Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Victory.”

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I took this picture after a long climb up to the top of Tahquitz Peak in Southern California this past summer.  This is a challenging hike that climbs about 2,800 feet in just over 4 miles.  When I got to the top the first time, I do remember saying “Victory!”…followed closely by, “what a view!”  Although the climb up is tough, the view from the top of the peak are terrific!  There is a US Forest Service fire lookout tower at the top that adds a few more feet to the 8,846 at the summit.

I’ve done this hike twice now.  It is one of my favorite challenges in Southern California.  Make sure that you are in shape and carry plenty of water.

Because Tahquitz Peak is located within San Jacinto and Santa Rosa National Monument, as well as within the San Jacinto Wilderness, you will need to obtain a free permit at the Idyllwild Ranger Station before you hike.  There is a self serve station to the left of the Ranger Station front door where you can fill out your permit paper work.  Make sure that you keep your copy!  I did see Forest Ranger’s checking for permits the day I hiked.

Victory!

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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.”

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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.

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Beneath Your Feet.”1-DSC_8427

I have size 13 – 2E feet.  There…I said it.  Yes, I have big feet.

So normally, anything having to do with, well, my big feet, I normally avoid.  However, I was going through my pictures recently and remembered that I had taken this nice shot of some California Golden Poppies at the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve off of the Skyline Boulevard in the mountains above San Jose/Silicon Valley.  This particular picture was taken very close to the newer Mindego Gateway parking and trail staging area.

Russian Ridge OSP has some really terrific hiking trails where you can view both the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.  It’s also not unusual to see some red tailed hawks circling the sky while hiking here.  Finally, this OSP has some of the best accessible wildflower areas in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Yes, that is one of my big feet in the lower left hand corner of the picture.  I’m wearing my KEEN boots which have carried me all over California.  My Keen’s are the most comfortable hiking boots I’ve ever worn.  They’ve shared many adventures with me without one complaint.

My knees have also been on many adventures with me.  Unlike my Keen’s, my knees always complain.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Close Up.”

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I don’t normally do much Macro Photography…unless, it is a shot of flowers along the trail.  Truthfully, I was hiking in the Russian Ridge OSP back in March and stopped to take some pictures of the field of wildflowers.  This bee was focused on the job at hand…collecting pollen.  It looks like this bee had been collecting pollen for quite a while.  Notice the “pollen basket” on his leg – it’s looks kind of like a goldish football shape.

Anyway, this bee photo bombed my flower shot.  What do you think?

If you are interested in bees, I was able to find some interesting information on the U.C. Berkley Urban Bee Lab web site.

I’m going to be looking for more opportunities to practice my macro photography skills the rest of the summer.

Where are you hiking this weekend?

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up

Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Half and Half.”

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When I read this week’s photo challenge, I knew almost immediately what photo I could use.

This is a picture of Lily Rock that I took from the Devil’s Slide Trail.  I could hear climbers yelling, “belay” and, “you’ve got it!”  However, I couldn’t see them.

You can get this picture on the Devil’s Slide Trail a few hundred feet above Humber Park.

A great hike up to the US Forest Service lookout on Tahquitz Peak starts here.  My “Half and Half” entry was taken on the way down the trail….all the while, my knees were screaming at me, “Get to the car, we’re beat!”

Where are you taking your camera this weekend?

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

The Weekly Photo Challenge: Enveloped

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This week’s picture was taken at Rancho Canada del Oro Open Space Preserve located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains in the southern part of Santa Clara County.

I like how the Oaks envelope the trail…and, seem to frame the view of the valley beyond.

What do you think?

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Enveloped