Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Natalie Clark Subs For Wendy Next Week

(Simone Roda Flickr Photo)
For those you don't know it, Wendy is off in Deepest, Darkest Africa.

So Natalie Clark will be filling in for her next week.

Here's Natalie's contact info:
Natalie Clark
(415) 686-1681
Looks like sunshine for the next hike! Yay!

Indian Tree Open Space Hike (2/28) Preview

This week we head north and east to the Novato area to hike in the Indian Tree Open Space Preserve.
Here's Wendy's hike description:  "We hike a pretty loop trail with views and then lunch in a redwood grove. We should see early wildflowers like California Saxifrage, Indian Warriors, and Hound's Tongue. We have also found many mushrooms there in February, including Cedar Waxy Caps, Jelly Leaf, and Golden Waxy Caps.  This hike is often muddy so waterproof your boots!"

(Click here to read the recap of our hike in this area on February 3, 2009. You can view photos from past hikes in this area by clicking here.)

Directions: Take Highway 101 north. Exit at San Marin Drive and go west. San Marin becomes Sutro Avenue after if crosses Novato Boulevard. Turn right (west) onto Vineyard Road. The trail starts where the paved road turns into a dirt road, shown on this Google Maps map. (Click on the teardrop icon to get directions and driving time from your location.

Time: 35 minutes from College of Marin. No restrooms at trailhead, but you could stop at Starbucks in the small shopping center at the intersection of San Marin Drive and San Andreas Drive, just before the Kaiser Permanente clinic.

Carpoolers meet at 9:15 am at the Park & Ride lot on the east side of Highway 101 at Smith Ranch Road in the Terra Linda area north of the Marin Civic Center and downtown San Rafael.

Weather forecast: As of Wednesday, February 3rd, the National Weather Service forecast for Tuesday's hike was mostly sunny, with a high near 54. (Click here for an updated forecast).

More on this hike: The Marin County Open Space District operates the preserve on a portion of this area (the North Marin Water District owns adjacent land) and its Web site provides a viewable/printable trail map and a list of the species of various critters we might encounter.

Barry Spitz's book, Open Spaces (Marin County Open Space District, 2000) describes the area and contains a map similar to that found on the MCOSD Web site.

The "E9 Deer Camp - Big Trees Trails hike in the Martin's book, Hiking Marin, is much longer (7.2 miles) than the one we'll actually take, but shows the general area where we'll be hiking.

Spring Hike Registration Begins Monday, Feb. 27th

Registration for the College of Marin Community Education courses, including the Meandering in Marin Spring series, begins at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, February 27th.

Click here to view, download or print a PDF copy of the entire course catalog.

Here's a link to the Tuesday hike series registration information.

These are the hikes we'll be doing on Tuesdays:
  • April 25 - GREEN GULCH, GGNRA
  •  May 9 - WOLF RIDGE. GGNRA

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sky Trail To Mt. Wittenberg Hike (2/21) Preview

This loop has spectacular views of the estero and the ocean! (Yes, we do have to hike uphill to earn this reward). Lunch at a scenic spot on Mt. Wittenberg.

This should be a good mushroom hike. Level and downhill after lunch. 

(Click here for a recap of the hike we took on February 2, 2010. Click here for an album of photos from past hikes.)

Directions to Trailhead:  Take Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. west to Olema. Turn right on Highway 1, then make an immediate left onto Bear Valley Road. Continue past the turn-off to Park Headquarters and go left on Limantour Road. Trailhead is 3.3 miles from this turn at the crest of the road. The parking lot is on your left.

50 minutes from College of Marin.

(Click here for a Google Maps map showing the approximate location of the trailhead. Click on the teardrop icon to get driving directions and estimated driving time from your location.)

There are no restrooms at trailhead, so stop at the Bear Valley Visitor Center if you need a restroom prior to the hike; there will be pit toilets at Sky Camp which we'll reach about 10:30 a.m. 

Carpoolers should depart from St. Rita's by 9:00 a.m. at the latest if driving directly to the trailhead without making a restroom stop at Bear Valley first.

(Click here to get a map with driving directions and time to St. Rita's.)

Weather forecast:  As of Thursday evening, February 16th, the National Weather Service forecast for the hike was a chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 56. Breezy. (Click here for an updated forecast). 

More on this hike:  We'll do a variation on the 4.6 mile hike "G1 Sky-Horse-Z Ranch Trails" in the Martin's book, Hiking Marin. Presumably we'll do this hike in reverse, going from Junction 1 to 4, then to 3, up to the top of Mt. Wittenberg, then down to 2, and back to 1 before returning to the trailhead.  (Click here for the park's South District Hiking Map which shows these trails).