Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hike #1 Trails Challenge ’09

Western Hound's Tongue (Cynoglossum grande) seen on French Trail.

Roberts Regional Recreation Area & Redwood Regional Park Loop

As I wrote a couple weeks ago the East Bay Regional Park District is hosting its annual Trails Challenge. Last Thursday I hiked my first official challenge trail of 2009. I chose a “summer” recommended hike as it was a nice warm sunny spring day and this route would be shaded by redwoods and oak woodland most of the way with just a smidge of chaparral and grassland. Being midweek I had the first half all to myself, but later in the afternoon I was joined by equestrians, mountain bikers, and dog walkers. Along the route, I was pleasantly greeted by plentiful wildflowers and a “serpentine prairie” right here in Oakland.

  • Date Completed: March 26, 2009
  • Location: CA, Oakland, Roberts Regional Recreation Area & Redwood Regional Park
  • Mileage: ~7.1 mi round trip
  • Elevation: +/-1700'; lo pt 822'; hi pt 1,535'
  • Trails Challenge Total Miles: 7

California tortoiseshell butterfly (Nymphalis californica). It briefly landed on Dunn Trail in the Serpentine Prairie Preserve part of Redwood Regional Park.


backlit fern

Backlit sword fern on Graham Trail in Roberts Regional Recreation Area.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Trillium of Tres Sendas


The day before St. Patrick’s Day it rained here in Oakland and I thought it would be really wonderful to go traipsing around the lush forest floor of Redwood Regional Park. I knew the rain would make the understory fresh and green and fill the creeks and tributaries, and also unfortunately make the trails muddy, but keep the crowds away. I decided to try some new trails including East Ridge Road and Prince Road, but what I really wanted to explore was more of Tres Sendas Trail. From previous visits I knew that Tres Sendas was flanked by watershed and deep within the shade of redwoods, so it would be particularly nice on a wet cloudy day.

My decision paid off as I was rewarded with dozens of blooming trilliums along the path of Tres Sendas. Normally I only see trilliums with their buds munched off by ravenous deer or shriveled up long past their prime.

The trillium is a pretty easy wildflower to identify and remember as there are three leaves, three sepals, and three petals... hence the “tri” in trillium. As you can see from the photos above the flower can range in color from white, to pink, to purple. I’ve seen two kinds of trillium in the local redwood forests. One is the Trillium ovatum pictured above, also called Western Wake Robin or Pacific Wake Robin, and the other is Trillium chloropetalum otherwise known as Giant Wake Robin, Giant Trillium, Common Trillium amongst other common names. Coincidently, Tres (as in Tres Sendas) means three in Spanish! Tres Sendas = Three Trails.

Unfortunately, I was only able to explore the lower half of Tres Sendas as I took a wrong turn on French Trail and spent too much time lollygagging, and so chose a more familiar trail to return to the trailhead insuring that I got back to my car before dark.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Springtime in Oakland

daffodilDaffodil amongst the Nasturtiums on Newton, March 7, 2009.

Oakland has had a lot of dark news the past few months due to a sad slew of high-profile shootings. In a feeble attempt to brighten the mood, I thought I’d show a tiny bit o’ O-town seasonal color. The pictures above and below where taken on my way to deposit the ol’ unemployment check at the Patelco in “Uptown” Oakland, I spied this sprightly daffodil blooming amongst various layers of nasturtium foliage in my neighborhood and the purple magnolia(???) tree dwarfed amongst the high-rises near the new Catholic church— Cathedral of Christ the Light.

purple bloomsMagenta blooms on a tree with high-rise, March 7, 2009.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Trails Challenge 2009 EBRPD

The deadline to register for the East Bay Regional Park District's Trails Challenge 2009 is quickly approaching! It's a yearly event that the East Bay Regional Parks Foundation hosts to get us out exploring our parks.

In past years there was a registration fee for participants which included the Trails Challenge guidebook, a t-shirt, and a pin upon completing the challenge. This year registration is FREE for participants living in Alameda and Contra Costa counties thanks to sponsorship from Kaiser Permanente and a few changes including an online trail guide instead of a mailed printed guide and making the t-shirts available for pick up at select park visitor centers instead of mailing them out. The fee for non-district resident participants is $20.

So what exactly is the challenge? Hike at least five trails picked from the official Trails Challenge 2009 trail guide OR hike 26.5 trail miles of your choosing in the EBRP District and log them in the official Trails Challenge 2009 log. You have to complete the trails and submit the log by December 1, 2009 to receive the 75th Anniversary commemorative pin.

I signed up this afternoon and am really excited about it. If you want to join in on the fun hurry, because registration closes March 31st!

For more information visit these links:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I <3 Yosemite

Originally uploaded by bondgurl
Yosemite National Park is looking for a “Visual Information Specialist”. Of course I had to apply. How amazing would it be to work IN Yosemite doing what I was educated and trained to do? It would be the perfect marriage of career and avocation.

This picture is from my very first ever visit to Yosemite in the fall of 2004, which wasn't that long ago, and totally changed my priorities in life. If it wasn't for this trip I may have never gotten into hiking which means I may have never tried backpacking and long story short, this blog wouldn't exist. So, Thanks Yosemite!

View my Yosemite collection of photo albums on flickr here.