Saturday, January 24, 2015

Steep Ravine Trail Closure; Details on Winter 2015 Hikes Now Online!

The Steep Ravine trail was damaged during the December storms. Although the Mount Tamalpais State Park Website says that the trail will remain closed through January, it now appears that the trail will not reopen until late March or early April.

Because of that trail closure, our annual Steep Ravine-Dispsea Trail hike will not take place on Tuesday, February 24th as originally planned, and as noted on the hike list that Wendy previously sent out via e-mail.

Updated, detailed information on all hikes during the Winter 2015 College of Marin session (January 27-March 10) is now online. Click here to view and print out that information.

Note that this list indicates that the Steep Ravine hike has been cancelled, and that the location of the February 24th hike will be announced at a later date.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Muir Woods (Dipsea to Ben Johnson) Hike (1/27) Preview

Having It Both Ways On the Hillside Trail We'll kick off the Winter 2015 hiking series by heading south in the County and back into the federal parklands at Muir Woods to do a hike that only Wendy showed up for when it was scheduled for December 2, 2014.

Here's Wendy's description of the hike: "Instead of racing up the Dipsea, we’ll stop to admire ancient redwoods, beautiful views, and hopefully some mushrooms."  (Click here to read the recap of our 2/10/09 hike on these trails. You can view photos taken on previous hikes.)

Directions to trailhead: From Highway 101 take the Stinson Beach exit, turn left (west) on Shoreline Highway, right on Panoramic Highway and left on Muir Woods Road. Meet at Muir Woods Parking Lot #2, which is the one farthest from the park entrance station.

Click here for a MapQuest map that shows the approximate location of the parking lot. Click on #1 to get driving directions and time from your location.

Time: 35 minutes from College of Marin. Restrooms at trailhead.

Carpoolers can meet at the Greenbrae Park & Ride lot near the intersection of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Highway 101 at 9:10 a.m.

Weather forecast: As of Wednesday, January 21st, the National Weather Service forecast for the hike was mostly cloudy, with a chance of showers, and a high near 65. (Click here for an updated forecast).

More on this hike: We'll hike up the Dipsea Trail, then descend back to the floor of Muir Woods on the Ben Johnson Trail. (Click here to view and download the park trail map). If you have Tracy Salcedo-Chourre's book, Exploring Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area, you'll see that she proposes hiking this route in the reverse direction (up the Ben Johnson, down the Dipsea) from our plan, but her book will at least give you an idea of what our hike will be like.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Road Work Near MMWD Corte Madera Office

If you're like Dick Jordan, who thought that during the last two weeks of January he'd just drop by the MMWD office in Corte Madera during business hours on weekdays and buy a new MMWD Watershed pass before his expired at the end of the month, think again.

The Central Marin Police Agency says that due to road work near the MMWD office, between 9 am and 5:00 pm through January 31st, ONLY ONE LANE of Tamal Vista Boulevard (the main north-south street the parallels Highway 101) will be open from Lucky Drive (the southbound freeway exit that you'd take to get to the MMWD office) and Wornum Drive (the street to the north of the MMWD and which runs under the freeway, and onto which you'd normally exit from MMWD's parking lot). (The police couldn't tell Dick if the road work would take place on weekends as well as weekdays).

In theory (but perhaps not in practice), you might be able to exit the freeway at Lucky Drive, immediately turn left on to Nellen Avenue (which is between 101 and Tamal Vista), and sneak into the MMWD lot that way.

In any event, traffic is likely to be backed up at the Lucky Drive exit, making your trip to MMWD longer than usual.
The MMWD Website says that if you decide to pay for your pass online: "Your parking pass(es) will be mailed to you when your credit card transaction has been completed and approved. Your receipt can be used in place of your new parking pass for two weeks after purchase."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

On Safari in Tanzania, Easy and "On The Cheap"

Interested in going on safari in Tanzania but you don't quite have the cash-on-hand to finance the trip?

"No worries," as the Australians say.

Just sign up for Wendy's "Armchair Safari: Preparing for a Trip to Tanzania" virtual trip which will be held every Wednesday evening from 7:10-8:30 p.m. at the College of Marin Kentfield campus from January 28th through March 11th (no class on February 18th). Cost is $76, BYOW ("Bring Your Own Wildlife").

Here's the course description:
"Do you dream of going on a safari and seeing the Great Migration? Whether you have already started planning to make this dream come true, or you would like to join an "armchair safari" and learn about the mammals and birds of East Africa, this class is for you. From antelopes to zebras, learn about animals' habitats, evolution, life histories, special adaptations, social structure, migratory patterns, and current conservation status and risks. Class will focus on animals and birds that people would be likely to see on a safari in Tanzania."
Wendy needs just two more people to signup for the class to avoid it being cancelled, so "travel" to Africa, see all of the scenery and animals, avoid je tlag, and save yourself a ton of money by going on her "Armchair Safari"!

(Alas, Dick Jordan can't go. He's a student in the "On-Camera Performance" class at the Community Media Center of Marin learning how to reprise John Wayne's role in the 2015 remake of the 1962 film, "Hatari," which he saw a movie theater when he was a teenager way back in The Last Century.)