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San Francisco sunset, first of the new month and a lucky break with the extra dimension from the clouds... Ken.
Sun setting - 11/18/2010 from the Larkspur ferry.
SF Ferry Building, Embarcadero.
Pier at S.C.
...San Clemente shoreline hike and pier visit -- parallel to the railroad tracks.
Fiddlestix Vineyard off of Santa Rosa Rd. (in between Buellton and Lompoc).
Wine Country in Santa Barbara County -- Fiddlehead features the 7-2-8 on some of their pinot noir wine bottle labels.
View my Santa Barbara Wineries in a larger map
...Armstrong Redwoods revisit from prior month and Sonoma Coast - Hwy 1 scenic drive up to and then through the magnificent Anderson Valley wine country in Mendocino County (275 mile loop).
...Description and photos here... located just north of Guerneville along the currently dry Fife Creek...
Oat Hill fire rd. view to Tam
...A description and photos here--Carson Falls too, 99% dry...
Take the 692 Dipsea steps out of Old Mill Park and past the Tourist/Nature Club on Sun Trail, then past Mountain Home Inn and down the tenderfood trail and the wooded houses of Mill Valley along Cascade Dr. -- 6.8 miles... getting back to thwe Pantoll lot trailhead... Very hot going up Dipsea -- sunny, zero fog today.
Climb up and out of Stinson Beach via the Dipsea to the Steep ravine trail and the 15' ladder getting back to thwe Pantoll lot trailhead... Very hot going up Dipsea -- sunny, zero fog today.
Sunny, warm, and a repeat route from 2 years ago...
No fog, unlike two years ago! ...
Steepest hike you can do on Mt. Tamalpais...
Nice, fun, partially foggy morning...
The same hike as we did last October... Start off of tony Madrone Ave. in Larkspur up along Dawn Falls Trail along Larkspur Creek up to the Southern Marin Line / Crown fire road and to the roller Coaster of Blithedale Ridge and back down via Hoo-Koo-E-Koo trail (and past yellow jackets nest warnings this time).
Same trails as the Oct. 2008 hike.
We saw only one other person the 4.8 miles to the top -- a jogger. We sam him again as we started walking down, then just a few more groups getting a late (after 10 AM) start.
The door is now open another 3 weeks for Leos -- have at it!
Picnic time at Stafford Lake County Park... Cindy & Linda.
Alberto Contador (Astana) (ESP) will offically win the Tour de France tomorrow when it finishes in Paris. Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) (LUX) will come in 2nd place, only 39 secs. down.
Also, this is a Leo's time of the year, indeed.
China Camp hiking... Miwok Trail down seems closed for cood (it was marked closed last year when we hiked this May).
We started this hike late (after 9 a.m.) again because we had to watch the live coverage of stage 14 Tour de France!
Fourth of July hiking high up on Mt. Tamalpais --
Trailhead at the Rock Spring parking lot -- follows Cataract Creek to Laurel Dell picnic area; then on to
the High Marsh Trail and back via the Kent and Benstein trails... (P&S photos only) This is a vigorous loop with a few uphill steeps.
We started this hike late (after 9 a.m.) because we had to watch the live coverage of stage 1 Tour de France. Cannot miss that!
Fabulous D'Orsay art is on display at a special exhibit at the De Young museum, Golden Gate Park. We went to the first doors
opening Friday morning (tickets are sold for each half-hour entrance)...
Coming late September is the follow-up: Post Impressionism with Van Gogh & Monet among others: "Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay"
(photography not allow in the exhibit, too crowded after 10:30 a.m.) [De Young museum link]
Two strenous hikes we pulled off:
- Chilnualna Falls, 2400' elevation gain to the top
- Four Mile Trail up to Glacier Point and back, 3200' elevation gain to the top! And 57 switchbacks!
Two easy hikes:
- Mariposa Grove / lower
- Tenaya Creek/Mirror Lake from Curry Village
This is my fourth visit to Yosemite: the previous three were backpacking trips into its wilderness including camping wherever for a few nights. In July 2008 I blogged one of these trips here. This time we stayed at the Tenaya Lodge, in Fish Camp, just two miles outside of the Park's South Entrance (near Mariposa Grove and Wawona) on Hwy 41.
Panoramic Image - I stitched together 8 separate images for this large pano (4502 px. wide). Each image was shot at 26mm focal length at f/6.3
Live Webcam -- Half Dome viewed from Sentinel Dome from the Yosemite Association the "Yosemite Conservancy".
More photos: (will be updating evening of 7/8/10)
1. Mirror Lake
2. Chilnualna Creek/Falls
3. Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
4. Four Mile Trail up to Glacier Point and back down
5. Misc. including Tenaya Lodge and Curry Village and a bear. (will be updating evening of 7/8/10)
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts played in Petaluma at the fairgrounds Friday night. What a superb show! More... Lots of good photos too.
From Tennessee Valley and up Oakwood and Alta to Bobcat past the FAA installation, then up Wolf to Hill 88 and back... (no photos - not carry a camera first time ever) ...poison oak; Nissan Xterra cross country half-marathon...
Syrah wine competition of four bottles, poured blindly... seven judges: me, Cindy, David, Heather, Linda, Denise, & Tim (the Ridge Syrah from Denise & Tim won rather easily over three other excellent wines from Hanna, Denner, and Wind Gap).
Visiting the wineries and tasting and drinking the Rhone varietals of Paso Robles.
A Memorial Day tradition -- sort of like our anniversary gift to each other.
Previous visits:   
This year we tasted wine at Terry Hoage, Denner, Turley, & Venteux; also at Ecluse (new), Caliza, Booker, Villa Creek, & Calcaereous with olive oil at Pasolivo, & revisted Venteux; finally at Denner (again), Halter Ranch, and Hearthstone (new).
I can recommend easily each and every one of these to Rhone style red lovers. Go for it!
As for top notch B&B proprieters? Bobbi & Scott at Venteux Vineyards.
Arbor Rd. vineyards photo.
We did this same hike last November... (Eldridge Gr. at right) Crown Rd. down Allen Trail to Phoenix Lake, around the lake hike up Eldridge Grade to Tucker Trail, crossing Bill Williams Creek, back and up Allen Tr. to the road and done.
Phoenix Lake is the 2nd smallest of the Marin Water Districts reservoirs but it's a mecca for mountain bikers and runners. (smallest is Lk. Lagunitas at a capacity of 350 acre-ft., while Phoenix capacity is 411 AF; the 3rd smallest is Bon Tempe Lk., but at ten times the capacity of Phoenix) Several fishermen wwere casting their lines on the lake this morning -- reservoirs in Marin are at 100% capacity -- the weather is May is similar to February except it's damned windy too often. We've not had a true spring and I've "read" that this is the coldest April-May going back 60 years.
Watched a movie on DVD Saturday night - CONTROL - a biopic of the tragic Ian Curtis of Joy Division. Sam Riley stars, and likely gave the acting performance of the year when this was filmed (in 2006). It was filmed in B&W (by a stills rock & roll photographer) and appropriate for the bleak Manchester, England setting of '76 - '80. (Then again, I've never been to Manchester, located in northwest England) The movie is a little humorous, historically very accurate, and ultimately tragic/sad/and moving with exceptional performances (acting and musical) including Samantha Morton as Deborah Curtis, his wife, and author of the book on which the movie's based. I remember reading in Rolling Stone back in the day that ''...Joy Division was perhaps the world's greatest band.'' (at least I think I remember that) This is the sort of movie I will never forget.
KJP rating: Four Stars out of four (similar biopic movie of that era & place is 24 HR. PARTY PEOPLE)
This hikes starts near the Mountain Home Inn, Fire Station and goes directly up the mountain, with very little fooling around,
via the very steep Hogback fire road
and then the Fern Creek trail to the East Peak lot and the Plankboard walk up to the barbed wire-laced fire lookout house...
Ascending some of the many steps on the gorgeous Fern Creek trail.
Overcast, sometimes a little rainy, but pretty cool weather to hike in today...
Small waterfall off of the Bootjack Trail. It's been a rainy year. The volume of the Redwood Creek -- both in noise and in water flow -- was about the most I've seen it this time of year. You'd never know we were 9 days into May already.
Muir Woods National Monument entrance (Cindy in red hat).
At the right, Redwoods near the entrance. Most people who visit see their first and only Coastal Redwoods ever at Muir Woods.
This hike turned out a little longer than planned because the return portion changed on the Dipsea section down back to Muir Woods -- the bridge was out, so we took Deer Park fire rd. down, all the way to Panaromic Hwy and walked back to the Woods and the car lot.
Rafanelli wine tasting in the barrel room.
Five wineries visited today: ( Map at the right) Web: WineRoad.com
A. Rafanelli, Mauritson (Rockpile), C. Donatiello, Nalle, and Matrix. Of special note is that Donatiello occupies the former Belvedere location and Matrix is where Rabbit Ridge was.
Hiking Map (from the Martins' book).
I believe we've hiked this exact loop in the past... need to look it up... (can't find it so far)
The trailhead is off of W. Blithedale in Mill Valley -- that's where Railroad Grade starts. This hiking loop takes RR up through the Double Bowknot, then a right on Hoo-Koo-E-Koo (HKEK) fire road, and eventually another right on the HKEK trail, to Blithedale Ridge, then down the steep Horshoe fire rd. back to RR Grade and the start. Very scenic views along the way.
View of SF from Hoo-Koo-E-Koo at the Double Bowknot.
Corner of Mariposa & DeHaro
According to reports I read in the Marin IJ and the SF Chronicle since yesterday evening, Anchor Brewing Co.'s Fritz Maytag sold his business to a couple guys from Novato. It was directly due to Maytag buying Anchor in 1965 that the N. American microbrewing revolution had a True Champion. Cheers to Fritz! Then, the first brewpub in Mendocino Brewing in Hopland and the huge success of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. eclipse all. Anchor was the first and the best and I wish them good luck with their new owners. Were it not for Anchor we might still be forced to drink the swill of Bud, Millers, Coors, Heineken, St. Pauli Girl, Corona, Beck's, Moosehead, and all other donkey piss.
Here are some Anchor photos of mine going back 15+ years...
Same hike as we did Apr. 2009...
This features the excellent Morning Sun
"park bench" overlooking Hwy 101 and high above Sausalito.
Hiking Map for Slacker Hill in the Headlands, from the book, "Hiking Marin, 3rd ed.", by Don & Kay Martin, 2005.
Right now the road to the top of the Headlands, to Hawk Hill is closed for upgrade work through the year -- you have to turn right off of Conzelman Rd. at McCullough Rd. and then a left on Bunker down to the area's many main draws. Conzelman is even closed to bikes at that junction with McCullough. I suspect the road work will be done before Xmas (that's what they are saying).
The Wild flowers are abundant and full of variety right now. We saw a lot of other hikers, joggers, mountain bikers, and higher-end cyclocross types on the trails. Wild Flower collage -- lots of colors this day! This is just a tiny sampling.
Last year's colorful wild flower collages: #1 and #2.
Same hike as we did 9/28/08...
Photos from Mt. Burdell on a Sunday morning:
Photos from Mt. Burdell on a Sunday morning:
Wine tasting at three locales today: Paraduxx (part of the Duckhorn family, of which we are club members);
Raymond Vineyards (bought last year by a French Burgundy family); and Napa Wine Co. - the fun collective with excellent choices.
Weather was outstanding. Afterwards a fine dinner at Moylan's Brewery (such tasting pizza and IPAs!). Tried to reserve last second
dinners at Mustard's and at Bottega (Chiarello's new restaaurant), but both too full doing outstanding business.
Photos from Saturday afternoon:
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