse off trail disturbs the protective cover and can accelerate erosion. Do not use shortcuts.
  • Damage to surface vegetation can disrupt natural processes and may destroy a food source or otherwise harm wildlife habitat. Be careful where you step.
  • In some areas, disturbing rocks can leave a visible impact for hundreds of years. Lichen-coated and time-varnished rocks are irreplaceable. Leave rocks where they lay.

If you look closely at this picture, you can see how these hikers….uh….er….those look like black tailed deer.

Never mind.

Where are you hiking this weekend?  Wherever you go, Please do stay on the marked trails!  See the California State Parks information about staying on the trail above and here!

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

 

 

 

 

Celebrating The Wilderness at Yosemite

  
On the anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act, Dad and I were enjoying Yosemite National Park back in 2006.

   
 
What a great trip!  We explored all over the park.  One of my fondest memories was admiring the starry night up at Glacier Point.  I remember sitting with him and waiting for the space shuttle to fly over…setting up his telescope…the Milky Way…wow!

  
What a great man and Dad my Father was…

Although I miss him, I feel like he is with me whenever I am out hiking.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

If you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill…with my Dad.

The Thursday Picture – Southern Sierra View

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken from the Tahquitz Peak trail. The views from this trail at about 8,000 feet are fantastic.

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Located in the San Bernardino National Forest and the San Jacinto Wilderness, I took the Devil’s Slide trail from Humber Park up to the Saddle Junction.  From the Saddle Junction, turn south along the Pacific Coast Trail for about 1 1/2 miles.  The trail to the USFS Fire Lookout on the top of Tahquitz Peak is another 1/2 mile up (about an 800 foot climb) where you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of Southern California.

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On this day, from the USFS Fire Lookout, I was able to see the top of Catalina Island down to Palomar Observatory in San Diego!

Because this hike is located in a wilderness area, a USFS Wilderness Permit and an Adventure Pass are required.  Both of these can be picked up at the Idyllwild Ranger Station. One of my favorite hikes in the Southern Sierras!

So, where are you hiking this weekend?

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