Dungeness Spit – Exploring My New Backyard November 19, 2013Posted by Heather in Beaches, Hiking.
Tags: Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Dungeness Recreation area, Sequim, WA
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Sunday I needed to back away from the boxes and unpacking and take in some good ol’fashioned scenery, sniff some fresh air and steady the swirl life’s become. The new job started on Monday. More on that later.
In Sequim, WA, about 30-45 minutes away (depending on who you are driving behind) is a county park I’d read of called Dungeness Recreation Area. Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge shares its boundaries.
Here’s a park map pic of where it’s located on the Olympic Peninsula. Port Townsend is on the farthest thumb of land to the right of the red arrow. Kinda looks like a dinosaur head.
In 1915 President Wilson set aside the 636 acres as a refuge for native birds. Eelgrass beds and tide flats provide rich habitat yielding food and winter shelter. Young steelhead and salmon also use the eelgrass beds as nurseries.
The sand spit (5.5 miles from shore to tip) shelters a small bay which is off limits to people. A forested upland area has hiking trails, camping, and picnic areas to enjoy.
Formed ten to twenty thousand years ago during a glacial period, the spit is one of only a few of its type in the world.
Heres a pic of the lighthouse, WAY out there, from the road just before the park entrance:
A half mile walk along and down the bluff takes one to the crook of the spit where it meets the beach and the bay to the walker’s right.
Looking out the spit, there was rainbow that barely shows to the left. The lighthouse is the white object on the right.
Just can’t figure out the panoramic’s sizing. Here’s one anyhoo:
I believe this is Victoria, way across the Strait on Vancouver Island:
This Great Blue Heron was on the opposite side of the spit which is roped off from all human contact.
Been enjoying the beach rocks. They are much more colorful than in CA. Must learn them.
The walk up top is thick forest, green and lush. Seems I have a smudge on my camera lens which obscured most all pics I took on the trail. Here’s one that’s fuzzy but you get an idea of the huge trees and thick ferns and salal below:
Found some wee little mushrooms:
Got bit by a stinging nettle plant while taking above pic. This was my first encounter with them. Ouch! Sting lasts a couple days.
Treated to a sight not seen in ages - snow capped mountains. There’s a whole lotta Olympic mountains up there just waiting for me.
A fine outing this was.
Welcome to My New Backyard – Fort Townsend State Park November 1, 2013Posted by Heather in Beaches, Hiking.
Tags: Bigleaf Maple, Fort Townsend State Park, Hiking, Port Townsend
Hello from Port Townsend, WA.
In one week it will be my new home. I flew up a few days ago to look for a new place to live. Massive stress this detail’s been. Today it all came together – I found the right home.
Needing some stress relief, a walk I took in Fort Townsend State Park just on the edge of town.
This is a pithy explanation of the park’s history. You know I like to get into details. I’ll learn and share more in the future.
Built in 1856 by the U.S. Army, Fort Townsend’s purpose was to protect settlers. Fire destroyed the barracks in 1895. WWII employed the site as an enemy-munitions defusing station. State Parks took custody in 1953. 6 miles of hiking (and biking on some) trails wind through mostly large trees (I noted Cedar and Douglas Fir.) The main (?Parade Grounds?) terraces and open space are kept mowed. Interpretive signs along a trail show photos of the buildings that once stood. There really is not much left. I noted a few stone foundation rocks.
Craving beach time, I arrived just after high tide and walked the beach maybe a half-mile until thick brush up to the water stopped me.
Here’s a tiny (can’t quite figure out how to get ‘em larger) panorama of the bay from the beach. The paper mill is on the left. You can see the steam rising. Indian Island is on the right horizon.
The beach I ambled along:
Interesting to compare beach-combing finds to CA beach finds. Lots of gorgeous, green rocks I noted and granite, lots of it:
Have you seen Big Leaf Maples? I discovered them last year when up in this area. With leaves up to 12″ wide, they display bold, bright yellow leaves in the fall. They are glorious right now despite seeming past their peak.
How’s this for scale? I have huge hands:
They pop against all the green:
Spent, browned leaves carpeted the trail in places. Made me think of the leaf piles and leaf-houses we made as kids. The houses involved raking up rows of leaves to make outlines of rooms. Pretty creative, eh?
Looking down on the forest floor I spotted many different types of mushrooms.
A violet (?) of sorts:
Cedars – new to me:
Tomorrow I’m headed to another park about 45 minutes out of town. Or maybe I’ll hike in Olympic National Park. Choices…
Ode to Poison Oak – Toxicodendron diversilobum September 14, 2013Posted by Heather in Hiking.
Tags: Hiking, Poison Oak, Roys Redwoods Preserve
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This post is dedicated to POISON OAK.
Such a beautiful plant, such a nasty plant. CA has poison oak.
Fall’s starting which makes me a happy gal. There’ve been some hot days this summer. Though our straw-colored hills studded with dark green oaks have their beauty, cool days, rain and green hills I crave.
A little walk I took the other day. It’s in a redwood preserve some 20 minutes away called Roy’s Redwoods. A three+-mile loop makes for a satisfying, short walk through open grassland, redwoods and a dark forest of bay trees. I’m rather fond of it.
The poison oak is changing to red, all shades.
Other leaves hint at change:
Not all animals fear the plant. Numerous birds eat its berries, black-tailed deer, wood rats and mice browse the leaves, stems and twigs. Some moth larvae eat the leaves and use them for shelter. Bees gather its nectar.
Humans? I read CA Indians used the plant for basket making, dye production, and tattoo ink. The plant was also used as a medicinal aid. Some may have had immunity to the plant’s oils. Still, records of Indian remedies for the rash all dread exist.
Remedies: I wash with a soap product called Tec-nu after any exposure to the plant. This wash stays in my car for immediate suspect post hike use/trail volunteering work use. It’s a little chemical-based for my liking but I still use it. Washing off the oil ASAP is the most important step. I also try to corral boots/clothing exposed to the plants in plastic bags until washed. That oil spreads easily. I’ve even stripped off pants before getting into my vehicle when I know I’ve waded through much.
When I get the rash I apply Triamcinolone cream (a steroid topical RX) as soon as I feel the itch/see the bumps start. Itching spreads it over your body. The last bit I got wasn’t bad at all.
Maybe my body’s getting used to it? Won’t push my luck.
Blackberries are in abundance. They make fine trail snacks and I’ve picked larger quantities, on the road-side, to take home.
Leaves of three, let it be:
Such a pretty plant.
Limantour Spit – Finally Making it to the End September 5, 2013Posted by Heather in Beaches, Hiking.
Tags: Beaches, Drakes Bay, Drakes Bay Oyster Company, Drakes Estero, Hiking, Limantour Spit, Point Reyes National Seashore
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BTW: There’s a video of the end goal at the end of this post if you want to scroll past all.
I’ve walked on Limantour Spit many times, explored the beach way down its south end at exceptionally minus tide to see some pretty cool rock formations. Its other end, the point of the spit that meets the mouth of Drakes Estero, I’ve examined many a time through binoculars from Drake’s Beach.
Rehabbing an angry lower back the last couple months is like starting over condition-wise. Needing a mood lifter, this romp into unexplored territory did the trick. Come to think of it, finding new places has a way of doing that for me.
Here’s a map I found on the National Park Service website that shows the shape of the Point Reyes Peninsula. It’s not the sharpest but shows how it attaches to the mainland. Take a gander at a previous post of mine for info on its geological uniqueness. Tomales Point (written of in the linked post above) is the tippy top. Tomales Bay is the sliver of water that seperates it from the mainland. Drakes Bay is the lovely, half-moon shaped crescent in the middle. Drakes Estero forms the fingers of water at the top of Drakes Bay. The spit is barely discernable at the lower mouth of the estero.
The day started with an early lunch at Drakes Bay Oyster Company. A completed lease from the NPS started a long court case that may end their existence. I’m enjoying it while I can. The estero has four fingers and a fifth that curves along the spit (Estero de Limantour.) DBOC is at the top of Schooner Bay.
Having a tough time getting panoramas large enough via this new Mac. It doesn’t seem to play well with Flikr. A learning curve I’m slogging up. Also, the day was very cloudy and the colors look quite flat. I’ve signed up for a beginning digital photography class in October and hope to learn how to better work with that.
Lunch. Love the briny oysters:
Limantour spit is on another part of the peninsula. Here, a pretty view of the spit and its dunes stretching towards Drakes Bay. My walk took me along the ocean’s edge all the way out.
After about a half mile past the parking lot I had he whole walk to myself except resident birds.
I think these are Sanderlings, scampering to and from the waterline looking for morsels.
Jellyfish large and small:
A side trip up into the dune grass:
A peek over the dunes. I don’t know much about this sort of dune environment. Just started a book on the Natural History of the Point Reyes Peninsula to learn more.
Once I got to the end of the spit (?two or so miles?) my curiosity got the best of me. Tide was low so I walked across mud-flats, observed the holes in the mud from clams, I think. Checked out the different shells. Maybe 50 yards form the true end of the spit I stopped. I’m lousy at estimating distances, BTW. There is a colony of seals that like to haul out on sandbars at the mouth. From atop a dune I watched them with binoculars, trying not to disturb them.
Finally, a video I took with my new camera. Like the new Mac, still working along its learning curve. Wow I moved that camera too quickly. Hope you don’t get motion sickness. I think the battery was about to die and I was rushing.
I can’t wait to return. There are all sorts of nooks and crannies out there.
MN in July – Poppa Retires! On Chasing Rabbits, Baby Life Jackets and Mosquito Carnage. August 29, 2013Posted by Heather in Family, Hiking, Minnesota.
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My dad retired in July. He’s been a small practice Family Doctor for 38 years. To MN I traveled for a week of family quality time and two celebrations in his honor.
The largest was at the golf course he’s golfed at those 38 years. His co-workers and our family attended. Was fun to catch up with many I haven’t seen in ages.
We managed to snap a family photo.
L-R: Moi, Bro-in-law Wes and sister Karen, dad (Harvey), mom (Marlys), Sis Rachel holding my new niece Lily, her hubby Tyler, sis Ali, Nephew Lucca standing (he had just finished hunting for rabbits in the bushes), and BIL Josh holding my other nephew Sam. The rabbit hunt was a brilliant idea. I’m learning the best way to entertain a squirrely 4 year old it to distract him.
My sisters crafted photo boards and rounded up mementos for all to see. The name tag is from the original clinic building dad started at fresh out of school. His school crossing guard certificate and a grade school report card were fun to see. I didn’t know he had a box of such charming mementos.
Nephew Lucca showed us he could write his name. (Dad and his sister Charlotte):
BIL Tyler and I took Lucca fishing. Lucca brought his superman fishing pole and Tyler made him his own mini-tackle box. What a good uncle!
Nothing was biting (not even a wee Sunfish). Tyler, being the prepared and clever fish biologist he is, pulled out a seine net from his trunk and we pulled it through the water.
Lucca got a kick out of the fry (baby fish) the net revealed. Just look at that smile!
My nephews are growing up so quickly. Time with them is precious.
Sam turned one in June. He’s a mellow, smiley boy. Almost walking on his own, he wasn’t ready to let go of furniture or one’s hand. I hear he’s now taking some steps on his own.
I babysat Lily a couple times. Nervous to do so, I know nothing about infants and have not the secret placating weapons Rachel has. ; )
I introduced Lily to merino wool. Hey…can you foster a love for knitting at too young an age?
MN in July means hot weather. It was in the 90′s some days and muggy.
Karen and Wes kindly took us on a boat ride.
Swimming! It’s way too cold here in northern CA for swimming in the ocean.
I stink at swimming but love doggie paddling around in a warm lake. Karen and I practiced our cannonballs off the boat. I look forward to this each summer trip. We also picnicked and swam in the St. Croix river another evening.
Wee Lily had a special infant-sized life jacket and sun hat. Boy howdy was she pissed when first put on. She soon settled down. I wonder if it had a swaddling effect?
Boat rides are a ritual. So is eating fish from dad’s fishing trips. They take him WAY up in to Canada every year. I enjoy eating the lake fish he saves for my summer trips.
Walleye-oh so good!
Karen and I went over to Wisconsin and attempted a hike at Kinnickinnic State Park. We brought Loki, a sweet old Husky who’s in doggie geriatric years, now, but still loves a hike.
Up on the river bluff, the view was really pretty. But the mosquitoes! Forgetting bug spray (why, oh why didn’t I think of that?) they drove us mad. I can’t remember them ever being that thick. They weren’t bad next to the water.
We walked a short loop through the trees but nearly ran back to the car.
Was a week packed with family activity. Looking forward to the next visit.
Pacific Northwest Part 9 of 9 – West Coast of Vancouver – Tidepools and Trees on Steroids May 6, 2013Posted by Heather in Beaches, British Columbia, Hiking, Knitting, Road Trip.
Tags: Botanical Bay, Botanical Beach, Juan de FucaProvincial Park, Pacific Northwest, Port Renfrew, Tidepool Ettiquette
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It’s wild out there, the west coast of Vancouver I refer to. Road #14 I took from Victoria, following the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Scant gravel roads cross the island to the west coast. Numerous Provincial Parks protect the island.
French Beach Prov. Park was my first campsite that portion of the trip. Let me tell ya, the Provincial Parks are carefully maintained, campsites are clean, fees are reasonable. It’s clear they invest in their parks and folks treat them well. Wish the US could be as such. Volunteering for CA state parks, lately, I see how badly they are abused. It’s a shame how people abuse the outdoors.
But that’s a soapbox for another time.
A rocky stretch of French Beach I explored that evening. Vastly different from the CA coast I’m used to, thick trees hug the coast.
Next day I played at Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. Hiking a loop that took me to a couple of beaches, thick, primeval-looking trees loomed over the trails. A grey, muggy, moody day I enjoyed the neon-green contrast of the plants with the water/sky and rocks.
Thick, lush vegetation and gigantic trees along the trail:
Water was everywhere! Such a contrast from CA this time of the year. (A dry winter we had.)
Entertaining tide-pools I found here at Botany Bay.
This educational sign made me smile. Tidepools are fragile! Some etiquette:
- LOOK only. Don’t touch! Putting your hands in the water spreads oils and sunscreen into oil slicks that hurt the ecosystems.
- Keep off mussel beds.
- Watch where you step. Those critters blend in with the rocks and can be hard to see.
- Don’t overturn rocks. The undersides protect sensitive critters from light.
- Please do not collect/remove shells from pools. Remember, these are animals homes.
Enjoyed a break from driving and worked on my Pinata Sock:
Asters of some sort:
A second beach to explore, Botanical Beach.
Of note: a 47 kilometer trail follows the coast, this area being its western end. I’d love to return and backpack it.
This area and marks the end of Road #14 at Port Renfrew.
A blurb from Wikipedia:
“Port Renfrew is also the southern end of the West Coast Trail, a world famous hiking trail built in 1907 along the west coast of Vancouver Island to save shipwrecked sailors. During the days of sail, 1830–1925, 137 major shipping tragedies occurred in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the Straits of Juan de Fuca…It became known as The Graveyard of The Pacific. Originally named Port San Juan, the settlers changed the name to honor Lord Renfrew who planned to settle crofters here. The name was changed due to mail being sent to the San Juan Islands instead of Port San Juan. Port Renfrew’s bay is still called Port San Juan. Like many coastal Vancouver Island communities, Port Renfrew has a rich history in forestry and fishing.”
Stopped at a bridge over the San Juan River, at Port Renfrew, to stretch and enjoy the sights. Heard a familiar sound that stirred excitement in my soul.
San Hill Cranes!
Couldn’t see them but undoubtedly heard them overhead. Also watched fish jumping below. Salmon heading up river to spawn? I hadn’t seen this since being in Juneau, Alaska.
This was a special, memorable part of my trip.
Tied to the ocean I’ve become. Can’t imagine being away. When I see communities (especially small ones) such as this I wonder how the residents feel about their proximity to the ocean. Is is a lifeline (mentally as well as physically/for sustenance?) Do they tire of its temperament?
A winding logging road took me past clear cuts (something new to me, thought-provoking) to Lake Cowichan and down to Duncan. A ferry ride back to Port Angeles, WA signaled the long drive home.
Still smiling when I think of this trip. A fine introduction to the Pacific Northwest, my appetite’s wet for more. I made new friends, explored new ecosystems and yearn for another long endeavor.
Pacific Northwest Part 6 of ? – Finally! Getting Above the Trees in Olympic Nat’l Park March 12, 2013Posted by Heather in Hiking, Knitting, PNW, Road Trip.
Tags: Destruction Point Road, Hiking, Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park
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Nearest alpine environment is many hours away from my home. I miss getting above treeline. Some of the hills here in Marin are grassy, bald and open with stunning views.
But nothing puts a hectic, spinning life into its rightful, grounded place like standing high atop a mountain and seeing the lay of the land spread out in all directions.
I had a few hours before catching the Ferry from Port Angeles, WA over to Victoria, BC.
Wanting a quick alpine fix I drove up to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. Avoiding crowds I drove out Obstruction Point Road. Narrow and windy (just as I like ‘em) the drop offs made me glad I wasn’t a passenger.
A peek down to Port Angeles and at Mt. Baker:
I started up a trail. My CV system reminded me I wasn’t at sea level. : )
With just a short bit of time on hand I walked a ways out. Mt. Olympus standing tall:
Found a quiet spot to sit, eat lunch and make a few spins around my Pinata Socks.
Then, reluctantly walked out.
Olympic National Park, what a treasure! Mountains, rain forest beaches.
Pacific Northwest Part Three of ? – Hoh Rainforest – Technicolor Green February 17, 2013Posted by Heather in Hiking, PNW, Road Trip.
Tags: Hoh rain forest, nurse logs, Olympic National Park, temperate rain forest
The theme of this post is green. Perhaps it’s cold and snowy or brown and winter- dry where you are. Let your eyes linger here. Unfortunately, there I could not linger. An overnight and a half-day was all I had. Such a shame.
12-14′ of rain fall upon this temperate rain forest each winter. Coniferous and deciduous trees stretch for the sun including: Sitka spruce, Douglas-fir, Western hemlock, and Western redcedar.
The interpretive loop I walked near the visitors center. Small but informative, the center’s a good place to bone up on info before setting out.
A well trodden trail leads one around a loop:
Many pics from here did not turn out well. Dark at times, I just don’t have the photography knowledge to capture it correctly. Have you experienced a walk through such gentle giants? Cathedral like, noble, solid, the damp scent that accompanies them are unique. So fortunate I am to enjoy similar redwood groves here in Marin. Sometimes I seek them out and just sit and reconnect with being small.
Alright, on to some science:
Let’s talk about EPIPHYTES, or mosses, ferns and lichens that grow on other plants. 100 different types call Olympic National Park home. Some gather nutrients from air. I suspect one sitting still long enough would soon be festooned in green.
A drier, lighter-colored kind:
A small creek, the bed’s plants stretched in the current:
Light filters through the branches in places, spectacular!
Another process unique to the forest are NURSE LOGS. The forest floor being hostile to newly fallen seeds, ones that land on fallen, decaying logs are more successful.
Seedlings perched atop a decaying NURSE LOG:
There they grow upwards , roots forming buttresses around the nurse log which eventually decays away.
Big leaf maple share the forest in spots. True to the name, here you can see this fallen leaf dwarfs my hand. For scale, I have huge man-sized hands (nothing delicate about ‘em).
Next time I’ll backpack in, evade the crowds, with no sounds but those from the local critters and land. A fine introduction to the temperate rain forest this was. Can’t wait to revisit.
Pacific Northwest – “Ocian in view! O! The joy!” – Part One of ? – January 29, 2013Posted by Heather in Beaches, Hiking, Lighthouses, PNW, Road Trip.
Tags: Cape Disappointment State Park, columbia River, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Olympic Peninsula
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Back in September I took a Pacific Northwest trip. Two weeks I had to play. What a luxury! The route went something like this:
Drove north through CA and OR. Followed the north bank of the Columbia River west to Cape Disappointment State Park, which complements Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, across the river, in Astoria, OR. After this I contoured the Olympic Peninsula coast, dallied in the Hoh Rainforest, met up with a friend in Port Townsend, then ferried over to Vancouver Island. There I stayed in Victoria a spell, veered to the west coast, looped through the Cowichan Valley and returned home.
A long haul it was but SO worth it.
This was the road trip that convinced me to sell my gas-guzzling truck and buy a Prius.
Today’s blog focuses on Cape Disappointment.
This segment looked a little something like this on the map:
After 4,000 miles of arduous travel across the US, Lewis and Clark first spotted the Pacific Ocean standing above the Columbia River’s estuary. The group searched this park’s side of the River for a favorable winter encampment. Finding none, they crossed the Columbia and built a camp two miles up what is now called the Lewis and Clark River. We know this camp as Fort Clatsop.
Next visit to this part of the world I’ll visit the Oregon side.
Cape Disappointment has 27 miles of ocean beach, miles of hiking, remnants of a Civil War era fort, and one of the oldest functioning lighthouses on the West coast.
The visitor center impressed me. I get all nerdy over interpretive displays, movies and such. Maps, paintings, and artifacts from the Corps of Discovery’s expedition fill several levels. A healthy slew of maritime goodies (a lifeboat and its contents, for example) provided much entertainment.
This is the North Head Lighthouse. Arriving at dusk, a rosy glow (not sufficiently photographed) washed over all.
The coast looks different up here compared to where I live.
A short walk I took to a promontory thought to be the initial Pacific Ocean viewpoint for the party. On November 18, 1805 Clark noted, “Towards evening we arived at the Cape disappointment on the Sea Shore. went over a bald hill where we had a handsom view of the seashore.” Clark described the headland as a “bald hill, covered with long corse grass.”
This map shows that headland as “You Are Here” on the lower portion of the map.
Looking south a jetty stretches off the mouth of the Columbia River.
A wide beach below formed (mostly) after the jetty’s installation (if memory serves). The view’s changed since the Corps of Discovery stood atop.
Next day I made for that jetty and walked its length. Cool fog coated all. Folks were fishing from the jetty. Made a fine spot to sit a spell and watch the pelicans fishing.
Cape Disappointment Lighthouse:
A pretty little park, OR and WA are a chock-full of parkland I’ve noted. This was my first stop along the Olympic Peninsula.
A Diverse Hike – Kent Trail to Rocky Ridge Trail January 21, 2013Posted by Heather in Hiking.
Tags: Bon Temope Lake, Hiking, Kent Lake Trail, Mount Tam, Mt. Tam, Rocky Ridge Trail, Stocking Trail
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My backyard does not lack in variety. Want thick, moody, pre-historic feeling redwood forest? Check. Open, dry, chaparral covered hillsides? Check. Gnarled groves of oak? Check. Maybe a lake or two?
How about all in one hike?
Lakes around here are really reservoirs. Having grown up in the land of 10,000 lakes (MN – and there has to be more than 10,000) reservoirs don’t really seem lakes to me.
But they can be pretty in their own way.
Case in point:
Bon Tempe Lake, the starting point of this hike, covered in mid-AM fog. Mt Tam’s a suggestion’s in the background. Cormorant line the pipe in the middle, none here stretching their wings to dry.
A friend and I began this five mile loop from the dam that divides Bon Tempe Lake from Alpine Lake. A fine stand of gnarled, moss-covered oaks greet you at the foot of the dam and follow you along awhile. The trail winds around the shore of Alpine Lake. With water on our right the trail passed interesting rock slides, giant moss-blanketed boulders, wee creeks, and young and old Douglas Fir and Redwood groves.
A “tree-hugger” I am, this giant Douglas Fir begged for my attention.
About half- way along Alpine Lake’s southern shore Kent Trail marches uphill providing a fine cardio workout.
One memorable spot showcased Redwoods’ branches reaching for an opening in the canopy. A small wetland housed numerous croaking frogs.
After a left on the “Stocking” trail the scenery changed dramatically Tall trees fell behind and Madrone/thick Toyon and other shrubs I can’t yet ID hugged the trail. Then, poof! Out we stepped onto a rocky trail, a fire road really, with knee high chaparral revealing views all the way to Pine Mountain.
The sun strong, these photos are quite washed out. Still can’t figure out this scenario when taking pics.
Panoramics did not turn out well. You’ll have to take my word for it that the hills rolled on and on. The bay was covered in a thick fog.
A Turkey Vulture perched not far from the trail. Wondered if this one was ill? It tolerated up walking past a close distance. Seemed unusual.
These birds get a bad rap. But I dig ‘em. Sure they are odd looking but watching them fly is something. Ever see one on a thermal above a sea cliff, just hovering in place? In the air they embody grace.
The walk down Rocky Ridge Trail is steep. Descending from 1230 feet to 700 in 1.4 miles made for sore knees the next day and that’s with two poles! These knees…sigh…
Most of my hiking time I spend on the coast. Winter’s the perfect time to explore Mt. Tam, though. Her flanks are revealing such diversity to me.