Saturday, September 20, 2014

Matt Davis/Willow Camp Trail Hike - Marin County

The Sacramento County Hikers tackled a terrific but brutal 6.5 mile hike in Marin County.  Rich Blackmarr, our hike leader, selected a big loop ascending the Matt Davis Trail beginning in the fabled bohemian town of Stinson Beach and descending Mt. Tam on the Willow Camp Trail.

The hike is rated very strenuous with approximately 1,800' of elevation gain and loss.  The ascent switchbacks up Mt. Tam and the descent drops precipitously with sections of the trail consisting of little ball-bearing pebbles creating treacherous footing.

Coastal fog obscured great ocean views on the ascent but broke up on the descent.  In spite of the challenging hike, everyone had terrific time and celebrated our accomplishment at a local ice cream shop in Stinson Beach.

To view the hike album, click on "Matt Davis/Willow Camp Trail Hike" below photo:

From Matt Davis/Willow Camp Trail Hike

Friday, September 12, 2014

Big Pine Canyon Hike and Glacier Lodge

The annual Eastern Sierra hiking trip by the Sacramento County Hikers was based at the Glacier Lodge and Resort outside the town of Big Pine.  It was a great location for hikes in the high Sierra and White Mountain ranges.

It was close to the Alabama Hills, Manzanar, and Lone Pine which the group also visited on this trip.

Sixteen hikers led by Rich Blackmarr participated in this year's outing.  Most of the hikers stayed in the rustic cabins at the Resort and a few camped in the Lodge's campground.

This blog entry relates to the main hike up the north fork of Big Pine Creek Canyon and views of the Resort and campground.

To view the album, click on "Big Pine Creek Canyon Hike and Glacier Lodge" below photo:

From Big Pine Creek Canyon Hike and Glacier Lodge

Alabama Hills/Lone Pine/Manzanar

On the night before we visited the Alabama Hills near Mt. Whitney, it rained through the night and early morning.  In spite of the dreary weather, Peter Saucerman and I got up at 4 a.m. for the drive to Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills for a photography outing.

The Alabama Hills is a strange and unique environment known for its colorful rocks.  Located between Lone Pine and the abrupt Eastern Sierra escarpment is a sea of golden boulders jutting up from the high desert.

The contrast between the rounded contours and the sharp angular profile of the Eastern Sierra wall is utterly riveting.

Hidden among the contorted clusters of rocks and spires are about a dozen gracefully curved arches.  Windows created by the arches provide striking frames for photos of the Mt. Whitney group and other major peaks.

After a morning tromping around the Alabama Hills, we drove into Lone Pine to visit the Film Museum containing artifacts from movies filmed in the Alabama Hills, and the Manzanar National Historic Site.

To view the album, click on "Alabama Hills/Lone Pine/Manzanar" below photo:

From Alabama Hills/Lone Pine/Manzanar

Schulman Grove - Bristle Cone Pines

After a day hike to Mt. Barcroft in the White Mountain range, we ended the outing with a drive to Schulman Grove to see the ancient bristle cone pines.  From a photographic standpoint, we timed the visit perfectly as the sun was setting over the Sierra Crest casting a delightful warm light on the landscape.

To view the album, click on "Schulman Grove - Bristle Cone Pines" under photo below:

From Schulman Grove - Bristle Cone Pines

Monday, September 1, 2014

Chalk It Up - 2014

The annual Chalk It Up Sacramento, now in its 24th year,  took place in Fremont Park over the Labor Day Weekend.  It has gained in popularity over the years and have become one of the most entertaining events on the Fall calendar.

The main attraction are the chalk murals painted by artists on the four sidewalks surrounding Fremont Park.  They are colorful and sometimes provocative.  Food trucks, arts and craft vendors, and live entertainment complement the event and occupy most of the park.

It is a very cool event, drawing thousands of people, and a ideal venue to ride our bikes.  Rich Blackmarr and I rode our bikes to breakfast at Cafe Bernardo's and walked over to Fremont Park to take in the action.

To view the album, click on "2014 Chalk It Up" below photo:

From 2014 Chalk It Up

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dardanelles Lake Hike

It was a picture perfect day for a high Sierra hike to Dardanelles Lake,  7.6 mile RT with about 1400' of elevation gain.  The trailhead begins at a parking lot off Hwy 89 and follows the Tahoe Rim Trail to Big Meadow.

The trail rated moderate has some initial switchbacks but is mostly a gradual steady climb to a summit at about the half-way point.  The trail sharply descends to a small watershed then slowly climbs over another high point before arriving at Dardanelles Lake.

Dardanelles Lake is considered one of the more picturesque high Sierra lakes by many hikers.

Eighteen hikers participated in this hike on a beautiful blue sky day with temps in the high 70s.

To view album, click on "Dardanelles Lake Hike" below photo:

From Dardanelles Lake Hike

Friday, August 22, 2014

Rinko Tour to Levi Stadium

The new SF 49'er stadium just opened with the start of the 2014 season.

Levi Stadium is located within a stone's throw of the Santa Clara Great America Amtrak Station so Peter Saucerman and I hopped on a Capital Corridor train and did another one of our Rinko (train/bike) tours.

We booked the stadium tour combined with the 49er Museum admission.  Although the exterior of the new stadium left me kinda' cold, the innards of the facility is quite remarkable.  Watching a football game here, if you could afford it, would be spectacular.

According to all the reviews, this stadium is the most high-tech of any sports venue and given its location in Silicon Valley, a given.  Wifi connection is omnipresent and attending a game with an IPad and/or IPhone would be de rigueur.  The world of sports viewing has changed for better or worse my friends.

The tour was very informative and pretty thorough.  In addition to views from the stadium seats, we visited the press box, a couple restaurants, visitor and cheerleader locker rooms, roof-top terrace and ground level views.

All kinds of facts and figures were thrown out, most of which I quickly forgot.  But one fact that stood out was there are 2,000 flat screen TVs placed throughout the stadium.

The 49'er Museum is very well done.  Two cool exhibits were the interactive video displays and the five super bowl trophies and rings.  The film in the museum theater is also enjoyable if you are a 49er fanatic.

To view the album, click on "Rinko Tour to Levi Stadium" below photo:

From Rinko Tour to Levi Stadium