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

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I’m just not one of those people who stands up on a table on New Year’s Eve and loudly makes big resolutions for the coming year.

However, I am a believer in publishing my goals for the year and posting them in public…so that my friends can hold my feet to the fire when I haven’t posted about another hike in a while.

I would also like to acknowledge Sue’s Trail Hiker blog for writing entertaining posts about hiking in California and for giving me the idea to keep track of my training hikes.  If you know me well at all, I will some times choose a big bowl of rocky road ice cream over a 4 mile hike on a “cold and stormy night.” Ha!

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 that I have not yet visited and explore more trails in the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority lands!

I agree with Mr. Muir, for going out, I have found, I am really going in.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

Lots of trails in Mt San Jacinto State Park!  Signpost at 9700 feet

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

“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark” John Muir

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Well, I certainly got a good look at my part of the world in 2014. I started off back on January 20, 2014 with my first hike of last year at Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains here in California. If you follow my blog, you will know that my goal for 2014 was to hike at least 20 times for a total of 100 miles. I chose to reduce the number of hikes because our youngest daughter was selected for a club volleyball team back in November, 2013. Her volleyball tournaments take up a good number of weekends that I may otherwise be hiking. Although, I really enjoy sitting in a gym watching Casie and her teammates fly after volleyballs just as much as I really enjoy sitting on a log watching a red tail hawk fly lazy circles in the sky.

At 3.6 miles, My first hike at Picchetti Ranch was also one of my shortest hikes. I did spot a coyote…which I considered a good omen for the year! I did not spot any mountain lions…which were spotted at this OSP later in 2014.  I was lucky enough to see all sorts of critters in 2014…like this beast spotted at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park:

Banana Slug Pursima Creek Redwoods OSP

I wrote about my favorite trail snack in 2014…my PB&J on Whole Wheat!

Thursday Picture

I also traveled to Southern California in 2014 and hiked to the summit of Mt. San Jacinto.   At 10,834 feet, this would be the highest elevation that I reached in 2014.  The trail to get to the summit and back is a long 13 mile round trip hike. Normally, I am struck by the altitude sickness bug…but, this year, after much research, I planned ahead, took regular water breaks, and felt fine at the summit.  Here I am taking a break about 1 mile from the summit.

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I was nearly eaten alive in 2014 by mosquitoes at Fremont Older OSP back in August…luckily, I still had my stash of bug juice in my pack from hiking in the Sierras!

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But, no matter how many bugs that latched on, I kept on hiking and saw some wonderful sights here in California in 2014!

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So, where will I go in 2015? I’d like to explore even more of the great trails at the Mid Peninsula Open Space Preserve, the Santa Clara Open Space Authority, the Santa Clara County Parks, the California State Parks, and the National Parks here in California. I think that I will also venture to the East Bay Regional Parks this year…I’m sure my faithful KEEN’s have another several hundred miles left in them!

Links:

http://openspace.org/
http://www.openspaceauthority.org/
http://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/Pages/Welcome-to-Santa-Clara-County-Parks.aspx
http://www.parks.ca.gov/
http://www.nps.gov/index.htm

Hiking Up on the Ridge Trail Hike No 31

As always, if you’re looking for me, I’m over the hill

High Speed Ballet

The orchestra settles into their chairs…the sound of the conductor tap, tap, tapping to get the attention of percussion, brass, and woodwinds.

The lights dim, the curtains open, the audience sits up in anticipation of the opening act…and then, the sounds of high school age young ladies…

“Down ball…block mid…my ball…3… 3…” Our daughters club volleyball practice sometimes looks like a high speed, well- choreographed, ballet to me.

Yes, it’s my Blogging 101 assignment for today!

Back in School!

So, I signed up for a writing class:

“Blogging 101” Through WordPress

Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

As my profile says, I’m a Trail hiking, volleyball watching, camera toting, outdoor blogging Dad of 3 daughters.  Janet actually encouraged me to write.  I really enjoy hiking and writing.  So, with my daughter Kelley’s help, I set up the Blog in 2013 to chronicle my attempt to hike 40 times in 2013.  I didn’t quite make 40 hikes…but, I did keep on hiking and writing!

I’ve also enjoyed learning about our Nikon D40 and using it to capture sights along the trail.

Why I’m here?  I would like to improve my writing and overall presentation of my hiking blog.

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The Climb – Hike Number 20!

I started out 2014 with a goal:

I resolve to hike 20 times for at least 100 miles in 2014!

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Well, almost without thinking about it, I have met my 2014 hiking goal. My 20th hike was at Santa Teresa County Park along the Stile Ranch trail and up to the Rocky Ridge. I love this hike on a cool day. There are not many trees that provide a shady spot to rest. Here is one of the few spots along the trail where you could take a break out of the sun. This is part of the climb up to the Rocky Ridge…yes, it is well named!

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It is fitting that this was the spot for my 20th hike. You see, this trail is heavily used by mountain bikers and horsemen (and, Horsewomen!). It is good to see so many folks taking advantage of the outdoors and the thousands of miles of trails here in California.

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This is a pretty historic park, being part of the Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail. Although I didn’t see any sign of Juan, I did see signs of this areas’ cattle ranching past.

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In fact, cattle still graze in this area. Here, you can see IBM’s Almaden Research Center perched on the top of a ridge above an area filled with cattle. Pretty typical Silicon Valley, a research center tucked into the hills while cattle graze below amongst some Oaks and old guys hike by madly clicking away with their cameras!

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The Old and the new is a theme here in California. We seem to be in a constant state of seeking the future…while we also work to preserve and protect our past. I’m looking forward to exploring more of our California trails in the coming year and writing about what I see here.

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Links:

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail – http://www.nps.gov/juba/index.htm
Santa Clara County Parks – http://www.sccgov.org/sites/parks/Pages/Welcome-to-Santa-Clara-County-Parks.aspx

Now, where will you go to explore?

As always, If you’re looking for me, I’m Over the Hill!