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.

 

 

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 – 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 Weekly Photo Challenge – State of Mind

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The Weekly Photo Challenge – State of Mind

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
― John Muir, The Mountains of California

 

We had been in the field most of the day.  Checking the condition of a bridge and a ranch road.  We were figuring out what repairs were needed.  Finally, we stopped for lunch on a crest that overlooked the hills rolling down to the Pacific Ocean…and, to take a deep breath and just look around.

You too can visit the La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve …but, entrance to this preserve requires a permit.  Visit the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s Permits page to find out how you can enjoy La Honda Creek OSP.

It looks like rain this weekend in California.  Put on your rain gear and get outside.  Where are you going to hike?

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

 

 

 

 

Sierra Vista View

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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 Three Above:  I took this shot on the Sierra Vista Trail in the eastern foothills above San Jose/Silicon Valley.

Located just above the City of San Jose’s Alum Rock Park is the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve.  There are some fantastic hiking trails in both Alum Rock Park and Sierra Vista OSP with some pretty views of the eastern foothills above San Jose.  This is one of my favorite hikes along the Sierra Vista Trail.  It’s not unusual for me to see several Red Tailed Hawks soaring above this valley.

If you’re looking for a good out and back Half Dome training hike, try starting out from Alum Rock Park on the North Rim Trail/Weather Trail/Todd Quick Trail and continue up the hill and take the Boccardo Loop Trail to the Sierra Vista Trail/Lower Calaveras Loop Trail.  It’s about 14 miles out and back with a total elevation gain of well over 1,200 feet.  It’s not as steep as Mission Peak in Fremont…but, it is a good long, scenic trail.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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!

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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

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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