Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rinko Tour 2 - SF, Devil's Slide and More

The new bike and pedestrian trail at Devil's Slide recently opened.  I don't need much of an excuse to bike down the California coast so this was an excellent opportunity to do another Rinko Tour (train/bike) to one of my favorite hostels in Montara.

Frank Gerace and I packed our panniers and headed out on a five day tour booking two nights apiece at the Montara Lighthouse and SF Fort Mason Hostels respectively.

We took the Capital Corridor train from Sacramento to Oakland, the ferry across the Bay to SF, and rode down the coast to the Montara Lighthouse, truly one of the gem lodging facilities of the AYH chain.  The setting of this tiny lighthouse out on a point is beyond spectacular. It even has a coffee bar.

We rode the new Devil's Slide Trail enroute to the lighthouse.  The 1 1/2 mile section of old Hwy 1 has been refurbished into a first-class exclusive bike and pedestrian pathway with viewpoint amenities.  This pathway is closed to auto traffic and is an absolute delight to either bike or hike.

On the layover day, we rode to Pillar Point to check out the famous surfing venue, Maverick's Beach, and returned to Montara to hike some of the trails of McNee Ranch State Park.

On the return trip to SF, we decided to ride Old Pedro Mountain Road to Pacifica.  It is a gnarly one lane partially paved and dirt pathway over Montara Mountain.  Taking this option bypassed the narrow sections of Hwy 1 which is heavily trafficked but it is a true adventure and not for the faint of heart.

During our two days in SF, we biked along the bay front to China Basin and ATT Park and over the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands and Sausalito.  Heavy fog thwarted the ride into the Headlands.

Over four days, we experienced some incredible sights and places.  To view the album of this tour, click on "Rinko Tour 2 - SF, Devil's Slide and More" below photo:

From Rinko Tour 2 - SF, Devils Slide and More

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mt. Diablo Hike

On September 8, 2013, a fire ignited on a private ranch in Perkins Canyon on the east slope of Mt. Diablo.  It raged out of control for four days burning approximately 3,100 acres on the east and south facing sides of the mountain.  The fire came within a 100' of the summit where the Visitor Center and two communication towers are located.

Remarkably, no dwellings or people were lost.  The Perkins Canyon Fire was the biggest fire on the mountain since 1977.

Rich Blackmarr, leader of the Sac. County Hikers, organized today's hike to view the aftermath of this fire on the mountain vegetation.  Being the month of April, the wildflowers were in peak bloom and the hillsides verdant from the recent February rains.  And with sunny blue skies, it was the ideal time to visit Mt. Diablo.

The hike, about a 5 mile out and back, took the North Peak Trail from the Summit Parking Lot near the top of Mt. Diablo to a turn-around point on the Prospector Gap Trail.  The trail dropped and gained approximately 2,000'.

To view the album, click on "Mt. Diablo Hike" below photo:

From Mt. Diablo Hike