2017 – The Big 65

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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!

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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!

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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!

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Hiking amongst giants!  Muir Woods National Monument

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

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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).

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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.

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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.

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The Thursday Picture -Tunnel View: A Look Back

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Tunnel View, Yosemite Valley, around 1960.

The Thursday Picture this week was taken by my grandfather, Dale Lackey.  I’m thinking that this easily recognizable landmark was taken on a family trip to Yosemite sometime around 1960.  The more things change…

Yes, our family has been taking trips to Yosemite for a long time.  You might even say that when we are asked to #FindYourPark, Yosemite National Park is on the top of our list!  Which reminds me, I am way overdue for a trip to Yosemite National Park!

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.

 

 

Daily Photo Challenge – Jubilant

Thanks Mom & Dad

The Daily Photo Challenge – Jubilant

One of the benefits of owning this blog, is that I get to choose what I write about.  Now, sure, this is a blog about my outdoor adventures.  However, every once in a while, I get to write about something else.  Today, I choose to post a picture of a very jubilant event in our family.  Our daughter Kelley just graduated from California State University, Fresno with a BA in English!  We are so proud of her accomplishment!

Kelley Janet and Me

It’s quite something when you can remember holding your child, rocking her to sleep, or reading her “Goodnight Moon.”  And then, in what seems like a flash, you are standing outside the Save Mart Center with this same girl – now, a young woman – after she has earned a university degree!

Jubilant!

 

 

The Thursday Picture – I Like Big Rocks

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I like big rocks and I can not lie,

You other hikers can not deny…

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Because big rocks force me to be spry…

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Yo, some of ‘dem make me feel like I’m going to fly…

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Big Kahuna Likes BIG ROCKS

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All of these snaps were taken at Pinnacles National Park in Central California.  I tried to do my best “Kanye Scowl.”  Unfortunately…I had so much fun hiking around those big rocks…that, I couldn’t help but smile!

How close is Pinnacles National Park to San Jose State?

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It’s 95 miles from California’s first Public University to the West Gate of Pinnacles National Park!

So, where are you hiking this weekend?

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

 

The Thursday Picture – Volcanic Color!

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken on the Juniper Canyon Trail in Pinnacles National Park in California.  It was breezy all day…nice hiking weather!

With the wildflowers blooming, the native grasses and the volcanic rock, this scene repeated itself for most of the day along the trail.

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Coastal Larkspur – Delphinium decorum

Wildflowers were everywhere!

 

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Bush Poppy – Dendromecon rigida

Thanks to Calflora for the flower identification!

It looks like a busy weekend for me this upcoming weekend.  I don’t know if I will make it out on the trail.  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.