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?

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? 

Hike: Ring Mountain

Today we did a quick 2 mile hike at Ring Mountain Open Space in Marin County. It was just enough to shake the fog and stretch our legs...perfect after a long and slightly lazy holiday weekend. Ring Mountain (also known as Turtle Rock) is one of my favorite quick escapes out of San Francisco because it's five minutes from the freeway, has beautiful views all around of the bay, the city, and Mt. Tam, and the geology and plant life are really interesting, too. I highly recommend exploring here. It's a great spot to take kids, too. Park on the north side to head up the loop trail and you'll get a good climb up to the summit through wildflowery grasslands and California bay laurel stands. As always in this part of the word, do watch out for poison oak! 

Outside Wins Again

A week ago I took the little one to Breakfast With Enzo (a fun music session for kids) at Sports Basement. Rather than race home for nap time, I put Abigail in the stroller, crossed my fingers, and took off down Crissy Field for an urban hike. I never get tired of the views and the non-city feeling there. We're lucky that Abigail has always been good at napping on the go...and this day she surprised me by sleeping for two hours. That meant that I ended up walking Crissy Field to the end of the Marina Green, back down to the Warming Hut, back again to the Wave Organ, and then back to Crissy Field...I think it was six or seven miles. My legs were achy and my ears were cold, but it was so worth it. Yes, I stopped for coffee and a Dynamo Donut, but what really made the morning was just being outside, getting air, and observing. I saw 19 different species of birds. I watched the fog break up. I listened to the crunch of gravel underfoot and the sploosh of waves on the bay. When Abigail woke up we walked and explored together a little before taking off for lunch. It was joyous and refreshing and I'm wondering where we should get outside this weekend. Where will you get out?

Transient

november flashback

I know it's February, but I still have things to document & remember from the end of last year. Today, just a few snaps from our Thanksgiving adventures in Yosemite.  After our fab dinner at the Ahwahnee we spent the rest of the weekend hiking and exploring.

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We walked the 13 mile Valley Floor loop. The trail is in the forest most of the way...where we saw a zillion different mushrooms. The next day wehiked about 13 miles again while trying to get to a place called the Diving Board It has no marked trail and is on the 'shoulder' of Half Dome. This famous photo was taken from there. We didn't have precise directions or a lot of daylight, so we didn't quite make it, but had a pretty little corner of wilderness all to ourselves and are looking forward to going to the Diving Board sometime this year...well, one of us anyway...we'll see if this little mama feels up to it. Because of the weird warm weather, bears were still out and about. We didn't see one, but found evidence. I was looking at some of the pictures of me from this trip and I look a little beat up in every one...a combination of miles of walking, no makeup, and, as we later found out, my body starting to switch to pregnant mode. Our last morning we hiked the Mirror Lake loop...scrambling over a huge rock slide on one side. Have you ever noticed that going on a loop in the opposite direction than the one recommended is often more interesting? Try it next time you're hiking.