2010: A Year of Hikes

Once of the good things about taking pictures during the year is that they remind you of things that you may have already forgotten. In my mind, we’d hardly got in any hikes in 2010, especially given the extra-rainy weather, but the pictures prove that we managed to fit in a pretty decent number of hikes, especially during the slightly less rainy spring months.

(In the interest of space, I didn’t include any City walks, like our walk through Glen Canyon on the first weekend of 2010, or our walk through Presidio Habitats.)

We hiked Bear Valley to Arch Rock in Point Reyes on a cloudy day in February. 

One positive of all the rain we got in 2010 was that there were lots of wildflowers and we found both wildflowers and panoramic views of the City on our hike up San Bruno Mountain. This was the only hike we did twice in 2010: we went once by ourselves and then took my parents and my sister up a few weeks later.

At least we lucked out on weather during our anniversary trip to mouse-infested Green Gulch. Staying at Green Gulch also gave me a chance to explore the network of trails above Muir Beach, around Green Gulch, and down new-to-us parts of Mt. Tam. We finished a long loop hike with a beer at the Pelican Inn.

We were also lucky to hit Audubon Canyon Ranch in Bolinas in time to see nesting Great egrets (the preserve is only open from mid-March to mid-July). I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the heron nests, unfortunately. Many herons nest in the same tree so from a distance, the tree looked dusted in white puffs of cotton. As you might imagine, the preserve was packed full of REI-clad bird nerds, but we escaped most of them as we hiked deeper into the forest. It was such a big change from all the wide-open coastal hikes we’d taken at Green Gulch.

The most rigorous hike of the year was our trek up Eagle Peak, a side peak on Mt. Diablo. The views were incredible — from Mount Tam out across the central valley to the snowy Sierra. This year, I hope to finally hike to the top of Diablo.

In April, after we’d heard my parents had spotted a Bald eagle nesting along the Yuba River, we headed up north to hike the Buttermilk Trail. We never saw the eagle, but we saw lots of new wildflowers (photo: Mr. WholeHog), took in some pretty views of the river and to our surprise, the day after our hike, it snowed.

We used to only go to Napa to taste wine, but in April, we went to soak in the hot pools at Indian Springs and we took a short hike at Bothe Napa State Park.

We stayed in the City for Thanksgiving this year and on Friday after Thanksgiving, we went up to Mt. Tam with what felt like half of Marin. We took a new path just off Laurel Dell and discovered a neat waterfall.

On the last day of the year, we returned to a hike we first did almost 5 years ago in the Santa Cruz Mountains, right off Skyline Road. This relatively short loop (~4-5 miles), leads along a creek, through an ancient apple orchard and up to a ridge where you can sit on Wallace Stegner’s bench and take in the view.

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