Epic Santa Cruz Ride

It was just one day’s ride… but it turned out to be something of an epic ride: from the bottom of Pogonip in Santa Cruz, up the Emma McCrary trail and the U-Con trail to the UCSC campus trails winding this way and that and up and back around, then all the way down through Wilder Ranch and over via Old Cabin trail, round Enchanted, a short stop for lunch on the bluffs and then down and around Zane Gray’s Cutoff before starting the climb back up Twin Oaks, past the eucalyptus grove, back around behind campus and all the way back down Pogonip.

Mostly single-track but thirty-two miles in all!  Whew!  Who’s idea was this again?? (I had in mind a full day with lunch along the way like doing Hole in the Ground up in Tahoe… but I see that’s *only* 16 miles!  Though, at altitude of course.)  Anyway, we all survived to ride another day!

I put together a little video montage from the ride:

 

Also, check out our attempt to create a new sport: Disk Golf Biking!

Click through below for the full gallery from the day, mostly courtesy of Rick – thanks, Rick!

  

 

Share
Tagged | Leave a comment

Eastern Sierra Colors

Darlene and I headed over to the Eastern Sierra for a few days last week to catch the fall colors of the aspen climbing the mountain valleys. We came over Sonora Pass, visited Bodie and camped the first night near Lundy Lake, hit Mammoth Lakes and then camped below Rock Creek Lake before finally having to make our way back via Tioga Pass and through Yosemite.

Seems like we might have been about a week early to catch the peak but it also seemed that a lot of the aspen were really dry and drying out quickly after turning yellow (skipping over orange and red), presumably due to the extended drought.

Click through for the full gallery:

Share
Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ghost Town

Bodie was a thriving gold and silver mining boomtown in the late 1800’s, home to many thousands (and many dozens of saloons) before falling into decline in the 1900’s.  It was eventually completely abandoned in the 1950’s and became a state historic park in 1962.  Many buildings remain standing and still contain the furniture, appliances, equipment, stores and even personal items left behind.

I’ve visited Bodie a number of times before, including in the winter, but this time was with Darlene on our way over to see the fall colors in the Eastern Sierra.  My first visit was with my family back in 1979 so I managed to dig up and scan in a few old photos of me and my brother Glenn from 35 years ago.

Click through for the full gallery:

   

Share
Tagged , | Leave a comment

Return to Boggs Mountain!

Darlene and I joined Richard, Jennifer and Shannon for another awesome mountain biking weekend at Boggs Mountain (north of Calistoga, CA) as part of the Outdoor Adventure Club.  Click through for the the full gallery:

  

And here’s a short video montage from the weekend:

Share
Tagged , | Leave a comment

Whales at Moss Landing

There’s been loads of humpback whales in Monterey Bay this summer and Darlene and I finally had a chance to go on a whale-watching tour by kayak out of Moss Landing this past Sunday with Dave of Venture Quest Kayaks.  Thanks once again, Dave!  We had a great time and encountered numerous humpback whales diving and feeding together, once even coming up between our kayaks, as well as saw plenty of others off in various directions, blowing, diving and even breaching in the distance.  After a snack break back at the boat launch, we headed in to the Elkhorn Slough with the aid of some handheld kayak sails.

In addition to all the whales, we also saw plenty of other wildlife: lots of harbor seals, sea lions, otters, egg yolk jellyfish, starfish, porpoises, pelicans, gulls, terns, sandpipers, cormorants and even an egret.  A couple of people saw a mola mola pass under, but we missed that. D’oh!

However, our kayak was boarded in the slough by a sea otter “patrol” – apparently inspecting us for goodies… or contraband?  (Check out the video below.)

We had so much fun on Sunday that we decided to sign up to come back the very next morning. On Monday, the entire bay was incredibly calm but we really had to work to find any whales. We had to paddle out nearly three miles into the bay to find them, but find them we did! Or perhaps they found us…

A short video montage of our two days of kayaking (4.3 minutes, 70 MB)

Click through for the full gallery of images from both days:

  

Share
Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mission Peak at Night

Last week Darlene and I had intended to climb Mission Peak for the full “harvest moon” but other things got in the way two days in a row, but we did eventually get a chance to hike up. The hike is a three-mile, 2000 ft. ascent and provides long views of the bay and surrounding communities all the way to the top.

Unfortunately, the air wasn’t too clear this week – smog and likely smoke from the dozen wildfires around the state: so a very deep red sunset and moonrise.

 

Given that there’s a 10 pm curfew and the moon was already rising too late, we had to head back down before the moon could get high enough to light up our way.  So it was a headlamp hike rather than a moonlight hike.

Share
Tagged | Leave a comment

Riding Lake Tahoe Trails

Darlene and I went up to Lake Tahoe for a couple days of mountain biking midweek last week.  We did a bit of Sawtooth Ridge near Truckee after driving up on Wednesday – these are some nice wandering trails overlooking the Truckee River and highway 89 – and chipmunks everywhere!

On Thursday we went for a full day’s ride centered around the awesome views of the Tahoe Flume Trail, overlooking Lake Tahoe.  Here’s a two-minute video montage from the ride:

Tahoe Rim and Flume Trails

Richard fell sick and wasn’t able to join us so we caught the shuttle up to Tahoe Meadows (near Mt. Rose).  Our route started with the Tahoe Rim Trail heading south, then catching the Red House Flume Trail running clockwise, then back up the Sunflower Hill Trail, round Marlette Lake until finally getting to enjoy the Flume Trail proper.  Sweet and long 25-mile day with lots of breaks to enjoy the views and even snag a geocache along the way.

Click through for the full gallery:

  

Share
Tagged , | 1 Comment

Coyotes in the Yard

I often see or hear coyotes near my house but yesterday I happened to catch these two come snooping up the driveway into my front yard, presumably looking for mice and rabbits… and kitties. (See that, Pan and Hera?  You better be good or the coyotes will get you!!)

Coyotes in the Yard (80 seconds, 24 MB)

Share
Tagged | Leave a comment

Big Basin Camping

Darlene and I joined Laura, Rachel and Sanna for two nights of camping in Big Basin State Park (in the Santa Cruz mountains) earlier this week (Monday-Wednesday).  The creek was nearly dry due to the drought but we enjoyed some great hikes in wonderful weather, several successful geocaching finds and an overabundance of yummy food, including shish kebabs and brats over the campfire.  Thankfully there were practically no mosquitoes (nice change from our backpacking here in May) but we did have to fend off frequent forays by the numerous, brazen raccoons all around the campgrounds.  One of which snagged our buns as we were getting things ready for our brat fest!  The nerve!

Click through for the full gallery:

  

Share
Tagged , | Leave a comment

Backpacking the Lost Coast

Darlene and I joined Abhi, Komo and Anjali on a backpacking trip along part of California’s “Lost Coast”, led by Mike through the Outdoor Adventure Club.  The “Lost Coast” is a remote and undeveloped stretch of coastline in northern California, north of Fort Bragg and south of Eureka.  We hiked the northern section from Mattole Beach down to Black Sands Beach (near Shelter Cove) over three days, August 9th-11th.  Due to the steep coastal terrain, you’re often hiking the beach – several long sections of which are impassable during high tide and so you need to plan around the tide tables.

Click on through for my gallery of pictures and videos, including some from Darlene, Abhi and Mike:

    map

Share
Tagged , , | Leave a comment