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

A Saturday in December-- I don't remember which one

Did a short hike (4 miles, maybe?) at the Mount Burdell Open Space. Mount Burdell is a lovely, open oak savannah hilly sort of place, tucked up behind the housing developments west of San Marin Ave, in Novato. Despite the feeling that you're never more than .5 miles from a BMW at any point in the hike, there's a pretty nice diversity of bird life there. There's an abundance of lark sparrows at the right time of year (apparently not December, but I've seen them there spring/summer). I've been there a lot, so this wasn't much of a 'discovery' hike. It was mostly a 'get Arty out of the house' hike, in which it succeeded admirably.

Hiked up the San Marin Fire Road, to San Carlos, around the Salt Lick Fire Road, up to Middle Burdell, down San Andreas Fire Road back to the car. It was an easy hike but I was feeling subenergetic. Dehydrated, probably.

Well, other than that stirring account, I don't have much else to say about that hike. I guess now's as good a time as any to give cred to the resources I've been using.

I have four maps:

Trails of Northeast Marin County-- this is by Ben Pease and a fine quality sort of map it is. He has a website from which you can order his maps and check out his other, interesting activities. This map mostly depicts the several Open Space parcels around Novato and San Rafael.

Southern Marin Trail Map and Mt. Tam Trail Map-- are by Tom Harrison. They're smaller, a nice size for hiking, and depict trails in areas that I didn't even know existed. My work is cut out for me, I guess. I ordered these, and the above map by Ben Pease, off of www.boredfeet.com, a cool small press that features a range of California guide books and hiking-related accounts and memoirs.

Point Reyes National Seashore and West Marin Parklands. Published by Wilderness Press, I purchased it in the Bear Valley Visitor Center at Point Reyes National Seashore. Covers an extensive chunk of West Marin; not just the National Seashore but areas of the Golden Gate NRA and Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

Mapping trails would be fun. Maybe I'll make a third career of that, once I start and finish my second career, that of an academic librarian.

And, I am using one book:

_Hiking Marin: 133 Great Hikes in Marin County, 2nd ed._ by Don and Kay Martin, published by Martin Press in 1999. This book rocks. Hikes are rated by difficulty and aesthetic quality, and the book includes lists of best hikes by time of year, best waterfall hikes, best view hikes, etc., as well as a little thumbnail wildflower, bird, and ecosystem guides. And the maps accompanying each hike are great... I've not yet been led astray. High quality work. Everyone in Marin County already knows about it, it seems, and it's widely available in local bookstores, so I'm probably not telling anyone anything new. But still, I must give credit where credit is due.

What else? I was browsing around other blogs this morning and came across one: Airplane Journal: Hiking the San Francisco Bay Area. Well, I must admit it exacerbated my inferiority complex regarding this blog. He's got sweet pictures, better writing, and his hikes are more hard-core. Must work harder.



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