Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Indian Tree Open Space Hike (2/9) 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.

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 sunny, with a high near 64. (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.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dick Jordan's Cuba Documentary February Screenings

Save the dates!

Dick Jordan's Cuba, Libre? travel documentary will have two screenings at Marin County locations in February that will be open to the public:
  • Saturday, February 13th, 6:30 pm, at the Community Media Center of Marin, 819 "A" Street in San Rafael.
  • Friday, February 19th, 7:00 pm, at the Sausalito Public Library, 420 Litho Street in Sausalito.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Blithedale Canyon Loop Hike (2/2) Preview

This week we head to the the eastern side of Southern Marin near Mill Valley.

Here's Wendy's description of the hike:  "A loop with great views of Mt. Tamalpais! Early wildflowers and probably a 9 fern day!" (Click here to read a re-cap of our 2010 hike.  View the online album of photos taken on past hikes on these trails).

Directions to trailhead: Take East Blithedale exit from Highway 101. Where you cross Throckmorton it becomes West Blithedale. Go 0.9 miles and look for parking at Marsh Drive and West Blithedale on both the left and the right sides of the street.

Click here for a MapQuest map that shows the parking area near the trailhead. Click on #1 to get driving time and directions from your location.

Time: 30 minutes from the College of Marin.

Carpoolers can meet at the Greenbrae Parking & Ride lot at 9:10 a.m.

 No restrooms at trailhead. 

Weather forecast:  As of Tuesday, January 26th, the National Weather Service forecast for the hike was a chance of showers, partly sunny, with a high near 54. (Click here for an updated forecast).

More on this hike: Hike "B1 Blithedale Ridge - Corte Madera Trails" in the Martins' book, Hiking Marin, shows the area we will be hiking in although our route may differ slightly from the one they set out for their hike. (This area is also shown on the maps of the Marin County Open Space District's Baltimore Canyon Preserve and Blithedale Summit Preserve).

Here's the route we will follow.

Here's the hike profile.

This Google Earth image shows Marsh Drive and West Blithedale Avenue in Mill Valley where we'll meet to start our hike. We'll head up to the ridge at the top of the picture (which looks east over Corte Madera and Larkspur to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge), hike along it, then double back to our starting point. (Click on the photo to open a larger image in your Web browser).

Friday, January 22, 2016

Muir Woods Trail Widening Riles "Locals"

While problems associated with parking at Muir Woods may have been resolved, a plan by the National Park Service to widen and improve the trails leading into the monument from the west has riled local residents.

You can read more about it in today's San Francisco Chronicle.