Sunday, November 23, 2014

Winterim and Winter 2015 College of Marin Hikes

After our Fall 2 "Final Exam" hike on December 9th, Wendy will lead three "Winterim" shuttle hikes:
  • December 16 (Pine Mountain/Elliott Preserve)
  • January 13 (Sky Trail to Bear Valley)
  • January 20 (Alpine Dam to Bon Tempe Dam)
 There will be no hikes on December 23, 30 or January 6.

Cost for each with be $20. Click here for details on all of the hikes.

According to the College of Marin Community Education Website:
  • Winter class schedules will be available online on Monday, December 15
  • Winter class registration opens on Monday, January 5

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bahia Open Space Hike and Post-Hike "Book Lunch" (11/25) Preview

For our next hike we'll head north to the Novato area and do some bird watching on a portion of the Marin County Open Space lands. (Click here for a recap of our 2009 hike).

Gael Chandler, who along with her partner, Sherry, used to be Tuesday Meanderers, will join us. After the hike, we'll bring our lunches to their Novato area home to celebrate Gael's recently published book. (Even if you aren't going to hike, you can join us for lunch. Details below.)

 BAHIA HIKE

Here's Wendy's description of the outing: "This is a wonderful birding area! I'll bring a spotting scope, but bring binoculars if you have them. We can expect about ten species of ducks, as well as stilts, avocets, grebes, raptors and songbirds.”  

Directions to trailhead: Take Highway 101 and exit on Atherton Avenue in Novato. Go east, until Bugeia Lane splits left and Atherton goes right. Take Bugeia which becomes Bahia and park at the end of the street.

(Click here for a MapQuest map showing the trailhead location; click on #1 to get driving directions and estimated travel time from your location).

Driving time from College of Marin: 35 minutes. No restrooms.

Carpoolers can meet at 9:20 a.m. at the Terra Linda Park & Ride lot on the east side of Highway 101 at the Smith Ranch Road exit. (Click here for a MapQuest map showing the Park & Ride location, and directions and estimated driving time to the trailhead.)
  
Weather forecast: As of Wednesday, November 19th, the weather forecast for this hike was sunny, with a high near 67. (Click here for an updated National Weather Service forecast).

More on this hike: Hiking in this particular areas isn't covered by any of the trail guides which Dick Jordan has, but you can click here for the Marin County Open Space District's description of the Rush Creek area.

LUNCH WITH GAEL AND SHERRY 

After the hike is over, we'll bring our own lunches to Gail and Sherry's home at 122 La Merida Court in Novato where they'll serve drinks and dessert. Click here for a MapQuest map showing how to reach their home from the trailhead.

You're welcome to come, even if didn't make the hike. Click here for a MapQuest map showing the location of their home and click on #1 to get driving directions and time from a location other than the trailhead.

Gael recently published Chronicle of Old San Francisco, a guidebook that focuses on the history of what we "locals" call "The City."

Here's the "book trailer" that Gael's new company, Picture Your Book, produced.


(Click here if the Vimeo video player window doesn't display)

Gael will have copies of the book available for purchase for $20. You can also check the shelves in local bookstores or buy a copy online through Book Passage (paperback) or Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle E-book versions; Dick Jordan gets a tiny commission).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pumpkin Ridge Lunch Break

Look for more photos from today's Sky Oaks hike soon.

In the meantime, here are two panoramic photos that Dick Jordan took with his iPhone.


The second is a 360 degree shot.


And last, but not least, here's a super-fast "hyperlapse" video.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sky Oaks MMWD Hike (11/18) Preview

This week we'll in the MMWD watershed near Fairfax. Here's Wendy's description of the hike:

"This loop starts out in oak/bay/madrone habitat, but we'll also see redwoods and some grassland. This is a good mushroom hike with Boletes, Amanitas, Waxy Caps, Milky Caps and more if we've had some rain."

Directions to trailhead: Take Sir Francis Drake Boulevard into Fairfax. Jog left and make an immediate right in front of the movie theater. The first left puts you on Bolinas Avenue. Follow this until you see the sign on your left for Lake Bon Tempe and Lake Lagunitas. Follow the road to the toll booth by Sky Oaks Ranger Station. Park at the dirt parking lot on the right, just past the toll station.

(Click here for the MMWD map and directions. Or click here for a MapQuest map showing the trailhead location; click on "Get Directions" at the top left side of the map and enter your location to get driving directions and estimated travel time from your location).
 
The day use fee is $8.  You can use $1, $5, or $10 bills and coins at the automated pay station, or a Visa or Mastercard.

Annual entrance passes for Marin residents are normally $60 ($30 for those 62 and older), but after September 1st you can buy one for half of those prices and the pass will be valid through January 31, 2014.  (You pay the annual pass fee at the automated pay station, then have to either stop at the Sky Oaks Ranger Station on the way out and ask them to send your receipt to the main office in Corte Madera which will issue the pass and mail it to you, or you have to send or take the receipt to that office yourself).

Time: 25 minutes from College of Marin. Portapotty in parking lot.  Carpoolers can meet at St. Rita's Church at 9:25 am.

Weather forecast: As of Wednesday, November 12th, the weather forecast for this hike was rain likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 70. (Click here for an updated National Weather service forecast).

More on this hike: Hike "C12 Taylor-Concrete Pipe-Bullfrog FR" in the Martins' book, Hiking Marin, shows the area where we will be hiking (our route may differ) in this part of the MMWD watershed.  (Click here to view and print the MMWD map of this area).