Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Walking

One of the benefits of a mid-life career course correction, is having the time to catch up on some hiking. If I could insure writing about my walks would provide as much pleasure to someone as I receive in doing them, I would. But I can't.

Oh what the hey, I will anyway...

But before I write about any specific walk, I must share my awe and appreciation for how many hiking options I have to pick from.

In the SF Bay Area alone, California Hiking, lists over 60 regional parks, wilderness refuges and open space preserves. It's an embarrassment of riches. Each area offers many miles of trails. I could spend the rest of my life hiking and would probably never see all of it, let alone put a significant dent in the High Sierra, gold country, the northern redwood 'lost coast'...and then there's the rest of the state. The above guide details over 1000 statewide hikes. I can't imagine how John Muir got to see as much as he did.

But there's more. We have untold acres of open space land trusts. To name just a few of the agencies dedicated to preserving open (and public) spaces on the SF Peninsula: The Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), The Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD), California Coastal Conservancy (CCC), Pacifica Land Trust, Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), The Trust for Public Land (TPL) & The Committee for Green Foothills. There's plenty more site-specific groups, also dedicated to acquiring and maintaining the land.

The end result of all this bounty is - most hikes not only offer natural beauty, you also get solitude. In an area with over 8 million people, that's quite an accomplishment.

In the past week, I've been on three great - and very different - hikes: Pedro Point Headlands; Rancho Corral de Tierra and Almaden Quicksilver County Park. I'm averaging about 7 miles per hike, which is plenty. You might notice from the links that they all are 3 dimensional walks - Almaden topped off at 1740 feet and Corral de Tierra was about the same.

I'll try to compose some trail notes, from memory, soon.

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