The Blue and the Green


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 Five Above:  I took this shot on the Longwall Canyon Trail in the Rancho Canada Del Oro Open Space Preserve located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains just a short drive from San Jose’s Almaden Valley.

I hiked here on the last day of January, 2016.  It had rained the night before, so the trails were fairly muddy in places.  It started out cloudy and threatened to rain some more.  However, I stayed dry – although it did get windy and cold along the ridge line – for most of this 6.75 mile hike.  The sun did start to peak through as I was hiking back to the nice staging area off of Casa Loma Road.  Now, parts of this hike up to the the ridge line are quite steep.  However, the view from the ridge along Bald Peaks Trail is spectacular.  I was able to see downtown San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco from the trail!  I was also able to see Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, home of Super Bowl 50, from the same trail!  Rancho Canada del Oro OSP, along with neighboring Calero County Park  offer hiking, biking, and equestrian trails for everyone!

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

Climbing Kamet in the Himalayas


2015 was a big year for me hiking.  No, I didn’t actually climb Kamet in the Himalayas.  However, the total elevation gain from all of my hikes did add up to 25,407 feet!  Kamet, pictured here, rises up to 24,446 feet.  Kamet’s elevation is the closest that I could find to the total elevation I gained while hiking over the year.

Of course, I didn’t need any oxygen on any of my hikes!  So, how did I do in achieving my hiking and photography goals for 2015?  As a reminder, here were my goals posted last year at about this time:

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

My year started out in one of the Open Space Preserves (OSP) that I have not visited:  Thornewood OSP in the Santa Cruz Mountains above the Town of Woodside.  I’ve now hiked in nearly every preserve of the MROSD.  You can tell this was my first hike because I have very cleverly provided a clue…


I did fairly well on my goals.  I actually went on a total of 20 “Regional Hikes” for a total of 105 miles and 39 “Training Hikes” for a total of 107 miles.  My Regional Hikes took place in the parks and open spaces around California that I visited.  As you can see, I’m still working on my outdoor photography skills.  I’m getting better at composition…but, light still gives me trouble sometimes!  Typical of my Regional Hikes was my 3rd hike (7.3 miles/1,089 feet elev. gain) at Russian Ridge OSP :


My 7th hike (3.9 miles/16 feet elev. gain) along the San Francisco Bay at Ravenswood OSP at Cooley Landing was my hike with the smallest elevation gain:


My 9th hike (8.6 miles/2,500 feet elev. gain) took me to the top of Tahquitz Peak in our San Bernardino National Forest .  This was my hike with the greatest elevation gain.  The hike was challenging, but the views from high up in the Sierra Mountains were spectacular:


In fact, like 2014, I hiked in some beautiful places and was able to spend a lot of time working on my outdoor photography skills.  Here are just a handful of my favorite shots of 2015:


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Unfortunately, one goal that I didn’t accomplish was to hike in the East Bay Regional Parks.  This will be a goal that I will carry over to 2016!

So, where will I go in 2016? I’d like to explore even more of the great trails at the Mid Peninsula Regional Open Space District, the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, the Santa Clara County Parks, the California State Parks, and the National Parks here in California.  To help ease my “engineering brain” which compels me to assign numbers to my hikes, I’ve signed up for the 52 Hike Challenge.

I do know that whether the trail is flat…or, I’m squeezing by a railing on a trail up in the sky, DSC_6432

I will be having fun challenging myself while I explore California!


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



Thanks for visiting my hiking / photography blog!

– Dale


As always…

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



Connected – Los Gatos Creek Trail

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Connected.”


This boardwalk along the Los Gatos Creek Trail carries hikers over a busy roadway, through the tree tops, and connects the east and west sides of the trail.  I took this shot with my iPhone 6.

One of my favorite parts of the Los Gatos Creek Trail!

This is part of the excellent Santa Clara County Parks System.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – Labor Day Hike Photos

As my entry to “Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge,” I humbly submit some pictures from my Labor Day Hike along the Los Gatos Creek Trail and up (and, back down) St. Joseph’s Hill!





I didn’t bring my trusty Nikon D40 on this hike.  All of these pictures were taken with my iPhone 6.

You too can take this hike.  I started at Vasona Park and made one 7 mile loop down the Los Gatos Creek Trail, climbed up to the top of the Dam at Lexington Reservoir, climbed up St. Joseph’s Hill, and took the Flume Trail back to Los Gatos.  A short hike through a nice neighborhood in Los Gatos will take you back to the Los Gatos Creek Trail.  There are a couple of good climbs (total elevation gain was 650 feet).  I would rate this as a moderate hike.  Bring plenty of water and a snack.

Visit the Santa Clara County Parks site and the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District site for more information!

Where are you going to hike this weekend?

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

The Thursday Picture – Bees Please

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Today’s Thursday Picture is four shots of flowers and bees growing alongside the Los Gatos Creek Trail in Los Gatos, California.

There were hundreds of bees that were, well, busy working away.

The Los Gatos Creek Trail is suitable for all ages.  I would advise an early morning hike.  There are several long stretches as you get close to Lexington Dam that have very little shade.  This park and trail are part of the excellent Santa Clara County Parks system.

Where are you going to be buzzing around this weekend?

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

“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 – Second Growth Redwoods

Second Growth Redwoods Hike No 25Second Growth Redwoods from my hike at Villa Montalvo back in August.  One of Santa Clara County Park’s most easily accessible parks located just minutes from the hustle and bustle (and, money making) of Silicon Valley.  When I need to get up into the Santa Cruz Mountains, and don’t have a much time, I head to Villa Montalvo.

I’m really ready to go hiking this weekend.  Hmm, where will I go?  Well, if you are looking for me, I will be somewhere – over the hill!