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.

 

 

Misty Mountains Cold

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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 Four Above:  I took this shot on the North Ridge Trail in the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve in the mountains above San Jose/Silicon Valley.

It was a foggy day high in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  I remember that it was really quiet with just a light touch of wind spinning through the tree tops.  At one point, when the fog started to really get thick, I could’ve sworn that I heard “Far over the Misty Mountains Cold…”

If you are in the mood for a great hike among some second growth redwoods, you can’t beat Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve off of Skyline Boulevard in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Let me know if you hear any Dwarves singing.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

The Thursday Picture – Short and Easy Hike off of the Skyline

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Today’s Thursday Picture was taken on a short hike I took at El Corte de Madera Open Space Preserve off of Skyline Boulevard.

There are well over 30+ miles in this preserve to hike, bike, or ride.  As always, check your trail map before heading down the trail.  Be advised that some trails are closed to use to bikes or horses.

This picture was taken on the Sierra Morena Trail that is just off one of the Mid Peninsula Regional Open Space District’s newer paved parking areas.  Although this hike was short and easy – less than a mile out and back with roughly 500 feet of elevation gain/loss – it passes through a very scenic mixed oak and evergreen part of the preserve.  This is a perfect lunch time hike if you are in the area and want to get outside!

I took this picture with my Canon A710.  As you can see, I continue to struggle where I come across mixed light on partially overcast days.  If you have any tips, please let me know.  I have very thick skin and am eager to become a better outdoor photographer!

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

Photo 101 – Glass, Squared

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Photo 101 – Glass, Squared

Glass covered Information board at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in California.  This is really a beautiful park with a lot of great trails to hike.

I like how you can see the reflection of some ferns and Redwood trees in the reflection off of the glass that protects this information board.

Hey!  Wait a minute….there’s another reflected image in there too!

What the…

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

The Thursday Picture – Good Day Sunshine

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Good Day Sunshine

Today’s Thursday Picture was taken at El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  There are 36 miles of trail in the OSP.  On my hike here, I saw a lot of bicyclists and a handful of hikers.  This particular picture was taken on the Resolution Trail which was “named for and dedicated to those who lost their lives on the ill-fated DC-6 airplane that crashed here in October 1953.”  – from the website linked above.

Every day is a good day on the trail…this day, with the sun shining through this forest of oaks and second growth redwoods, was definitely a good one!

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

The Thursday Picture – Mountain Creek amongst Redwoods

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This week’s Thursday picture was taken at Thornewood Open Space Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California.  Just a short drive from Palo Alto, this small OSP is another quick get away for folks living in Silicon Valley to easily escape their cubicles and walk among the Redwoods.

This was also my first hike of 2015.  As you may recall in one of my earlier posts, one of my goals for 2015 was to hike in any of the Mid Peninsula Regional Open Space District lands that I have not explored yet.  This was my first time hiking in Thornewood OSP and, although the trails are relatively short, I had a great time hiking through some second growth redwoods and meeting a lot of fellow hikers who brought along their four legged friends.  Yes, Thornewood OSP is a dog friendly park!

So, if you’re near Palo Alto and want to take Rex for a nice hike through the woods, I would highly recommend Thornewood OSP!

Ruff!

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

The Thursday Picture – Beach on Top of the Mountain

The Beach on top of the mountain!  Hike 2310 million years ago, the sand beneath my boots on the hiking trail in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park was part of the ocean floor!  This trail crosses a ridge in what is known as, appropriately, “the Sandhills.”

From 1,500 year old Redwoods to a beach on top of the mountain…Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park has something unique around every turn on the trail.

And, if you’re looking for me on the trail, well, I’m over the hill!