Wednesday, October 31, 2012

North Bayshore Bikeway Bike Ride

This afternoon I took a bike ride heading north along the Bayshore Bikeway towards downtown San Diego.  But a couple of miles south of downtown it was getting late and I turned around and headed back.

I'll give it another try sometime but will ride the trolley downtown instead.  It sounds like I can take my bike on the trolley so I plan to bike from a downtown station over to Balboa Park for a look around.

The whole ride round trip was about 16 miles with about 10 of that on the Bayshore Bikeway.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cowels Mountain - Barker Way Trail Head

I got just lost enough on this hike to make it interesting.  The picture below shows in red the rout I'd intended to take to the top and the blue line shows the track that I actually took.  Somehow on the way up I got diverted way over to the main summit trail.

The trailhead on Barker Way.

The trail was pretty well marked so I'm not sure how I got so confused about where I was supposed to be.

The up side to this rout up is that it was a lot less popular than the main trail that I hiked up last week.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

McGinty Mountain Hike

Yesterday I hiked up McGinty Mountain about 15 miles east of San Diego and near the small town of  Jamul.  The round trip hike is about 3.5 miles with about a thousand foot elevation gain from the trail head to the summit.

On the way down we spotted a small smoke plume in the distance-- barely visible here behind and to the left of the mountains in the distance.

The smoke plume doubled in size as we stood around for a couple minutes while deciding to call 911.  There's a good chance that the fire was actually in Mexico since we're not far from the boarder here.  We did in fact end up calling 911 to report it but the last I checked it doesn't show up on the California wildfire webpage.  There is a fire that appears on a NOAA map just over the boarder in Mexico though.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Imperial Beach - Bay Rout Bikeway

Yesterday I took a bike ride over to the ocean to Imperial Beach at the south end of San Diego Bay.  A big part of the rout was on the Bay Rout Bikeway.

I rode a little over 20 miles through the course of the trip but the actual rout as mapped out above in about 8.5 miles one way.

The rout goes by the South Bay Salt Works.

South Bay Salt Works has been in operation since the 1870's and produces 75,000 tons of salt yearly.

The public fishing pier at the end of Evergreen Avenue in Imperial Beach.

The light wind looked just right for the beginner para-sailors.

IB is a popular place to surf but I guess not today.

There seemed to be a lot of people fishing from the pier but I didn't see anyone actually catch anything.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cowels Mountain Hike

I've been especially interested in finding hikes close to home and yesterday I hiked up Cowels Mountain which is about a twenty minute drive from where I'm living in Chula Vista just south of San Diego.

The round trip to the top on the main trail is about three miles long and is easy to follow.  This is a VERY popular hike and I passed a couple of dozen people on the way up and another couple dozen on the way down.  I'm sure I'll be back to give the altenate routs to the top a try.

This is a view to the south not far from the trail head with Lake Murray in the distance. 
A view to the west with downtown San Diego and Point Loma in the far distance.

View to the north from the top.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mt Laguna Short Hikes

Yesterday my friends Jimmy and Mary and dog Max invited me to go on a hike with them near Mt Laguna in the Cleveland National Forest east of San Diego.

The university has a number of telescope observatories in this area-- at least four that I could see.  This picture is taken next to one of the observatories.

We hiked to a number of different overlooks and from this one I think we were looking to the northeast with the Salton Sea in the distance.  And as you can see it's honest-to-god desert out there.

Monday, October 15, 2012

California Highway 1

I spent from last Wednesday until Sunday driving down California's Highway 1.  It's such a beautiful drive I never get tired of it even though I've done it several times in my life.

 This was my first ocean sighting near Monterey.

Campsite at Big Sur.  It was cloudy and rained a bit while I was here but I was able to enjoy a short hike along the Big Sur River that runs through the campground.

Miller time at a Highway 1 roadside pull out...

Surfers at a beach pull off.  It looked like the average surf board ride lasts for one or two seconds with the longest ride lasting about 10 seconds.

This para-glider seemed to appear out of nowhere and circle the area for nearly a half hour then landed on the beach below.

Friday night I wasn't able to find a camp sight and ended up sleeping at a turnout on Highway 1.  This is the view I woke up to out the van window the next morning.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Rogue River, Oregon - Hiking & Camping

I left Bend at about noon on Friday and drove about 2 1/2 hours south to camp on the Upper Rogue River for a couple of days of hiking.

 The camp grounds are pretty empty in spite of the warm temps. [mid-70's during the day, low 40's at night]
On Saturday I hiked south to the Natural Bridge-- a place where the river disappears into a lave tube for about 100 yards.

 Here's the spot where the river re-emerges from the lava tube.
 Rogue River rapids.

Fall colors along the riverside trail.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hike Up Pilot Butte - Bend, OR

Today I went for a short hike up Pilot Butte, a volcanic cinder cone, located within the city of Bend and only about a mile from my friends Perry and Carol's house at the Higher Ground Co-Housing community.  There are a number of cinder cones like this in this area of central Oregon.

Pilot Butte's peak is about 500 feet above the surrounding city and takes about an hour to hike the round trip from the base to the summit.

There are a lot of Juniper trees along the trail and are full of Juniper berries at this time of year.  The berries are pretty small and firm at this point and taste like pine needles.  These berries can be used to flavor gin and give it it's characteristic pine needle taste.

In this view to the west you see smoke from the forest fires near Sisters, OR about 20 miles away.

Mt Bachelor to the west and obscured by smoke.

I think these are the Three Sisters peaks to the west obscured by lots of  smoke from the forest fires.

South view from the top of Pilot Butte.