“Going to the mountains is going home.” – John Muir

20130127 Looking West from Saratoga Gap Trail Hike No 1

20130127 Looking West from Saratoga Gap Trail Hike No 1

Today’s Thursday Picture is from my very first hike that I posted on this blog back in 2013.  As a new year’s resolution, and with a little help from my daughter Kelley, I started my hiking blog, “I’m Over the Hill” to record my hikes and post some pictures of my adventures on the trail.  It was also a way to force me to take the time to exercise by doing something I really enjoy…hiking.

I chose Castle Rock State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California as the location of my first hike.  I wanted to go to the mountains.  I suppose, a little like John Muir, I’ve always felt at home in the mountains.  Although this guy looks a little cold (I was!) before setting out on the trail:

20130127 Castle Rock Hike No 1

20130127 Castle Rock Hike No 1

I’m posting pictures from my first hike because I hit a significant milestone today.

“I’m Over the Hill” attracted the 100th follower and also earned the 1,000th “like” today!

Now, I’d like to think that my brilliant prose and my incredible shots had something to do with these achievements.  But, the truth is, when I am able to hike in so many beautiful parks, wilderness areas, and open spaces, it is just not too hard to post something of interest to the outdoor and WordPress communities.

So, I would also like to thank the folks at WordPress’ Daily Post for helping me to polish my writing and photography.

I would also like to thank the following organizations for being great stewards of our land and for providing me with so many beautiful places to explore:

The National Park Service

The Forest Service

The Bureau of Land Management

The California State Parks

The Santa Clara County Parks

The Santa Clara County Open Space Authority

The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

I’ve only just begun!  So, are you going home this weekend?

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

 

 

The Thursday Picture – Lunch Time View at the Pinnacles NP

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The Thursday Picture – Lunch Time View at Pinnacles National Park in California.

No special camera tricks.  No tripod used.  No “selfie stick”.

I just found a shady part of the High Peaks Loop trail, sat down on a big old piece of an ancient volcano, and ate lunch.  Did I mention that I had a pretty good view from my lunch spot?

I am looking forward to my next trip to Pinnacles National Park.

Where are you hiking this weekend?  I was able to get a permit to hike in La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve this weekend!

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

Find Your Park – Rosie the Riveter

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This weekend, in Celebration of National Parks Week, ALL National Parks are free!

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That’s right, America’s Best Idea….all free.  I took these pictures at Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historic Park in Richmond, California.  This was the site of one of America’s most productive ship yards during WWII.

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You can Find Your Park right here. A Joint effort by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation.

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So, which National Park will you visit this weekend?

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

The Thursday Picture – “Z” Ridge Trail

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“Z” Ridge Trail – Taken at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains west of San Jose/Silicon Valley.  One of my favorite places to hike in the Bay Area, this trail is also part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail system.

About 350 miles of Bay Area Ridge Trail are currently open to hikers.  Another 200 miles are yet to be developed and opened up.  When done, the Bay Area Ridge Trail will completely circle the entire Bay Area!

Work has been crazy the last several weeks!  My team has been working hard to accomplish some design milestones while also supporting projects in construction.  We’ve also been watching a lot of volleyball lately.  So, between work and volleyball, I haven’t been able to hit the trail a lot.  I’m hoping to do some hiking this weekend.  Hmm, where should I hike?

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

The Thursday Picture – Hiking as the Sun Fades

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Taken on an early evening hike at Long Ridge Open Space Preserve on the Long Ridge Trail just about one year ago today.

I had an interesting encounter with a deer on the ridge to the right of this picture while hiking.  It was very late in the day, the sun was heading towards a rest in the Pacific, and I had encountered no other hikers or bikers.  I had a strange feeling that something was watching me as I was hiking back to my car.  When I turned around, there was a deer staring at me.  I don’t carry a zoom lens on my Nikon D40…so, I wasn’t able to get a clear shot of the deer.  As I continued down the trail, I had the same feeling.  Again, when I turned around, there was the same deer, on a ridge looking straight at me.  Maybe it was my imagination, but I swear that the deer was following along as I hiked out of Long Ridge.

Maybe he was wondering just what the heck this hiker was doing so late in the day.  I had the feeling that he was urging me to get going so that the natives could have their park back for the night.  Do Black Tailed Deer have a Neighborhood Watch program?

I think that it is time for another early evening hike at Long Ridge OSP.  I wonder if I will see the big guy again?

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

B&W 5 Day Photo Challenge – Rock Wall

1-DSC_3762B&W Photo 5 Day Challenge – Day 5!

I’ve saved one of my favorite pictures for my final day of the B&W Photo 5 Day Challenge.

This was taken at Santa Teresa County Park in San Jose, California.  This is a pretty historic trail.  The Stile Ranch Trail is part of two larger trail systems.  This trail is part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail and part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.  So, for you hikers out there, you can check off a County, Regional, and National Trail when you hike.  I don’t have a check list.  I just am thankful that many years ago, several groups fought hard to keep this part of California open for future generations – like me – to enjoy the outdoors.

I hope you have enjoyed my entries in the Black and White 5 Day Photo Challenge.  Once again, thanks to my fellow outdoor/photography blogger “Creakingbones”  I highly recommend that you visit his site for some wonderful photographs from the land down under.

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