Thursday, January 4, 2018

Kip's hike from the Pacific Ocean

Kip had a fun idea for a hike recently - starting at the Pacific Ocean and following trails up and over the hills and across town back to the house.  Amazingly, there's a trail system that connects all the way across, using the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, through Big Basin, over to Castle Rock, and down to Sanborn County Park.  From there it would be roads/streets to return to north San Jose.  Neat!

I was hoping to accompany him for part or all of it, but that turned out to be challenging when all of us developed a cough/chest cold during the holiday week.  At least Kip was feeling well (except for a nagging cough).  John and I were more "under the weather."  I decided to start the hike and see how far I could keep up.

Pre-dawn start at Waddell Beach, just off route 1:


It was cold so we didn't spend much time getting good pictures.  Down to the water to "touch the ocean" as a starting point:


And a half-decent picture I ruined with my headlamp, sorry John:


Back to the parking lot to find the trail:


Welcome to the Skyline to the Sea Trail!


John got some better beach photos after we started hiking.  The waves were really crashing and we could hear them echoing up the valley for a couple miles.


Lovely sunrise on a beautiful day:


A hawk, maybe?  John took this one to send to Mom:


Kip carried an excellent trail map and we easily followed it past various intersections:


There was a minor creek crossing near the start; we found a decent place to hop across rocks and sticks to keep from getting our feet too wet.  The rest of the trail was in superb condition.

Wonderful bridge across a side creek:


Not sure what this is - an old trebuchet?


Let's go that way:


The map had little symbols for all sorts of things, including one that we couldn't quite read.  A "bike rock"?  "Bike rack"?  What would either of those things be doing out here.  And what is a "bike rock" anyway?

OK, it's a bike rack.  I guess you can lock your bike here and continue on on foot.


Another curious bridge:


There was very little trail work needed - except in one spot.  John, bring a chainsaw:


A glimpse of a pretty little waterfall in the background:


Hiking through the top of Big Basin Park:


I love the redwoods!


Posing with the bench marked "MB" - for Rabbi Morton Bauman:


Which is right next to bench "JB" - Docent June Bauman:


MB and JB on the map:


An actual overlook with a view near the top of the first ridge:


More trail, always in great shape - who maintains all these miles of trails?


And one last picture, quite an anticlimactic end to this post, sorry.  At least it's somewhat curious:


Between my chest cold and the PF in my foot starting to act up a bit, I decided I better call it a day after ~20 miles.  John picked me up at Waterman Gap Trail Camp (thank you John!) and Kip continued on.

Kip spent the rest of the day and evening following the trail to Saratoga Gap, then on the Skyline Trail to Summit Rock where he descended to Sanborn Park.  He popped out in Saratoga and made a beeline back across Santa Clara/San Jose to return to the house in the middle of the night.  We were asleep.  Sorry for the lack of finish line photos.

Congratulations on a 50+ mile accomplishment, Kip, that was impressive!

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