Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Photo Stores



OTHER Places...have cool things too HAHA

Carhenge: http://www.carhenge.com/
Foamhenge: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9209

Bay To Breakers!! SF! 3rd Sunday of May

PILLOW FIGHT! Valentines Day: http://pillowfight.info/

Ohlone Regional Wilderness, Del Valle Regional Park between Livermore & Sunol

Ann L.
Fremont, CA
4 star rating3/22/2006
If you are a true hiker you have to go to Murietta Falls-at least once! It's a total butt-kicker of a hike and only recommended in the Winter or Early Spring and very strong hikers because otherwise you'll just want to die. Get the $2 wilderness pass (good for one year), parking is $6 (as of 2006) The hike is 12 miles but will feel longer and will take all day. Start very early, say 8am and start hiking. There are lots of climbing involved (3,300 foot climb), and easy to miss the falls since it's off the trail..have to do a cliff scramble down to get to the falls. Also go after it rains otherwise the falls won't be so good. Good views though on the hike. 5/5 difficulty; 8/10 views

Friday, January 23, 2009

Elephant Seals

Big Love
jan 24,2008

The true bad boys of the beach are back, and they're lookin' for a little lovin'. Every year at this time, elephant seals converge on their favored breeding ground: Año Nuevo State Reserve, 13 miles south of Pescadero on the San Mateo coast. Visit through March and you'll be privy to one of nature's most amazing peep shows: two and a half tons of testosterone-fueled seal vying to be the alpha male among a harem of discerning females. Be forewarned, things can get ugly as the bulls fight for their chosen seal-queen. To see all the commotion, join one of the reserve's guided tours; these daily outings to the rookery get you as close as 25 feet to these behemoths. Bring a camera to capture the, um, action.

TIP: Want to overnight it? Grab a coastal cabin nearby.

Año Nuevo State Reserve is 55 miles south of San Francisco on Highway 1. Reservations are required for guided walks to the rookery. For a map and more information click here.


Mt. Diablo Diamond Waterfalls

Diablo Diamonds Waterfall
feb 28,2008

With its looming peak and devilish name, it's hard to imagine Mt. Diablo having a softer side. But winter's rains bring an unexpected boon: four watery cascades spill off the mountain's northern flank. And getting to them is half the fun. Start the 5-mile hike (round-trip) with a gentle climb up Donner Canyon Road, passing an old cabin site and large oak trees. Follow the rushing creek before ascending an open slope that offers uninterrupted views of the Irish green canyons and hills leading to Mt. Diablo's summit. Then take Middle Trail, a narrow path that ducks through manzanitas, until it links up with the Falls Trail, which skirts the side of the mountain. Parts of this path seem better suited to goats, so take your time and watch your step. The upward climb rewards with increasingly better perspectives on the falls. Take a break on a grassy knoll and enjoy huge views of the northern valley. Don't wait to make this visit—these falls usually dry up by late spring and are best after a steady rainfall.

TIP: Quench your thirst afterwards at the Clayton Club Saloon. With cowboy boots hanging from the ceiling, the scene is Old West at its best.

To reach the waterfalls loop trail: From Walnut Creek, take Ygnacio Valley Rd. 8 miles east to Clayton Rd. Stay on Clayton Rd., which turns into Marsh Creek Rd. (don't turn right at the first sign for Marsh Creek Rd.), until it intersects Regency Dr. Turn right onto Regency Dr. The trailhead is at the end of the road. Hike the Donner Canyon Fire Road south. After about 1 mile, you'll come to the Meridian Ridge and Cardinet Oaks Fire Road junction; turn right onto Meridian Ridge. After a few hundred feet, turn left onto the Middle Trail, which climbs up and connects to the Falls Trail. Continue on the Falls Trail, which ends at Cardinet Oaks. Turn left and take this back to the Donner Canyon Fire Road. For a map of Mt. Diablo and more info, click here. Donner Canyon Road can be muddy after rains; wear appropriate shoes.

Maybe it's because there aren't any signs, but a first trip to Carson Falls feels like traveling to a storybook oasis. Find this 100-foot series of cascading waterfalls just outside Fairfax in Marin County. But get there soon, because this beauty only awakes during the rainy season. Start the 1.5-mile jaunt (one-way) by climbing wide, rocky Pine Mountain Fire Road. While ascending, be sure to stop and turn around: the gently sloping spine of Mt. Tam comes into view, as do panoramas of San Pablo Bay and the Richardson Bridge. Leave the fire road and follow an unmarked trail into the forest, down a series of switchbacks until the falls come into sight. On a clear day, even in the winter, people will be relaxing on large rocks among the waterfall's multiple drops and pools. Look closely and you might even catch a glimpse of the fall's special residents: yellow-legged frogs. Pucker up!

From Highway 101 in Marin, exit Sir Francis Drake Blvd. toward San Rafael. Go about 6 miles to the town of Fairfax. Turn left on Pastori, immediately right on Broadway, then left on Bolinas Rd. Follow this 3.8 miles (go past the turn-off for Bon Tempe Lake and past the golf course). Park in the large pullout on the left (it fits about 20 cars). Cross the road, go through the rusty gate and up the fire road; this is Pine Mountain Fire Road. After 1 mile the road levels, turn left onto Oat Hill Fire Road. Hike .25 mile to an offshoot trail on the right. Follow this down .25 mile to the falls. Dog-friendly!

Berkeley Backyard Hidden Waterfalls

Backyard Waterfall!!

Tucked among the hillside houses of North Berkeley is a stairway that leads to a waterfall. It's not marked; you just need to know how to find it. The adventure starts at the partly hidden stairway behind the playground at Codornices Park (across from the Rose Garden). These stairs lead to a path, which leads to a second set of stairs and then a small gate. Beyond that gate is another world: a lush green canyon with a grove of redwood trees, a rushing creek, and a 40-foot series of cascading waterfalls. Walk across the creek via a wooden slab to get a better perspective on this hidden oasis.

The waterfall is at its best in the rainy months. Park at the entrance of Codornices Park, across from the Rose Garden, on Euclid Ave. and Eunice St. (map). Behind the wooden trolley in the playground are two sets of stairs; take the left set. At the top, continue left. Then look right for a winding concrete staircase; take these up, but not all the way. Twenty feet past the first green lamp post there's a small gate on the left with a "Private Property" sign. Enter the gate (it's OK, they allow you to visit) and veer left at the first junction. Follow your ears to the falls.

Dec 20, 2007
Walk around the UC Berkeley campus over the next couple of weeks and your only company will probably be chubby squirrels and crowing blackbirds. Students and faculty have vacated the university's 1,230 acres, leaving you plenty of space to roam one of the most sylvan campuses around. At no other time of year is Cal so tranquil; even usually chaotic Sproul Plaza is silent. Start at the historic Sather Gate, make a right, and wander along Strawberry Creek to the grassy, amphitheater-shaped Faculty Glade (once thought to be home to Ohlone Native Americans). On the western side of the glade, check out the Arleigh and Ruthie Williams Redwood Grove. When we were there last week, the branches were trimmed with paper snowflakes some holiday-spirited students had hung. Just look out for those Cal bears—they pop up in the most unexpected places.

TIP: End your wanderings on the leafy terrace of the Caffe Strada just across from the campus at the corner of College Ave. and Bancroft Way.

For a map of Berkeley campus click here.

The 50 Best Adventure Books of All Time!

The 50 Best Adventure Books of All Time!
Posted: 21 Jan 2009 01:57 PM CST


NileGuide, the same great online personal trip planning service I mentioned last week, have posted an awesome list of the Top 50 Adventure Books of All Time to their excellent NileGuidance Blog.

Their list consists of some amazing books, and they definitely seem to have hit all the classics. There are even a few honorable mentions that just missed the cut. This is a perfect list to use to expand your library and they even made it simple by adding links to the Amazon.com page to order your own copy of any book you don't already own.

The list runs the gamut of true life adventure, travel books, adventure novels, and more. I don't want to spoil the entire list, as part of the fun is the discovery of where your favorite fell, but the top five look like this:

1. The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

2. Wind, Sand, and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

3. The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz

4. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

5. No Picnic on Mount Kenya by Felice Benuzzi

Many more great books on the list. Be sure to check it out!

Whale Migration

From Good Migration

The Owl Trail, Marin's swooping seashore tramp, offers a special bonus in winter and spring: the chance to see migrating Gray Whales offshore. The 2-mile round-trip trek —not for those with a fear of heights—parallels Highway 1 between the Muir Beach Overlook and Slide Ranch( http://www.slideranch.org/ ). Pack your binoculars and your patience, and keep an eye out along the way for swashes on the Pacific, signaling spouting whales in the distance. Bonus sightings include the trail's namesake Great Horned Owls, along with a flock of curious sheep that live at Slide Ranch, a nonprofit teaching farm that's a crossroads destination on the trail. Upon reaching the ranch, continue past the office building and take the path—steep at one point—down to North Beach. Explore tide pools and take a breather on a giant rock, keeping your eyes peeled for those large gray wonders of the sea.

The Owl Trail starts from an unmarked trailhead at the north end of Muir Beach Overlook parking lot. Take this north all the way to Slide Ranch, and return on the same trail. No dogs.

TAKE A BOAT http://www.weekendsherpa.com/story/whale-watch-with-the-oceanic-society-out-of-half-moon-bay/473

ANOTHER HIKE OPTION: http://www.weekendsherpa.com/story/whale-watch-from-mori-point-in-pacifica/474

DRIVE IN WHALE WATCHING http://www.weekendsherpa.com/story/whale.watch.bodega.head/248