Sunday, March 28, 2010

The weather yesterday could not have been much better for hiking. It was a little chilly in the morning when we started, but quickly warmed up. We hiked the Sunol Regional Wilderness. There it is wilderness again, within 15 minutes of my home. Just amazing!

Here is the view coming down into a little valley. There was a water tower and windmill and a wonderful barn. Right past here the ground on either side of the trail was covered in ground squirrels. Hundreds of them, they blend right into the colors of the ground and at first you don't really see them, but once you do you notice them everywhere. They are most cute when they jump in their little holes and then poke their heads out and watch you walk by.

There was a part of the trail that looked like this. This part is flat and was not to difficult, until it started going up and I started noticing the pretty extreme drop off down the hill.

In case you thought the narrowness of this trail was due to some camera trick this is my boot on the trail. I could not even put both feet side by side at this point. This really was just a short portion of the trail, most of it was wide and welcoming.

And here we have the ever present cows. I like that they don't pay much attention to us as we hike by.

I am constantly amazed by the trees. The come in all shapes and sizes and seem to take one shapes that trees should not be able to do.

So today's hike was a five hour butt kicker. I did about 8 miles in total. In addition to the cows and ground squirrels I saw hawks and turkeys. One big old tom with his tail all spread out to the admiring glances of the girl turkeys. The wild flowers are starting to bloom and I think next week after the rains forecast for this week they should be popping out during next weeks hike. One would think this should be getting easier and in some ways it is. At least I can move on Sundays now, unlike the first couple of weeks where moving on a Sunday required great thought and lots of aspirin. In other ways it is getting harder, the hikes are getting more difficult to prepare us for the end result - the big hike we choose. I keep telling myself I can do this and I will. I want to keep hiking after my big hike, it just might not be 5 hours or 8 miles every Saturday morning.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Lost two of my toenails due to my poor choice of my first pair of hiking boots. Just thought I would share with you my horror at the thought of flip flops this summer.

Cat food

Just a quick post before I forget what I wanted to say.

I was feeding Marska (our cat) this morning and as I opened the can of savory trout flakes I wondered who decided that cats like fish? Did someone in the cat food industry take a survey? Did they observe a bunch of cats on a fishing trip or something. To my mind wouldn't cat food made from stuff that cats (our cat anyway) has a real chance of eating in the wild might be better. I mean a filet of mouse or little birdie parts? Marska has chased the occasional mouse and bird, but I have never seen her grab a fishing pole and head to the nearest fishing hole.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hike 7

What a beautiful day yesterday was for hike number 7. This was a buddy hike, meaning you hike with the people that live around you. My team hiked with a couple of other teams and we started out in Danville on the other side of Las Trampas Regional Wilderness where our last buddy hike was. We started by walking up, up and up on Prospect Avenue it was about a mile and up 900 feet when we came to this.

This was a monument right before we got to the trailhead, it was to a PFC Green who died in England in 1950. Now you can see there are fresh flowers at the site and I wondered who brings them? It has been sixty years since PFC Green died, who is left to bring flowers or who will be left in a few years to bring flowers? What will happen then. Once past here we came upon the retreat center of San Damiano where they were having a silent retreat. So we quietly made our way up, up, up.

We hiked up to the ridge at 1888 feet. Now when you get up there you think "wow, I made it". Obviously I must be new at this, cause I don't think "geez, now I have to go down." Well, I think now I'll be thinking that, cause the way down was really steep. I am so glad I got trekking poles cause they saved me from falling on my butt quite a few times on the way down.

This tree looked like a ghost tree to me, everything else was green and this tree stuck out white against the hills. It was beautiful.

I got a feeling that someone hit their head, what do you think?

We came down off the ridge at the Eugene O'Neill House. It seems Mr. O'Neill and his wife lived in this big beautiful house in the 30's & 40s and it seemed to inspire him since he wrote The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey Into Night and A Moon for the Misbegotten. I tried to imagine how remote this location must have been then.

Then it was a short 2 miles down the Iron Horse Trail to the starting point. Eight miles, 4.5 hours and all my water.

I think I might be starting to like this hiking stuff, since today when I was driving along 680 I kept looking up at the hills and wondering if you can get up there.

File under WTF

You have just got to love the BBCA station, can you actually be love with the BBCA station? If
you were in love with the BBCA would it be male or female?

Right about now you are probably thinking has she fallen off the wagon? What is she going on about.

Well, last night my beloved and I watched a program on BBCA called Married to the Eiffel Tower.

Now I love the Eiffel Tower. I get goose bumps every time I look at it. I never get tired of watching it light up. But I would draw the line at marrying her (yes, the tower is a she) and finding a nice quiet place to get intimate with her. Yup, I do mean intimate.

Married to the Eiffel Tower is a documentary about people with objectum sexual disorder. People who love objects. Yes love them. Speak of them as having a particular gender, believing that they have a connection to the object, that the object speaks to them.

It seems that this is a very small group of people in the world, they guess about 40 of them world wide. They do not seem to be a very monogamist group of people, I think I remember them saying they believed in pologamy. The central person in the documentary is Naisho and while being married to La Tour Eiffel, also dates the Golden Gate Bridge, The Berlin Wall and any fence with a particular shape to it. And then there is the relationship she is trying to rekindle with her first love, her bow. As in bow and arrow.

I sat thru the entire show with my mouth hanging open and listening to my beloved say "is this for real?". It seems to be, for them anyway. I did not know whether to laugh or cry

Oh and Naisho, before the affair with the Golden Gate Bridge gets too far, the bridge is female. How could you think otherwise?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stupid, stupid, stupid

Who in there right mind cheats on Sandra Bullock?

Just another case of somebody thinking with the little head rather than the big head.

Shame on you Jesse.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hike 6

Hike number 6 began on a beautiful clear and sunny day in Marin at Fort Baker. From the coastal trail that passes thru here you can hike north to Oregon or south to Mexico if your little heart desires. We started here on the bay side of the Golden Gate Bridge

Then a view that it seems few people see, under the Golden Gate Bridge. It was like a patchwork quilt.

At one point you could look west to the ocean and

east back to towards the bridge
and south towards Ocean Beach.

On the way back down looking towards the city.

The views on this hike reminded me of how beautiful the Bay Area is. Sometimes I forget.

Now this hike was four and a half hours long. You hike out as far as you can do in 2 and a quarter hours and turn around and come back. My group did a total of nine miles. Yikes.

For those of you holding your collective breath about when I would take my first tumble, you can let it out. I went down pretty early in the hike, slipped on a wet wooden step and skinned my left knee, tore my hiking pants and lost a bit of confidence, but the first fall is over and we can all relax. And thanks to nurse Amanda and sheppard Steve for their first aid.

I bought new inserts for my hiking boots this past week and I must say my feet do not hurt nearly as much as they did last week. Now if I could just just find inserts for my knees and hips.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hike 5

Sorry this post took so long for me to put up. Hike number 5 happened last Saturday at The Pleasanton Ridge. I have lived in Pleasanton for nine years and have never been up here, what a waste. It was a four hour hike thru woods, meadows and rolling hills.

The ridge was full of fruit trees at one point. Pleasanton was full of agriculture at one time. There is a reason Hopyard Road is called Hopyard - hops for beer were once grown along this major road. Few fruit trees remain up on the ridge these days, but there are some beautiful oaks.

Then there were to cows, or as I was told at work - don't think this is a cow. OK, I guess it may grow up to be a steer, but it was still very cute. There were lots of cows out in one area, some of them looked like they would like to show you who was boss, but they left me alone.

Sorry this picture is sideways, but it is mistletoe. I was wondering what these were, perhaps some kind of nest? No, it is mistletoe, the kind you put overhead at Christmas and wait for a kiss. Mistletoe is a parasite, who knew? Not me.

This next picture was taken at the end of the hike. Look closely, it is a photo shoot and at first I thought the model was naked, but no. You can see her legs under the tree. I had to stop and bend over to look under the tree, but she did have clothes on.

Now, four hours is a long time to be hiking and I keep hoping that I will have the stamina to keep this up. Hiked up two hours and I could look out over the hills that go from brown to beautiful green velvet almost overnight. On my way down I passed a little family out for a hike, a dad, a kid about 8, another kid about 5 and a mom with another kid on her back. The 8 year old boy was asking his mother what those poles were that we all had. "Well, honey those are hiking poles. You'll use them when you get a little older and we do more challenging hikes, like Half Dome." I did stop myself from stabbing her with my pole, but I thought about it.

I am at 77% of my goal, if you haven't yet please visit my website and help me reach my goal.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Where did you go?

Yesterday on the way to work it was raining cats and dogs. People were still driving like idiots, but it seems nothing can stop that.

On 580 West in Oakland traffic slowed to a crawl, I was in the second lane and noticed people in front of me were letting people from the high speed lane into our lane.

When I got to where the problem was I found it was a car in the high speed lane with it hazard lights on and nobody in it. I did not see anyone around the car waiting for help.

I wonder where they went?

Monday, March 1, 2010

580 Ride

Most of the time when I see a truck with trees in it on the highway, they have laid the trees down and cover them with a tarp. But not tonight. No tonight there was a pickup truck with a bunch of trees in the back. But this guy had them standing up and I don't think they were tied in at all. They were just whipping around while the driver of the truck was yaking on the phone.