This morning I had an errand to run in San Mateo. I had access to a car, and Stephanie was busy, so I decided to go hiking afterwards. I was thinking Butano State Park might be convenient, as it’s also south of San Francisco, but it turned out to be an hour from San Mateo, over the peninsula and all the way to Pescadero.
My cousin Christy introduced me to Butano only two months after I moved to California—which I think counts as my first hike in the state. Looking back over the brief blog post I wrote about that day, I was amused to discover that we hiked there exactly 10 years ago, making my return visit an anniversary of sorts.
I arrived, paid my entrance fee, and studied the map for a promising loop. They described the 9.5-mile Canyon Loop as “strenuous”—that looked like the hike for me. Besides crossing paths with a few people at the beginning and the end, I had the trail entirely to myself.
I hiked at a swift pace, stopping only to take the occasional photo. At about the halfway point I sat down and had a little lunch of cherry tomatoes, string cheese, beef jerky, and macadamia nuts. I completed the loop in a little over 3 hours, and I was quite happy to be done after the steep descent on the Año Nuevo trail.