Outdoors Archives

I like to go outdoors a lot. Primarily hiking, occasionally camping, and sometimes other fun activities.

Mission Peak

Ignorant of the overcrowding issues, we pulled into Mission Peak Regional Preserve late in the morning last weekend just as a parking spot opened up. I was impressed by the number and diversity of people attempting this 6-mile hike with 2100 feet to climb. Not surprisingly, the rocky summit was crowded. We ate a quick lunch at the top before continuing down the very steep Horse Heaven Trail back to the parking lot.

Mission Peak Regional Preserve in Fremont, CA

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Point Reyes Anniversary

After getting married a year ago, Stephanie and I drove out to the northern tip of Point Reyes, a place called Pierce Point Ranch, hoping to see some tule elk. They weren’t around, but we explored the historic dairy buildings before heading out in search of oysters.

It was a complete coincidence that we ended up at the Pierce Point Ranch two weekends ago to go hiking in celebration of our 10th Halloweeniversary! And hike we did: 9.5 miles out and back on the foggy Tomales Point Trail. This time we saw lots of elk, and even a coyote up close. Here are a few shots from the multi-rutted trail.

Tomales Point Trail at Point Reyes in the fog

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Summiting Diablo

A month ago I hiked a loop from the Mitchell Canyon Vistor Center to the summit of Mt. Diablo and back again. It was about 13 miles round-trip, with 3269 feet of elevation gain and subsequent loss. You’d think standing on a trail and pointing a camera straight ahead would result in a “good” shot more often than not, but the opposite is true—especially in terms of interestingness. The sky was clear, the autumn sun was shining at a sharp angle, and I came home with bupkis. This was the best of the bunch. Meh.

A tree arching over the trail on Mt Diablo
Arching oak

Looping around Big Basin

A few weekends ago I made the two-hour trek down to Big Basin Redwoods State Park to hike the Sunset, Berry Creek Falls, and Skyline to the Sea Trails. 101 Great Hikes says the loop is 12 miles long, Bay Area Hiker says 11, the park’s own trail map placard says 10.5, and Google Maps says 9.8. Whom to trust? It doesn’t really matter, but it makes me wish I had a GPS watch to know for sure. In any event, I burned through it in exactly 4 hours, including a short sit-down for lunch, which means I was averaging somewhere between 2.5 and 3 miles-per-hour.

I took photos along the way, but the light coming through the canopy was too harsh for most shots. That and the trees were just not cooperating, compositionally. Except for these.

Crisscrossed Trees on the Waterfall Loop at Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Crisscrossed trees

Atypical Point Reyes

A few weekends ago, I gave myself a four-hour window to hike a 13-mile loop in Point Reyes (before racing home to return my Zipcar). Turns out four hours was a little tight. I ate my lunch in motion and jogged a few downhill sections, but I also managed to take a few photos that show a different side of this national seashore.

Forest scene from Point Reyes

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