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Archive for the ‘beer’ Category

Hi there. I know, it’s been a while. Yes, I’m still walking. Last few months have been stressful with job hunting, but hiking and being outdoors has continued to be therapeutic. I’ve also been doing a lot of volunteer work i.e., Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, and Just Call Us Volunteers. We help others to help ourselves, right? Today I did a 5K walk through the San Diego neighborhood of North Park to support the Uptown Faith Community Center. The event helped to raise funds for providing needed services to homeless and low income people. A few friends and I started the walk at 8 a.m. in Hillcrest. We walked through the neighborhood of North Park carrying signs and receiving honks from passersby. At the completion of the event we were greeted with medals and a hearty breakfast of ham, eggs, pancakes and coffee. This was a lot different from the Bikes and Beer event I did last weekend! Just doing my part in supporting the community. 🙂

Fellow walkers

Fellow walkers

 

Keep smiling!  Half way there!

Keep smiling! Half way there!

 

We passed by San Diego's famous Chicken Pie Shop.  I have eaten there once.  A long time ago.

We passed by San Diego’s famous Chicken Pie Shop. I have eaten there once. A long time ago.

 

The flowers are blooming!  San Diego received much-needed rain this week.

The flowers are blooming! San Diego received much-needed rain this week.

 

A stop at Mission Brewery during the Bikes and Beer event on March 29, 2013.

A stop at Mission Brewery during the Bikes and Beer event on March 29, 2013.

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I was up in northern California visiting my mom during the Christmas/New Year’s break.  She lives in the small town of Manchester on the Mendocino Coast.  Now this is truly northern California as Manchester is about a 3-hour drive north of San Francisco.  Whenever my uncle phones her he jokingly asks, “So, how is Oregon?”  The terrain is quite different from southern California.  The area is covered with dense forests of redwood trees rather than open desert terrain.  There are some hiking opportunities in Mendocino County, but after a while I think one would miss the challenging rugged trails of southern California.  In any event, one can manage to stay active by walking along the coast or along country roads, or go for a bike ride and brave the traffic on Highway 1.  During my two-week stay I explored the coastal Stornetta Public Lands, hiked in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and Mendocino Woodlands State Park, and of course I couldn’t pass up a tour of Anderson Valley Brewing Co.  If you plan on driving through this area, then I recommend visiting these places.

15-mile road hike on Philo-Greenwood Road

15-mile road hike on Philo-Greenwood Road

 

Stornetta Public Lands with view of Point Arena Lighthouse

Stornetta Public Lands with view of Point Arena Lighthouse

 

Hiking in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park with views of the town of Kenwood outside the city of Santa Rosa

Hiking in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park with views of the town of Kenwood outside the city of Santa Rosa

 

Tour of Anderson Valley Brewing Co. in Boonville, California

Tour of Anderson Valley Brewing Co. in Boonville, California

 

I felt very little when we were hiking in the Mendocino Woodlands State Park!

I felt very little when we were hiking in the Mendocino Woodlands State Park!

 

 

 

 

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I did my first Sierra Club backpack bus trip during the Labor Day weekend. About 50 of us packed a bus on Thursday evening and headed over to Upper Sage Campground near Big Pine, California. We arrived to the campground at midnight and quickly set up our tents near Big Pine Creek. Friday morning we woke up to clear skies and warm weather. The bus was scheduled to pick us up at 9 a.m. so we had plenty of time to break camp, cook breakfast and reconsider what we were bringing on the trip. My pack weighed about 30 pounds! I also got to meet the 12 other members of my group. A few of them I had hiked with before. Our trip, Group #3, was destined for Bishop Pass. I had been to Mammoth and June Lake before, but this was my first time in the Bishop Pass area. The bus was on time and we quickly loaded again. By 11:30 a.m. we were at South Lake, at the Bishop Pass trailhead (it took a long time because we had to pick up permits and drop off the other three groups at their trailheads.) The last time I had backpacked was last Thanksgiving in the Grand Canyon so several days before this trip I was worried. But I meditated and hoped that all would go well. And off we went. Wow.

Hiking along Long Lake

Hiking along Long Lake

The scenery was amazing. We passed so many lakes, trees, and mountains and the cloud formations were spectacular! I could not stop taking photos.

View of Bull Lake

View of Bull Lake

I said to myself, “Now why haven’t I been here more often?” The weather reports for the weekend said 50% chance of rain. By the time we reached the base of Bishop Pass, the clouds on the other side looked ominous. Several members who had backpacked in the area before and the leader decided to set up camp at Bishop Lake and then go over the pass the next morning.

Bishop Lake

Bishop Lake

So we set up our tents and unloaded packs. Happy hour eventually turned into cooking dinner and before we reached the dessert course it started raining. So we quickly went into our tents around 6:30 p.m. and took a nap. My tent did well against the rain. Finally around 7:30 p.m. the storm had cleared and we went outside to wait for the stars to come out. We stood around and talked and fortunately one person brought a flask of Scotch. I brought a mini plastic bottle of Sangria, but I think next time I’ll bring a flask of Bailey’s. Once I couldn’t withstand the cold anymore I called it a night. And I slept soundly. Saturday morning I woke up to a damp sleeping bag and pad. So we had to wait for our gear to dry out before we could head over the pass. My pack felt heavier since some of my gear was still damp. Anyway, off we marched over to the famous Bishop Pass. Wow! The views at the top were spectacular!

The view from Bishop Pass

The view from Bishop Pass

It was tough getting over the pass with a full pack but I did it and I enjoyed my well-deserved Snickers Bar. We took a break at the top and took pictures near the sign. Later that day we set up camp at Upper Dusy Basin lakes and did a day hike to the Lower Dusy Basin lakes.

Lower Dusy Basin lakes

Lower Dusy Basin lakes

We had wanted to go to Knapsack Pass, but again, the weather looked ominous. After we returned to camp and had dinner, several members decided to dance to the Bee Gees at 10,000 ft.

The Palisades

The Palisades

Yes, the Sierra Club has a thing about not allowing sound-generating devices on trips, but….Day 3 found us going over Bishop Pass in the morning on our way towards the Chocolate Lakes.

Tina and I at Bishop Pass, again!

Tina and I at Bishop Pass, again!

We set up camp at Chocolate Lake #2.

Chocolate Lake #2

Chocolate Lake #2

That evening we were rewarded by a beautiful sunset!

Last evening

Last evening

I slept well that last evening and I was not looking forward to the return home. So when I awoke the next morning a friend and I decided to check out Chocolate Lake #3 and hike up to the saddle to see Ruwau Lake.

Chocolate Lake #3

Chocolate Lake #3

Ruwau Lake

Ruwau Lake

I took a moment to say good-bye and thank you for a great trip.

Heading out of camp looking down at Chocolate Lake #1

Heading out of camp looking down at Chocolate Lake #1

In search of cold beer....

In search of cold beer….

And before I knew it I was back on the bus headed towards San Diego, but at least I was enjoying a couple of Mammoth Brewing brews.

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I visited my sister in San Francisco over the Memorial Day weekend.  On Sunday she took me to her favorite trails in Mt. Tamalpais State Park.

Park entrance

Park entrance

We managed to find a parking spot near the Pantoll Ranger Station despite the amount of tourists (yes, I was one of them).  We started on the Coastal Fire Road and then hooked on to the Dipsea Trail.  It was sunny when we began our hike and a layer of fog was hugging the coastline.

Coastal fog

Coastal fog

My sister was disappointed that I didn’t get clear views of the city and coast, but I thought it was still quite beautiful.  Once we got onto the Dipsea Trail we were hiking in a thick forest of redwoods.

Moss on trees

Moss on trees

I was amazed!  Those trees are beautiful, and despite my sister’s 3.5 mph pace, I managed to keep up with her and take pictures!  Several trail runners passed us and I thought to myself that this would be a great place for them.

My sister calls these the "Pillars of Tam".

My sister calls these the “Pillars of Tam”.

Our descent on the trail had me wondering, what will the ascent be like?  We hooked onto the aptly named Steep Ravine Trail.  Thankfully the towering trees provided shade and cooler temperatures for me to keep up with my sister on our ascent back to the ranger station.

Redwoods

Redwoods

When we returned to the station, my sister and I took a short break and then decided to do a different trail.  We took the Alpine Trail to the TCC Trail which had less elevation gain and was a great way to cool down and have conversations without running out of breath.

On the TCC trail.

On the TCC trail.

End of our hike.

End of our hike.

Afterwards we decided that we needed to rehydrate and that beer was in order.  She took me to the Gestalt Haus in the quaint town of Fairfax.  It was a neat bar where we enjoyed drinks and sausages (vegan too) amongst mountain bikers who hung up their bikes inside the bar and caught up on rides with their friends.

Great biker bar!

Great biker bar!

Thanks to my sister for a magical day outdoors.

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