Sunol – Cave Rocks

2011-11-13 Sunny, highs in the 60’s.

Here we are on the Indian Joe Trail again

If you all remember we tried to do this a year ago…..but someone (the man) got separated, then took the wrong trail.

Yeah, needless to say I have both my eyes on the male this time.

This place never disappoints when I come.

I had made it all the way up to the Cave Rocks before.

But since we were separated I doubled timed it down hill to find him.

Which means I didn’t get to check this place out last time.

This place was crawling with people. Lots of kids crawling around and under, and adults scaling the rock face.

Which means even if you didn’t bring climbing gear there is still lots to be able to do and poke around here. You can even climb on top without ropes.

To go back we retraced our steps briefly on Indian Joe trail, then took a right onto a path that takes you to Hayfield Rd. Trail is marked.

How I love this park.

No matter where I am in the park I almost always see people horseback riding. If you have dogs make sure you can keep them under control for everyone’s safety.

And cows too.

It’s so cool to watch them checking us out too. Have not found a trail here yet that I have not liked.

Posted in Dog Off Lead Zone, East Bay Hikes, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Rock Climbing | Leave a comment

Priest Rock

2012-02-23 Sunny, highs in the 70’s

There is no parking lot where the trail begins. You can either find very limited parking on the side of the road, or hoof it from a somewhat near by parking lot. Hey you are hiking anyway, just be careful walking on the road.

It’s pretty scary how quickly the water disappears when there is no rain in the winter.

The first part of the hike is covered as you climb.

If you do this in the summer remember to bring your sunscreen, for the shade will soon be gone.

The only thing I really have to complain about were the large steel electrical poles.

It marred the view going up.

Eventually you do get away from it.

And once you do get away from it there won’t be any shade to be had.

These things are mammoth, with razor blades attached to the bottom so that people don’t try and climb them.

Now if we had gone straight here we would have gotten to Priest Rock. However we went during the week, so we have to take a left to do a loop and get back to town to pick up our child from school. Damn responsibilities, lol.

The back side of the mountain is very dark and shaded. Bring some layered clothes if hiking in the winter, an bug repellant.

Such a drastic change between sides of the mountain.

You can see Lexington Quarry from here. It’s huge.

Unfortunately when we went it was during a very long drought, so not many flowers. This was an ok hike. If you live around here do it, but if you are visiting don’t waste your time.

We went up on Priest Rock Trail, and came back on Limekiln Trail, which is off of Alma Bridge Road in Los Gatos.

Posted in Hiking, South Bay Hikes | Leave a comment

Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve

Unless you live in these mountains prepare yourself for a bit of travel time. Only a few roads go up from the valley, and they are all narrow and very twisty turny roads. Meaning there is no easy way to get here. Beginning of trail near RTE 35.

2012-01-29 Sunny, highs in the 60’s

This is a mixed hike of sun and shade.

We are following the Sunny Jim Trail to get to Alpine Pond, and look at what we found. A basketball court. You can ride your horse here, tie them up, and have a game. LOL, only in California people.

Alpine Pond

We only hiked about 3 miles or so, and to get to the pond is only about 1 mile.

After we walked around the pond we headed back to the road and took the IPIWA trail to do the loop back to the parking lot. There ARE rattlesnakes on this part of the trail. They aren’t a problem as long as you and your pets leave them alone, and give them a wide berth.

The views of the mountains as always are amazing.

This is a moderate hike. Even though you start off at the top of the mountain there are still hills to climb.

I love being in these mountains near the end of the day. The light is truly magical.

Welcome to heaven people.

Again my pictures do very little to explain how grand this place is. You really must come here to experience all the sights, smells and feelings of this place. The way the mountain absorbs the sun and radiates it back towards you must be felt. No picture can help you with that. Come and enjoy.

Driving home along RTE 35 has it’s advantages also. Looking towards the West towards the ocean.

Windy Hill Open Space Preserve

We stopped at Windy Hill Open Space Preserve to get these photos. No hiking required, lol.

You can get anything you want.....

And a little further down the road, you can get anything you want…….

To top it all off we found the BEST ice cream in all the world! AMAZING! Try the honey lavender, you won’t be disappointed.

435 Emerson St
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 327-1317

GPS to Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve
Latitude 37°18’55.54″N
Longitude 122°11’18.95″W

Posted in Hiking, Horseback Riding, Lake, Mountain bike, South Bay Hikes, Trail | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

San Francisco

Today we drove across the Bay Bridge in order to cross the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge

I love San Francisco, but you really have to gauge the weather correctly.

WWII batterys and old gun turrets

Bunkers, battery’s and gun turrets are everywhere.

Looking to your left towards the Golden Gate Bridge.

Point Bonita

Looking right towards Point Bonita.

We drove down Conzelman Rd. After a while this becomes a one way street.

Rodeo Cove

There is limited parking, but if you wait you can easily grab a place. Most people come to do a quick site see, not to walk about.

If you have small children or dogs with you please keep a close eye on them. The cliffs aren’t forgiving.

Point Bonita

Walking back in this direction you can access that hill. Not sure if you are suppose to or not, but there is a small path that runs right along side of the cliff (sharp drop off, I would NOT bring kids), but the view from up there is phenomenal!

Point Bonita

You will have to scamper to your left after a while to get down to the real path, but it’s not hard at all.

This is a drive/hike outing. We’d park the car and scout around, then head to a different location and do the same. However once at Bonita Point you really can stay and poke around a good while.

Be warned, to get to light house you can not bring your dog.

No bikes or dogs beyond this point.

You have to go through the troll hole, the actual island, to access the light house.

When we were there the actual light house was closed to the public for repairs. Call if you want to go inside to make sure you actually can.

While visiting you can see why this is a perfect military spot.

While here the best time to get a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge is near the end of the day.

Golden Gate Bridge

In the morning from this side you are shooting into the sun. In the afternoon the sun is on the bridge and gives wonderful light.

Golden Gate Bridge

That is when there is no fog.

Hendra Point

We were here all day, and there was still so much more we could have seen.

Come on a clear day and enjoy. Pack a lunch, the views are great!

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2011 Life

A year in pictures around the Bay Area.


Posted in Animals, beach, East Bay Hikes, Hiking, Lake, North Bay Hikes, South Bay Hikes | Leave a comment

Blue Jays, from birth to flight


I use to live on the East coast with lots of land. Couldn’t stand the winters, but loved how I could get really close to nature. Literally all I had to do was step outside my back door.

The first two days the adults would not let me have a peak. 2007-05-22 Hiking is great, but when you own a large piece of land you can become intimate with it, and know where all the families live.

2007-05-23 Casper, Melchior & Balthasar

On the 3 day I was allowed to see the 3 little wise men, so I named them Casper, Melchior and Balthasar.


When I saw the jays building a nest I put a ladder right up to the tree so I could watch every day.


I would visit the same time every day, because believe it or not animals can tell time.

I was on this side of the property a lot, and this way the adults knew the rest of the time I was harmless.


Animals like me, and blue jays are very daring creatures.


So while I worked I had food on me, which I held up and shared with one of the 5 adults tending the babies.


Yeah well everything was going great until my very jealous dog saw me playing with the wild life and thought that should stop.


Dog went to save me from vicious bird, and bird took this as an act of war. These are blue jays we are talking about, not some nice easy going robins.


Yeah thanks to my dog I had to start wearing my daughters bicycle helmet if I wanted to go work outside.


It amazes me how quickly they grow.


My dogs now think it’s great fun that they are being attacked from the sky.


Why can’t we just all get along?


I only missed one day and look what happened.


They are already leaving the nest. At least I won’t need to wear the bicycle helmet any longer.

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Muir Woods and Muir Beach

Golden Gate Bridge

Today we will cross the Golden Gate Bridge to go for a hike in Muir Woods.

2010-01-03 Foggy, highs in the 50’s
2010-02-28 Mostly sunny, highs in the 60’s
2010-07-17 Foggy, highs in the 60’s

Everything here is very green and very wet, due to the fog that sweeps these mountains.

Your lungs will thank you for coming here. Oh what an awesome smell!

You do have to pay an admission fee, but it’s well worth it.

It’s amazing not only how large these redwoods get, but how long they live.



It’s so wet here from the fog that ferns grow right on the trees.

Even when the fog lifts it won’t be sunny in here.

Not much light gets down to the forest floor.

I wonder if these make you big or small? I think these are Hygrocybe coccinea Scarlet hood Scarlet waxcap mushrooms, and if so are edible.

Banana Slug

I found my first banana slug here.

Golden Waxy Cap Mushroom - Hygrophorus flavescens

Hey I’m told these are edible.

the board walk

There is a board walk there, which is great because this place is so wet all the time.

But there are also trails that go off of this board walk that are on the bare earth. Bring the appropriate shoes.

Muir Beach

Muir Beach

From Muir Woods we traveled down Muir Woods Road. At a certain point that will run into a stop sign, that will run into RTE 1. We went STRAIGHT for a very short bit, then turned right onto Pacific Way. The beach parking is at the end of this little road.

This is a great little beach.

The ocean is so deep here that it does not smell.


Sea Enemies

If you walk to the left on the beach you will find cool tide pools.


Only crazy people swim in the frigid cold pacific ocean. Even the surfers wear wetsuits.


Plus they found out later the ocean was pack full of these this day.

Hog Rock

There is also a rock that looks just like a hog.

Posted in Hiking, North Bay Hikes, swimming | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment