Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Weekend Hike #2

Today I got up later (6:30, which is late for me) and didn’t get away until about 9:30. I decided to check out Uvas Park which is located a bit further south than my usual hiking location at Calero Park. Although I have been up the road to this park a couple of times over the years, this is the first time I have hiked there.

After driving through the village of Sveadal (what is that place about?) I arrived at the park and decided not to do the typical waterfall loop that the park is known for, but to instead take the very steep trail to Nibb Knob and Summit Road.

And steep it is! The average incline seems steeper than Mission Peak and the English Camp trails, two area trails that I think of as somewhat steep. The climb is unrelieved; there are no downhill sections on the way out, and only a few where the trail becomes briefly less steep. Being steep, the trail fairly quickly climbs out of the lush vegetation in the valley near the park headquarters and then follows ridges toward the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

I passed the lateral to Nibb Knob on the way up and continued on to Summit Road, hoping to find something interesting there, like perhaps a view to the ocean. No luck. The trail tops out at a dusty dirt road about 50 feet from where it ends and across the way from a fairly ugly homestead full of old trailers and cut up wood. I investigated for a couple minutes before descending back to the Nibb Knob lateral, which I climbed to the summit where I took a lunch break.

The rest of the descent went quickly – much faster than the ascent – and I was soon back at the park headquarters, having taken exactly zero photographs. It may have been the harsh midday light or perhaps I just felt like hiking, but I didn’t even take my camera out of the pack.


January 21, 2007 Posted by | Trips | Comments Off on Weekend Hike #2

Weekend Hike #1

After an early January that did not allow for much in the way of hiking, I finally got out for (almost) the first time yesterday. I was up early and down at Calero park just as the sun was coming up through the morning fog. I quickly loaded up the camera pack and headed the short distance to Los Cerritos pond, thinking I might stop for a moment there before heading off on a long hike.

As I arrived at the pond I thought it might be interesting to take some photos of the foggy dawn, and when a large white egret flew up from behind some reeds at the edge of the lake I decided to set up the tripod and see what might happen.

I didn’t notice how much time had passed – though I did notice how cold I was getting – until almost an hour and a half had passed. Fortunately, I think I got some interesting photographs at this usually nondescript pond, including a couple I posted earlier.

I finally dragged myself away from the pond and made it up the Pena trail to a hill top where the sun was just breaking through the fog. After stopping here for another half hour or so of photography I realized that I was not going to have time for my original hike plans.

Instead, I decided to do explore a cross-country route along a fairly level and open ridge. During most of the year I would not try this since hiking through the tall grass is almost more trouble than it is worth. However, each winter there is a period of a couple of months between the time that last season’s grasses fall over and the new growth begins during which one can hike almost anywhere along these open grassy ridges. So I explored, finally arriving at a trail fairly close to where I had started.

January 21, 2007 Posted by | Trips | Comments Off on Weekend Hike #1

Los Cerritos Pond, Winter Morning

CaleroPond2007|01|20: Los Cerritos Pond. Calero Hills, California. January 20, 2007. © "Copyright G Dan Mitchell" ("sales")    keywords: los cerritos pond morning fog trees grass reflections calero hills santa clara county park california color photograph

Los Cerritos Pond. Calero Hills, California. January 20, 2007. © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (Sales)


January 21, 2007 Posted by | Photography: Calero | Comments Off on Los Cerritos Pond, Winter Morning


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