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Wunderlich Park b&w

I have an order of difficulty ranking in my head for the hikes near me. Pulgas Ridge is the easiest. This I can do pretty much any time even if I feel out of shape. But it will be tiring if I am actually out of shape.

Next on the list is Wunderlich, which is a much bigger park with longer hike options, but still nicely graded trails so it’s pretty much the easiest 10 mile hike with 2000 ft of elevation change you’ll find anywhere. Or so it was. Apparently after last winter’s crazy rain, there was a landslide that cut off one of the usual trails. The current work-around is a (thankfully brief) steep slog that cuts off one of the switchbacks. Which wasn’t exactly what I signed up for today, but it was fine. I disliked going back down it more than up.

So, that tells me I am ready for my third level hike- Purisima Creek. I will check the trail conditions before I go. Live and learn.

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Around the Corner

Somehow during all of my many walks at Seal Point Park, I never found this little salt marsh flat viewing platform slightly to the south of where I usually walk. At a certain point the bay trail splits and the left portion has a sign for “bikes” so I always chose the right portion instead, figuring it lessens my chance of getting run into by a biker. However by doing this, I missed that there was another path off the left of that that takes you to a viewing platform (where, coincidentally no bikes are allowed.)

I’m going to have to go out there at sunrise one of these days.

Still on the black and white kick, by the way.

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Black and White Hiking Photos

I felt that some of my most recent hiking photos were just begging to be edited in black and white. The hazy morning light and long dramatic shadows really work well without color.

And just to photography nerd-out for a second, I’ve been using spot metering a lot for my photos lately because I love the high contrast I can get that way. It’s the secret to taking photos of nicely exposed flowers with a dark background, and apparently works well for hiking photos too. Black and white highlights the contrast.

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Hiking Season is In Effect

I guess other places, people prefer hiking in the summer but to me,here in the bay area, summer is the worst time. I do not enjoy the heat or the dry. I like a nice cool temperature. Maybe some fog. A very light drizzle of rain even. California sun is different than sun other places I’ve lived. It feels like that sun is trying to cook me, especially in the summer.

I planned to get in shape so I could go hiking more this fall/winter/spring and I did it and it seems to have paid off. I’ve been going to the gym 3-4 times a week for 2 months. Today was my first hike since spring and it was nice. 5 miles was no challenge and I am ready for the longer ones and already planning next weekend. Ah, so nice when the plans work out at the weather converges with the motivation. The stars have aligned. I have high hopes for this coming season. Despite a big pile of work nonsense, I’ve still made it to work out. I wish motivation could be bottled up because I can’t seem to call it forth at will. The best I can do is wait for it to arrive then ride it.

091717coyote pointI woke up without an alarm at 6:00 am today so I was able to have some coffee and breakfast by the bay watching the sunrise at Coyote Point.

Then I went to Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve, my regular hiking spot. It’s still so charming to me, even after going there for years. I like the feeling of knowing it. I know what is going to be around each bend. I like the twisty trees. I saw bunnies and hummingbirds out in droves. And it’s usually so nice and quiet early in the morning. Only a few people with their dogs or out for an early run.

Then I went to the farmers market and bought some peaches and strawberries, so you know. Pretty much the perfect morning.

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Ocean Birds

I went to Pacifica this morning for a walk and photos. The heat has been nuts the last few days and it was just too hot to be outside. It finally broke last night, but it’s still hazy out there. There’s something kind of beautiful about it, if apocalyptic in a way. I’ll have another post later or tomorrow for some of my other photos.

For now here are some birds. The pelicans were out in droves this morning. It was fun standing by the edge of the water trying to catch them in their antics.