Journey: 52 Hikes and more

Archive for the category “National Parks”

Free 52 Hikes Photobook

Ready to choke down your internet connection and frustrate the rest of your family? Here’s a 100-page ebook (76 MB) with some of my favorite photographs from hikes for you. Like so many things in life, this too is free.  😉

52 Hikes Photobook

52 Hikes Photobook

Advertisements

Hike 17 – Under Cupid’s Spell in San Francisco, November 29, 2009

Early in the morning on the last Sunday of November, I was driving over the Bay Bridge heading towards San Francisco.  The world looked like it was encased in crystal, and I thought how fortunate I was to have picked this day for a friendly saunter through the city.  The sky was blue and the air clear as far as my eyes could see.  Oh yeah, this would be a great hike.

Not surprisingly, my happy and smiling face pulled into the Battery East parking lot near the Golden Gate Bridge.  The time was 8:00 AM and temperature 57 degrees.  Perfect!  My plan today was to walk from the Golden Gate Bridge down to Cupid’s Span along the Embarcadero, and back.  The icing on the cake was that I was only 30 minutes late instead of 2.5 hours late, like the day before when I had hiked the Coastal Trail to Alamere Falls and the “Lake District” in Point Reyes National Seashore.

The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge

Stepping out of the car I noticed the high winds and as a precautionary measure, tightened my hat to prevent it from blowing off.  I also wrapped a jacket over myself because the bridge could get windy and cold.  Now I was ready to re-experience one of my favorite walks in San Francisco.  To keep it interesting, I had made two changes this time around:
1.  Reversed the starting and ending points, and
2.  I was walking on a weekend.  I have done this section on weekdays only.

I was not sure how it would all work out, as crossing the Golden Gate Bridge has always been the highlight of this walk for me, and this time I was covering it first.

The Bridge Cafe

The Bridge Cafe

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Hike 16 – Alamere Falls and the “Lake District,” November 28, 2009

As I gritted my teeth and cut the steering wheel once again harshly to the right, I thought, “Man, if this drive doesn’t end soon, I am going to be in no position to hike today.”  It was a long dizzying ride heading up Highway 1 in Marin County.  With each passing mile, my desire to explore a new trail slipped a notch lower.

I quickly looked at the clock on the radio and calculated how late I was.  On most days, I would be well into the return section of my hike by now, but today I was still experiencing g-forces in a car speeding towards the trailhead.  At 10:45 AM, I pulled into the Palomarin Trailhead parking lot of Pt. Reyes National Seashore.  With regret, I noted that I should have been here at least two and a half hours earlier.

After cutting the engine, I sat in the car for a minute to clear my head and think.  I could call it a lost day, head for a coffee shop and then go home.  The National Weather Service had issued a high wind and high surf advisory for the area and placed it on flood-watch too.  I could always use safety as an excuse and weasel out of the hike.  Or I could continue to sit here until the next course of action calmly came to me.

Suddenly, four cars noisily sped into the lot searching for parking spaces closest to the trailhead.  Yikes!  More company!  Instinctively, I grabbed my daypack and slung it over my shoulders and hit the trail.  A decision had been forced on me.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Hike 10 – Golden Gate Overdose, September 27, 2009

Early on a Sunday morning, I got in the car with the aim of steering it towards San Francisco.  I was planning to go on an “urban hike.”  A few weeks back I wanted to do this but rain had washed the day off.  But today looked perfect for it.

The beginning

The beginning

Digging through the CD collection in the car looking for music to accompany me for the drive over, I rediscovered a gem: Mark Knopfler’s excellent album “Sailing To Philadelphia.”  I think this album is one of his best, even though it is about 10 years old now.

I admit to breaking speed limits in many states while listening to Mr. Knopfler’s “Speedway At Nazareth” on our cross-country drive in 2000.  This song always kicks my pulse and the speedometer on high.  The album sounds amazing driving through the prairie roads of Kansas or the open desert roads of Nevada.  But it works for me on the streets of San Francisco too.

The morning drive was uneventful until I got to the Golden Gate Park.  I was hoping to cut through the park on my way towards the Sutro Baths parking lot.  Unfortunately the road was closed due to the “Now And Zen” music festival hosted by a local radio station.  However there were no signs saying the road was closed and I almost ran into the barricades before safely stopping.

Along the trail

Along the trail

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: