Over 500 miles of trails

Someone said that there are over 500 miles of trails in Marin County. I'm going to hike all of them. Want to hear more? Read on...

Location: Woodacre, California, United States

Well, I hike, obviously. I read, without retaining, lots of stuff but mostly classic and contemporary fiction, history, and science. I look at birds and plants. I play my guitar far less than I ought, and watch movies far more. I like to ask people questions, but only if they ask me questions in return. I aspire to honorable behavior and am mostly successful. I'm on the cusp of a career change, with bird research in my past/present and academic librarianship in my future. Occasionally I bust out and cook six course gourmet meals for my friends; for some reason it's always six and never seven or five. Enough about me. What about you? Stranger or friend, drop me a line!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I'm starting to get caught up. I haven't consumed anything except orange juice all morning. At least it's not coffee. Though I'd probably be funnier if it were.

On Thursday, January 12, I went for a fantastic hike after work. But before I tell you about that, let me tell you about this: the best thing about my job is that I only have to be there 30 hours a week. Other than that, it really doesn't have much going for it. Sure, some of the people are nice, but everything I do is either boring or annoying. But, my point is that the 30 hr/week schedule allows me to work 3 eight-hour days and one 6-hour day. And then I'm done. So on Thursdays I work from 6 am till 12pm. Since my work is in Point Reyes Station, I'm mere minutes away from great hiking in the Point Reyes National Seashore, and I can get in good half-day hikes.

At any rate, last Thursday my dear Victor (who works at the same place I do) was kind enough to drop me off at the Sky Trailhead on the road out to Limantour at 12:30 or so. I hiked about 8.7 miles that day, give or take. I hiked the Sky Trail about 5.5 miles to the Baldy trail, then one mile down to the Bear Valley trail, 3.2 miles back to the Bear Valley Visitor Center, where Victor picked me up at 5pm. I had originally planned to take the Old Pine Trail down, but that would have been way too short... I would have been back to the Visitor Center at 3:30 or so. And, I would have missed the best part of Sky Trail. The trail follows a ridge that angles southeast toward the south-facing coast of Point Reyes. For much of the trail the forest is too dense to see much of the coast, but at one point you hike up a gentle grade toward a notch, below which the land falls away from you and you have a great view of the ocean and the bluffs along the shoreline facing southeast. It was a partly cloudy day and the sun hit the gray water through holes in the clouds, creating brilliant patches of reflected sun amidst the gray.

Hiking back along the Bear Valley trail there were signs all around that Coast and Bear Valley Creeks had flooded considerably during the New Year's Day storms... debris had been deposited several feet above the banks of the creeks. I saw a feral cat and a bunch of white deer in Divide Meadow, which marks the division between the Coast and Bear Valley Creek watersheds. I tried really hard to make the feral cat into something cooler, like a bobcat, but I'm pretty sure it was just a feral cat, since it had a tail.

I like being dropped off for my hikes. It makes me feel independent to be out there with no vehicle to return to, knowing that I have to cover a certain amount of ground if I'm to meet up with my ride. No chance of backing out.

For some bonus material, I'll tell you about the mini-hike that Victor and I went on that Saturday, January 14. It was more of a birding expedition, really, because on the 12th someone had spotted a Eurasian wigeon (that's a kind of duck not commonly seen round these parts) at the Rush Creek Open Space preserve). So we lugged spotting scope, camera, and binoculars round the trails at the Marin Audubon land near Rush Creek. It was a drizzly, dreary day but the birds were out in force. We did not spot the Eurasian wigeon, but we did see plenty of American wigeon as well as scaup, bufflehead, goldeneye, and other fun stuff. Landbirds that we haven't seen much of elsewhere included oak titmice and ladder-backed woodpecker. Only hiked a mile or two on the trails, but it was good-n-birdy nonetheless.



Post a Comment

<< Home