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Posts tagged ‘Hiking’

Well Rested

I chose not to write anything yesterday as Kelly and I were strictly observing a proper day of nothing.  Squeezed in between Lilly walks, we mostly did a lot of nothing … the highlight of the day being my lengthy afternoon nap. Unlike yesterday, our plan today called for a quick morning walk before prepping Mabel for her return home to Half Moon Bay.  The campground we were staying at is located at the far southern end of the park.  There are a number of trails scattered throughout the broader park itself and our plan this morning was to complete a four mile loop located at the far northern tip of the park boundary.  As an added bonus, the trail is also situated atop the highpoint and offers a nice view of the surrounding areas.

Looking west over the town of San Martin

Looking west over the town of San Martin

The trail starts at the Coyote Dam, built during 1935-36 as a WPA effort.  Today, the dam overlooks the mostly recreational lake and is open to any pedestrian interested in walking along the topside.

Coyote Lake placard

Coyote Lake placard

Moving towards the trail – which starts off easy enough – we were greeted by the warning sign below:

Warning sign at the trailhead

Warning sign at the trailhead

We never did encounter any Mountain Lions or Babcats, but did see a lot of cows and a few wild turkeys.

Approaching cows

Approaching the cows

A lone turkey

A lone turkey

Anticipating hot temperatures and having read the trail lacked any significant shade, we got an early start.  The absence of shade and very little breeze propelled hot temperatures, but Lilly didn’t seem to mind too much as there were numerous gopher holes to stick her nose into.  As usual, she found nothing.

The rolling hillside

The rolling hillside

Lilly waiting for me

Lilly waiting for me

Following our hike, we had to hustle in order to pack-up the trailer in advance of the 1pm check-out.  Sadly, our relaxing weekend was ending … it was time to go home and begin thinking about the looming workweek.   Dang.

Wandering With the Watsons

California's largest desert park

California’s largest desert park

Yesterday Kelly and I arrived to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, our destination for a few days until we continue the crawl back towards Half Moon Bay.  We continue to dry camp, this time alongside fellow Airstreamers – Tim, Amanda, and Phineas … aka WatsonsWander.  They arrived a few days before us and scouted out a very nice spot – spacious, with only a few other RV’s scattered across a vast landscape.  The site is California’s larger desert park – exceeding 900 acres.  Generous with the rules, there is no time limit to stay, and at free, the price is definitely right.

Basically, it is perfect.

Our mobile homes, just down the path

Our mobile homes, just down the path

Our Airstream homes down this path

A closer look at the picture above

Tim and Amanda joined Kelly and me last night for dinner and great conversation.  This afternoon, the four us (plus Lilly & Phineas) ventured to the Calcite Mine Trail, a remote area about 10 east of our campsite.  The trail is pretty cool – a diverse  network of slot canyons easily traveled, less some spots requiring a bit of bouldering/scrambling.  There is also an abandoned access road which, as evidenced by the number of Jeeps we saw, is now a popular 4×4 off-roading destination.

Approaching the trails - Lilly and Phineas leading the way

Approaching the trails – Lilly and Phineas leading the way

This area is prone to flash flooding, our trail today included.  Over what I can only assume to be hundreds, if not thousands of years, the rushing water flows have carved an Alice in Wonderland like maze through these slots, which are significantly taller than they are wide.  I’ve never seen anything like them before.

Slots

Slots

More slots

More slots

After a while we ascended the canyon in search of the mining remnants, but never did find the site.  However, the views from high above were fabulous.

The climb starts with some scrambling

The climb starts with some scrambling

Up, up, up

Up, up, up

Cactus resting neat the top

Cactus perched near the top

Eventually, we completed the loop satisfied with the hike, but a bit bummed we missed out on the mining remains.

On the way home, Lilly enjoyed a post-hike treat in the car.

Enjoying a post hike treat

Enjoying a post hike treat

No Dogs Allowed

Kelly and I have become increasingly frustrated with all the NO DOGS restrictions here in Northern California (NorCal as the hipsters call it).  Coming from Washington state, we were accustomed to bringing our dogs along to hiking trails pretty much wherever we desire.  I guess we were spoiled in that sense.  Too bad the same cannot be said around here.

Our dog Lilly loves to join us on the trails and we are happy to have her join us.  Unfortunately, here in NorCal we’ve had to pass-up some really neat spots which would have otherwise been so cool to visit.  Damn this state.

Today, Kelly and I went to visit Windy Hill Preserve, one of the few open spaces in the area which allows dogs … on leashes.  Actually, we always walk Lilly on lease, so such restrictions are moot for us.  Anyway, the preserves is pretty nice.  Situated midway atop the Peninsula ridge-line, Windy Hill offers a nice mix of tree cover and open grasslands woven into a mostly up and down single track hike.  Outside of the tree cover, temperatures were a bit hot for my preference, but overall a nice hike.

Kelly and I like this place, but as it’s located about 20-25 minutes away, the location is not overly convenient.

Lilly seems to have a super-sense whenever we are headed to a hike and today was no exception.  There is no doubt that she is a big fan of Windy Hill.

A few snapshots from the hike are  pasted below.

Love the bark pattern on this tree

Some interesting art in the midst of the forrest

Lilly, impatiently waiting for Dave and Kelly.

Looking up through the tree cover

Lilly’s post hike routine

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

It was another hot one here in Ashland today.  Consequently, I was inside the Airstream most of the day.  While comfortable in the confines of air conditioning, by the time my work day ended, I was more than ready to get myself outside and into a change of scenery.

At Kelly’s suggestion, we decided to explore a nearby trailhead and see where it would lead.  Unbeknownst to us, the expansive Pacific Crest Trail sat quietly just down the road from where we’ve been parked these past few days.  The PCT proved to be just perfect – it was close, was not too steep, and afforded us lots of tree cover to block any direct sun.

To my surprise, the trail itself was exceptionally well marked.  We covered only a few miles, but we must have passed a dozen trail markers.  The trail is maintained primarily by the US Forest Service and I’d be curious to know if the entire  system is so well marked.

One of many trail markers

We had a nice walk and per usual, Lilly was out front the entire time.

Lilly, always ready to keep moving

All in all, a great walk.  We arrived back to the Airstream just in time to capture a nice sunset and enjoy a late dinner.

Tomorrow we begin the trip back to Half Moon Bay.

The Airstream

The Airstream