Report to Hikers: week of April 10-April 16


Hello Hikers!


Wednesday April 12

Black Diamond Trail north from Cass ParkI was reluctant to schedule a hike on this new trail, which opened with some fanfare in January after years in the works  —  I thought it would be too tame for our group

But Tiger was eager to try it out  —  I wondered if anyone else would be interested, and I was surprised to see a big turnout at the parking lot

(Want to see what Norm was photographing?)

I thought I’d never been to this spot but as soon as we got on the trail and I saw the line of huge power line poles, I realized I’d walked here a little bit many years before

I tried to enjoy the new trail but I couldn’t shake off the looming presence of the huge poles  —  complete turn-off  —  Tiger told me after the walk that she hadn’t minded the poles at all

It takes 35 minutes of walking to get beyond the power line  —  the whole mood changes at that point and the trail becomes quite pleasant

There are a number of small gorges and creeks along the way, none particularly impressive, but nice

If I had to resume working I wouldn’t mind this job, cruising around on this cute little cart and chatting up the ladies.

The only good thing I can find to say about the power line poles is that they make a dramatic gateway to the attractive part of this trail.  If you want to try this walk, start further out of town and avoid the beginning.

Official head count:  27H, six D

More photos:


Jack V


Saturday April 15

Roy H Park Preserve into Hammond Hill SF, Dryden

I can never resist trying a group shot on this trail.  Not everyone shown

Official head count:  20H, three D

More photos:


Jack V

Mysterious animal sighting:

After we got home from the hike, I got this e-mail from Annie:

Hi! I had an interesting adventure this morning at the tail end of the hike that I thought you’d be interested in.

As usual, I found myself at the end of the group, taking photos. I eventually caught up to Brenda and Eckhart and their dogs, but they were slowed down by over enthusiastic pups racing after each other so I decided to pass them so my sister (always with the head of the pack) wouldn’t worry about where I was.

Eventually I was walking solo when, suddenly ahead of me, I saw a large, dark brown furry mammal leap across the trail and bound into the woods. It was too fast for me to get my camera in place but I’m sure it was a bear. My first thought was that I was glad the three dogs were not there and my second thought was that I didn’t want to be alone! I continued to walk slowly enough for Brenda and Eckhart to catch up and hear my tale.

Margaret was worried about me and called to find out how I was doing and was pretty astounded to hear the story. I regret that I didn’t capture this with my camera but I don’t regret not being a hungry bear’s breakfast!

Then, later in the afternoon, I got this e-mail from Bad Dennis:

Saw this on way back from “Park’s Preserve” walk:

Fisher cat.   It was cautious of me but not fearful–about 50 yards away down hill to side from me.


Sunday April 16

Bald Hill Road to The Pinnacles, Danby SF

First insects of the year    —  very annoying gnats

This delightful view will soon be blocked by leaves until fall

Another obligatory group shot location  —  again, not everyone shown

Official head count:  21H, eight D

More photos:


Jack V

Get-together right afterwards at Hobit’s

It was warm bordering on hot in the last stretch of our walk, but it was breezy and very pleasant at Hobit’s  —  nice lazy vibe

Some of the people who hiked skipped the get-together, but other people who hadn’t hiked showed up and we had about the same size turn-out (I didn’t do an official head count)

I was happy to catch up with Hobit’s 16-year-old son Jake  —  maybe you remember he’s into tumbling   —  this time I used the burst mode on my camera in hopes I could follow his trajectory on a running leap and flip

Jake’s been growing but he can still pull this flying-through-the-air trick off nicely  —  you can see from his shadow on the grass that he’s a bit close to the ground throughout