Hike: Purisima Creek

We try to do a family hike every Sunday, and we most often find ourselves north of San Francisco. Today...we were too tired. We went out for breakfast sandwiches instead. But last Sunday we mixed it up and had one of our best hikes in a while. We headed south to Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve

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Purisima Creek is just south of Half Moon Bay, California and can be accessed from off Highway 1 or from Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard). We chose the smaller, western access point up Purisima Creek Road, which allowed us to stop off in Half Moon Bay for trail food and a quick side adventure. The drive up Purisima Creek Road is a lovely roll through horse ranches and farms...and while the parking lot at the end of the road is tiny, there's ample room on the side of the quiet road. 

Purisima Creek seemed like a great area for hiking and getting a dose of nature with kids of all ages, even just by doing short, simple out-and-back walks along the creek. We saw several other families there throughout the day. Many of the trails are wide, and the creek itself is great for picnicking and tossing rocks. Fast mountain bikes and poison oak are the main hazards. 

You can view a trail map HERE. Our route was Harkins Ridge Trail - Craig Britton Trail - Purisima Creek Trail, which came out to about 7 miles. Harkins Ridge Trail is the steeper part of this loop and we decided to tackle it first. 

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The views were full of forest, hills, and even a peek of the ocean. We saw lizards & butterflies, and heard many birds. There were flowers blooming here and there, including trillium. We'll definitely be trying some more loops in this area. Perhaps tomorrow.

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We are lucky to have a kid who loves to be outside and who can sleep easily in a carrier on the trail. It means we can usually plan our hike to incorporate a nap and get more mileage. After a picnic down by the creek our girl slept in a chest carrier most of the way up Harkins Ridge. She's quite petite still at 2.5 years, but is nearly too big for her carriers now. Our kid is getting pretty good at hiking on her own, though, too...she more or less ran down most of Purisima Creek Trail...once we got past the really oaky bits and let her down.

Have you tried a new trail lately or otherwise mixed up your routine?

Woah, PeeWee!

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Nothing like a little girl's first pony ride! On our way to our Sunday hike we passed Lemos Farm outside of Half Moon Bay. Almost anytime we catch a glimpse of a horse, our little one says she wants to ride...so seeing little ponies by the highway, we decided to u-turn and have a some quick fun. She said she was all done after only a few minutes...but talked about it all day and asked to ride PeeWee again later, so I say that was $8 well spent. 

Sweet Monday

Daylight Savings seems to be hitting us a bit hard this spring...we couldn't quite make it out for our usually Sunday hike. But then we stumbled into a Monday without anything on our schedules. We celebrated with a leisurely hike thru Tennessee Valley for a picnic and some beach exploration. Weekday hikes are always just a little bit sweeter, don't you think? 

Kicking Myself

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I got new "kicks"! Get it? Kicking myself? Groan. Long story short, I have some minimalist trail runners that I love wearing..they are light and I feel quick in them. But I convinced myself they were making a knee problem worse. The more likely truth is that I have been rather complacent about some physical therapy exercises I was given back in November to combat my knee problem...patellofemoral syndrome, a vague but promising diagnosis. But a diagnosis doesn't fix it, especially when you don't follow instructions. For that, I really am kicking myself.

Long, long ago, when I was a consistent runner (which I'm aiming to be again...I think), I preferred trail runners because they were a little more rugged and seemed to protect me from rolling my ankle so often. I picked up these Montrail FluidFlex II because they were on sale, cool looking, and had good reviews. I thought they'd solve all my problems and my months of not doing the proper knee work would be irrelevant. So, of course, on my first time out with these, I did a major ankle roll while trying to fight through the worst, sharp knee pain. It wasn't an EPIC fail, but it was disappointing and frustrating. Problems decidedly not solved, with no one to blame but myself. So, it's ice packs, stretches, and strengthening for me...EVERY NIGHT. I think I'll reward myself with a run next week. In the meantime, walking, hiking, and biking, stiff ankle and achey knee be damned.

Anything you're kicking yourself for this week?