alamere falls (from palomarin trailhead)

We drove to Marin (again) to do the Alamere Falls hike. Apparently this is the Mission Peak of north bay – masses of people, a scramble in the end… but at least the hike is mostly shaded and not as much elevation gain.

It took us 4 hours which included a leisurely lunch break at the falls. The hike was pretty easy, mostly flat for most of the trail. Lots of poison oak.

I’m ready for a longer hike!!

stinson beach to pantoll loop

We went on a hike today with Kevin, Kaleb, Brandon and Justin. Stanley and I drove with Kevin and picked up Kaleb on the way from Oakland. The drive there was long – about 1:45, sigh. Marin is so far away!

I accidentally gave Brandon and Justin false directions, so they were at a different trailhead, but we decided just to take our own trails and possibly meet in the middle. Which we did! Which was pretty fun.

The hike took us about 4 hours and 30 minutes, with a ~15-20 minute lunch break and Trojan Point and a potty break at Pantoll. Slightly faster than bahiker’s estimate since we took the Trojan point detour. The beginning of the hike was quite steep and we were all really winded, but after ~2 miles it quickly leveled out for the remainder of way, til the Trojan Point detour. We walked straight up the mountain which was soo tiring lol. The rest of the loop after Pantoll was tame, just a steady downhill all the way back to Stinson beach.

Round trip measures 8 miles on Gmaps. I’d like to do the full hike from Stinson beach all the way to Mt Tam someday, but that’s 16 miles and about 9 hours. Maybe about a month before we get scheduled for Half Dome…

angel island

Stan booked a campsite (#4!) at Angel Island for the second weekend of July and 8 of us spent a night on the island. Sophie, Eric, Amy, Joe, Josh and Roberta joined us this time. We took the 10-ish AM ferry from Pier 41, arrived at the island around 11 and decided to do a quick hike to the summit. The island is so small that the summit hike took less than 2 hours starting and ending at the dock. We got back, had lunch by the dock, and then hiked over with all our gear to the campsite on the other side of the island, taking part of the Perimeter road. The campsite was amazing, with a great near-360 view of SF and all the bridges. We basically chilled at camp the rest of the day. The next morning we decided to take the rest of the perimeter road (5 miles?) back to the dock for our return ferry. And just like that we essentially traversed the entire tiny island, haha.

mt diablo

Stanley, Justin and I went to Mt Diablo a few weekends ago (7/23-7/24)! The park gate is closed from sunset til 8am, so instead of rushing over there after work on Friday, we left south bay early morning on Saturday morning. It took about 2 hours to get there in the morning, and we arrived basically as the gate was opening at 8am. Found a relatively shady campsite, made some cashew butter and plum jam sandwiches, and headed off for our hike!

It was a great hike (in my opinion)!! Started off with some downhill, which I appreciated because I hate downhills at the end of hikes, lol. It was relatively flat until we got on the ridge trail – that diagonal cut-off across the top. We had an option to continue following the fire road (only an additional 0.2 miles, but definitely probably less fun) so I led our party onto the ridge trail. I’ve never hiked a ridge trail before and it was so much fun. There were enough small trees and shrubbery for most of that leg of the trail to keep us mostly shady. Path was barely wide enough for two feet, lots of squatting to avoid getting face slapped by leaves and poison oak, rocky and inclined for major muscle activation lol. My favorite part was the twists and turns where you don’t know what’s next – a small hill? A flat rest area? Rocks, trees, bushes?

The summit itself was whatever, views of dead grass in the hot of the summer… I prefer hiking in areas that are more isolated from city life, but from the summit of Mt Diablo you can just barely make out the San Francisco skyline in the distance. Pretty fun to notice how far and how close we can get from the city… puts things in perspective, huh?

We got back to the campsite around 2 or 3? Bummed around and snacked, took a group nap, then prepped burgers for dinner. Played a few board games, played some pokeymans, took some pictures, and KO’d for bed early as usual :)

labor day weekend

Someone said that in 2015, Memorial Day was at the earliest day possible and Labor Day was at the latest day possible, defining the longest unofficial summer, but in my mind the longest time between paid holidays/free 3-day weekends at work. Certainly felt like a breath of fresh air. It’s amazing how much just a single day of disruption to the norm of working life can feel so liberating.

I didn’t do much this weekend – it was great. Took a couple naps. Normal weekend activities like running, yoga, farmer’s market. We went to the mall on Saturday to browse and run errands; I bought a pair of shoes from the Nordstrom sale to consider for a few weeks. (Still the best return policy ever.) Yesterday I went hiking with Kristen, Rose and Yvonne at Sanborn County Park, which was recommended by Eric(‘s dad) as his favorite hike because of the full shade. It was pretty nice, only about 30 minutes away and mostly flat. I think hiking a loop is typically more fun than an out-and-back, plus the trail we took (from Sunnyvale Mountain Trailhead to Indian Rock and back) didn’t have a lot of vista points nor was the rock at the end that exciting. But the walk was nice, and the shade was super appreciated on the 96 deg F high day. I carried an extra 10-15 lbs of water, snacks, camera, miscellany, for a cross-training day instead of running per my half marathon plan. It was totally fine and I’d like to potentially carry more next time if the trail was similarly flat (~600 ft gain/3 miles one way).

Yesterday afternoon Nancy and I dropped by Fitgeek (running shoe store by Ike’s in Cupertino) to chat with the experts about running shoes and methods, and to get “gait analysis” done on our running form. As expected, my running form is good (mid-foot strike, no over- or under-pronation) but my feet do land a little more centerlined under my body than ideal. Best joint alignment is for the feet to land directly under the hips. I’ll try being more conscious about my running form next time, and see if it makes any difference. I run in near-barefoot shoes, and I asked the guy if there was anything I could do about arch soreness. He basically said if it’s not pain, my body will probably adjust to it, but if it bothered me I should try a shoe with a little more stiffness. I’m going to try putting heel/arch half inserts into my shoes during my next run, too, to see if my plantar-whatever gets less sore.

It was fun to watch my feet and legs running in super slow motion, to see how the feet land and legs adjust and absorb motion. Somewhat disappointing that they didn’t have any magical fix solutions for my miniscule complaints, but grateful that I don’t have actual aches and pains that would keep me from my goals. Nancy’s analysis was about the same, lol.