September 13, 2013
It’s that ‘in-between’ time of the year. Most Bay Area wildflowers have lost their bloom, local creeks are dry or a sad trickle, it’s still too early for Sierra aspens to don their Fall colors, and rainy season is still months away. And unfortunately, parts of Yosemite and now Mt. Diablo are still smoldering from this year’s brutal fire season. But the hiking is still wonderful. I love the angle of the light in late summer and Autumn. Recently I hiked Cull Canyon in Castro Valley. The Chabot to Garin Trail is a fun pretty trail that isn’t too demanding. Since it’s mainly in a canyon, with majestic oaks and bay laurels growing along the way, it’s well shaded and it stays relatively cool on warm days like my recent trip.
I stumbled across this park in the summer of 2009 when I was working in Castro Valley and looking for new local trails on which to train for one of my Mt. Whitney attempts. With a fully loaded 45 pound pack, it was a good, hard hike. I recently wrote an article about it for the Examiner.com. That’s also the summer that I first visited Mt. Tamalpais (also with a full pack). My life has never been the same. In a spectacularly good way, of course. That first trip, I had little clue on where to go or hike – this was right before I became an avid hiker and learned that a trail map is a spectacular idea, especially when it’s your first visit. But the hiking Gods were looking over me that day and with the guidance of fellow hikers, I hiked from Mountain Home Inn to the bottom of the Steep Ravine Trail and back via the Troop 80, Bootjack and Dipsea Trails.
Now, almost four years later, I’ve accumulated enough photos of Mt. Tam & Muir Woods to put together a photo book. I’ll be self-publishing it and hope to have it available for sale by October 1st. Here’s a sample draft of the cover and title page:
This in-between time also means that I’m not really training for anything specific. But essentially, I stay in shape for no other purpose than for the next hike and for what I hope will be a good ski (& snowshoe) season. Each year, though, once the calendar turns over to the new year, the Mt. Whitney switch inside my head clicks on and I turn up the intensity.