Sunday, January 15, 2017

Redwood Regional Park, CA

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
12/31/2016 11.5 miles 3 hours 36 minutes

Map: Available at trailhead.
Parking: See book
Directions: Not hike #32 in 60 Hikes within 60 Miles San Francisco! This book does have a hike in this park, but we decided to make up our own hike which was much longer.

Our approximate route: West Ridge Trail to the east side of the park. Turn left on Orchard Trail. Turn right on French Trail. Turn right onto West Ridge Trail.

Today I was pretty exhausted. I didn’t eat enough while hiking which added to my low energy. Mentally I was waivering between being amazed that I can hike this far and frustrated with my lack of fitness. My hip has been doing really well during this vacation. I’ve gone 2 days without Naproxen and have been able to do moderate distance hikes. I found the hills challenging. Pre-hip problems I could usually climb hills without resting. Today I had to take several short rests to catch my breath and let my legs recover. I’ll be seeing a hip arthroscopist in a couple of weeks, but I’m in a period of mild hip pain. My hip pain varies a lot in intensity and location, and I’m sure it will be more difficult for the doctor to diagnose me based on my current symptoms. I’m currently having minimal groin pain, and mild outer hip pain.

We chose a hike in the 60 Hikes within 60 Miles book, but decided to extend it rather than hiking in two separate locations today. The parking lot was packed and we had to park down the road. The park is very popular with bicyclists, joggers, and dog walkers. The park allows dogs off leash, and we saw many, many off leash dogs, all behaving appropriately. We started out on the West Ridge Trail which is a wide fire road. We stopped by the Redwood Basin – it was almost like a dog park. There were at least a dozen people in the area socializing & throwing balls for their dogs. There were only a few limited views on the ridge trail. It was an easy trail with lots of people on it. I prefer quieter trails, so on the return trip we chose the French Trail. It was less crowded, quieter, and had more redwoods. The French Trail had a lot of rolling hills which were really tiring for me today. The redwoods here are not the extremely old ones you see in some places in California.





Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve, CA

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
12/30/2016 2.5 miles 51 minutes

Map: Maps were available at the trailhead
Parking: See book
Directions: Hike #24 in 60 Hikes within 60 Miles San Francisco. We extended it a little by doing the full loop.

We originally planned a longer second hike for the day, but I felt like we’d have to push harder in order to do one. My body was tired, so we chose a short hike (more like a nature walk) that we could do at a relaxed pace. This hike felt more like a hike on the east coast. It was forested and green. The tree and shrub varieties are different than the east coast of course. This hike had limited views – we did get one view of Mount Diablo. I think Glen enjoyed this one more than I did.



Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, CA

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
12/30/2016 6.5 miles 2 hours 16 minutes

Map: Park maps are available at the trailhead.
Parking: See book
Directions: Hike #21 in 60 Hikes within 60 Miles San Francisco. We included a quick stop to the cemetery at the end of the hike.

As we drove up to the parking area, we saw a herd of sheep on the steep hills next to the road. We stopped to look, and noticed a border collie moving them. Lucky dog! We also met a friendly man hiking with an elderly rescue border collie. I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable hiking near cattle with my dogs.

We saw a few people on the trails near the parking lot, but once we got started, the trails were quieter. We did come across cattle on the trail again. None of them acted aggravated by us, but I still find it disconcerting to walk towards 1200 pound animals blocking the trail and staring at you. They also had their young. So we got off the trail and hiked around them to give them some space.

This hike had a variety of terrain, which is nice. It had great valley views. We saw some joggers jogging uphill (envious because I was panting hiking uphill). I didn’t take any Naproxen today and my hip was doing pretty good. I could feel some rubbing/inflammation on my outer hip, but it was mild. This park does have a number of unmarked trails. We did find some of the trails confusing (despite having a map), but did end up going the right way. I think we also added a loop (on purpose) to extend the hike. At one point, we were really confused about where we were and asked a couple of locals to confirm where we were on the map – they told us, but turns out they were completely wrong! Eventually came to a marked trail junction and figured out where we were - which is right where we were hoping to be.

We saw a lot of what I’m guessing are gophers on this hike. Fast moving animals which live in holes in the ground.








We've encountered a lot of muddy cow trails during this trip.


Estero to Drakes Bay, Point Reyes National Seashore, CA

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
12/29/2016 11.6 3 hours 55 minutes

Map: See book
Parking: See book
Directions: Hike #12 in 60 Hikes within 60 Miles San Francisco. We modified this hike to make it longer.

Actual route: From parking area, take Estero trail. At the intersection of the Estero Trail/Drakes Bay Trail/Sunset Trail, stay straight on the Sunset Trail and hike to the bench at the end. Retrace steps back to the intersection of the Estero Trail/Drakes Bay Trail/Sunset Trail. Turn right onto the Drakes Bay trail and take to the cliffs at the end. Retrace steps back to the intersection of the Drakes Bay Trail/Sunset Trail/Estero Trail. Turn right onto the Estero Trail and take back to the parking area.

I adore hiking in the Point Reyes area. I really need to get a map of the whole area so that I can find more hikes to do here. We did other hikes in this area last time we were hiking in California, so I knew I wanted to come back. We saw quail, deer, and seals on this hike. The hiking book listed this as a quiet area, but we did see quite a few hikers as the day wore on. We hiked to the end of the Sunset Trail where the trail ends at a bench. Apparently if the tide is low, you can walk a little further. We decided to try the Drakes Bay trail as well. This one ended on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. It was a beautiful windy place to lie down and take a rest and a lunch break.


















Mary Bowerman Trail and Mount Diablo Summit, Mount Diablo State Park, CA

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
12/28/2016 1.3 25 minutes

Map: See book
Parking: See book
Directions: Hike #30 in 60 Hikes within 60 Miles San Francisco. In addition we took the short Summit Trail up to the actual summit.

Our book didn’t cover a longer hike that actually went to the Mount Diablo summit, so we decided to do the short Mary Bowerman trail which goes around the summit, and then the short summit trail up to the actual summit. The drive to the parking area is on a long twisty road often with no shoulder. On the way up, we noticed our rental car was running out of gas, so it was a stressful drive up. And for some reason our rental car had a burning smell as it climbed up to the summit. I decided I would definitely have preferred to hike up to the summit rather than drive up!
From the parking area, we crossed the street and took the Mary Bowerman trail. Due to the easy access, there were many people on the trail. The views were nice, but I enjoy hiking in quieter areas with fewer people around. The trail was easy, but did have mild exposure in spots. Not enough to bother me, but I could tell Glen was noticing it. After doing the loop, we walked up to the actual summit where there is a tower. Again, too many people for my taste.