Singing the Flatland Blues – Sierra Nevada Withdrawals

Wildflower on the Stapelveldt Trail (Mt. Tamalpais)

Wildflower on the Stapelveldt Trail (Mt. Tamalpais)

September 3, 2013

Just last week I banged my head on a big piece of irony. Don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before, but I was bemused by the fact that for as much as I love the mountains, and given my blog’s name, I live in Alameda, an island, and the flattest town in the Bay Area, possibly Northern California.

Luckily, I don’t have far to drive to satisfy my yearnings for a bit of altitude. Mt. Tamalpais is right across the bay, Mt. Diablo is a ridgeline or two away, and the Sierras are four hours away. I was set to go to Lake Tahoe last week, planning on either a Carson Pass or Desolation Wilderness hike. I was up early on Thursday and made it as far as Placerville before turning back because of the smoke plume blowing north from the Yosemite Rim Fire. Long before reaching the foothills, I saw the high wall of smoke stretching to the horizon.

NASA photo of the smoke plume.

NASA photo of the smoke plume.

Kudos, by the way, to all of the firefighters and emergency responders who’ve been putting in long hot days trying to save homes, towns, and the Giant Sequoias. A lot has burned, and the scars will be there for a generation, but there will be regrowth and new life. For today, I just want to share some images from recent local hikes in Marin County.

Fog drenched Angelica (Marin Headlands)

Fog drenched Angelica (Marin Headlands)

Stapelveldt Trail (Muir Woods)

Stapelveldt Trail (Muir Woods)

One of the benefits of the lingering summer fog banks in the Bay Area is that it extends the length of our wildflower season. Even now, in late summer, there are abundant blooms on Mt. Tamalpais and even more so on the trails of the Marin Headlands.

Dipsea Trail wildflowers (Muir Woods)

Dipsea Trail wildflowers (Muir Woods)

Marin Headlands

Marin Headlands

Thistle (Dipsea Trail)

Thistle (Dipsea Trail)

Chaparral Pea (Mt. Tamalpais)

Chaparral Pea (Mt. Tamalpais)

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About victorvolta

I am a freelance photographer/writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up in the very suburban city of Santa Clara. Education: San Jose State University (class of '84) BA degree in Journalism with concentrations in Photojournalism and English. Favorite Foods: Ribeye steaks and Stan's Doughnuts (separate plates, usually). Favorite Drinks: Strong gourmet coffee and Trader Joe's Blood Orange Italian Soda (separate cups).
This entry was posted in California State Parks, Local Hikes, Mt. Tamalpais, Muir Woods and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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