My morning began at 6:00 AM when I silenced the first of two alarms I had set for the wake-up call. What ensued next was a 10-minute tussle between the two sides of my brain. One urging me to stay in bed and skip the hike. The other encouraging me to go out, stretch my legs and enjoy the outdoors. I looked out of the window and it was not raining. Better yet, the roads were dry which meant no overnight rain either. Thankfully, I was out of excuses.
This was the third time in two months I was hiking in Las Trampas Regional Preserve. I had enjoyed my previous two hikes here (Bollinger Canyon Gem and The Ridges of Las Trampas) and was looking forward to going back for more. The goal was to hike the Rocky Ridge Trail to the entrance to the Upper San Leandro Reservoir. Then I would take the Ridge Loop Trail and head back out again. This would make a nice 6.5 mile hike with about 2,000 ft elevation change. If everything went well, I would be done in roughly 3 hours. I would climb about 1,000 ft, then head down about 1,000 ft, climb back up 1,000 ft and down again.
I pulled into Las Trampas Staging Area parking lot at just after 8:15 AM. The drive over had been foggy, especially along the freeway. But as I got closer to the trailhead, the fog got thinner and it had totally cleared out by the time I parked the car. Still, there was heavy cloud cover overhead. I noted that there were more cars here this time than the previous two times. I figured this was the new years’ resolution crowd out today.