Journey: 52 Hikes and more

Archive for the month “February, 2010”

Hike 23 – Las Trampas Rocky Ridge, January 9, 2010

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.

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Hike 22 – Mt. Diablo Waterfalls Loop, December 26, 2009

On a cold and overcast December 26, 2009, my hiking partner Lt. Cracker and I got together for our last hike of the decade.  Forecasters had said that we’d have 40% cloud cover at 7 AM increasing to 90% as the day progressed, with rain in the afternoon or evening.  We figured we had a small window of opportunity to hike today and decided to do the best we could with it.

We pulled to the end of Regency Gate in Clayton around 9:25 AM.  Our aim was to cover a 5.9 mile loop to see the waterfalls of Mt. Diablo State Park.  This is one of Lt. Cracker’s favorite hikes in the area and we had done this together some years ago.  I too had not been here in a while, and so I was glad to do this loop.

I brought the camera along just in case we got lucky with pictures but expected to not use it at all given the weather forecast.  Worst case, it would be more dead weight in my daypack, thereby increasing the workout component of the hike.

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Hike 21 – Christmas at Chabot, December 25, 2009

Now that winter is officially here, I have mentally reconciled myself to shorter hikes during this season.  Further, I have refined my criteria for selecting locations for winter hikes in the Bay Area:

*  Local hikes, no more than an hour’s drive from home
*  Hikes between 4 and 8 miles long
*  Hiking time between 2 and 4 hours only

Also, I would strive for the following:

*  Start early between 8 and 9 AM
*  Finish early between 11 AM and noon if possible
*  Get back home by noon if possible and no later than 1 PM

With these thoughts in mind, I had been looking at some interesting long hikes in various guidebooks that I could break into shorter hikes to accommodate them within my winter schedule.  I liked some hikes in the Las Trampas and San Leandro Reservoir areas and was looking forward to splitting them into two or three hikes and doing them over the Christmas holidays if possible.

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