Posts Tagged ‘Half Moon Bay’

Outdoors again

October 26, 2015

Monday, 26 October 2015

Saturday was for pulling broom at a group project at Bear Creek redwoods, nothing to post. Sunday I hiked the loop of preserves surrounding the Page Mill — Skyline — Alpine road junction. Pleasant day, started out chilly and breezy, then warmed up.



These beautiful little guys stick their rear ends up in the air when they feel threatened. I touched it with the tip of my hiking stick to see if I could provoke a spray of noxious fluids, but unsuccessfully.


Pat’s conference finished Sunday, so I took Monday as vacation, and Jacky, Pat and I spent the day loafing.


We started by hiking Purisima Creek trail, one of the prettiest redwood hikes anywhere. Discovered a ladybug colony setting in for the winter along the creek. My favorite thing!



Stopped for a Mex lunch in Half Moon Bay, then went on to Fitzgerald Marine Preserve, knowing that low tide would be about 4:30 this afternoon.


Nice day, jackets zipped all the way up.



From the main parking area, we went on up to the Monterey pine forest. A bright shiny beetle going about its business on the trail. Pretty!



The red is algae. I believe it does not damage the trees.


At the south end is another way down to the beach, where there were two or three docents showing off the various creatures in the tide pools.



I learn at least a little bit every day. This is a chiton, an animal with a pseudopod like a snail. They don’t like direct sunlight; this one is in a little hole that’s usually covered by alga, which I pulled back to take the picture.

Home in time for a brew on the patio. Nice day. Truly spoiled, yet again.

Vacation begins

June 26, 2015

Friday, 26 June 2015

After a couple of confcalls this morning, we loaded the car full of far more than we would have taken along, had we been traveling by air, and headed out for a week of vacation of some sort. Temperatures predicted to be at or near triple digits inland, so we’ll stay along the coast. The day was mostly overcast, and we often needed sweaters or jackets. Just right!


First stop, Fitzgerald Marine preserve, Montara, north of Half Moon bay.



The tide was receding, but still high, so there wasn’t much to see in the way of tide pools.


I had forgotten about the nasturtiums that grow all along here. Delicious as a light snack!


From up on the cliff, we had a good view of the sea lions, mostly on the beach but also playing in the water. Life is easy.


The monterey cypress forest, tinged with red algae.



Drove to Half Moon Bay, the town, wandered around, went to the Mex place across from the art deco middle school where we always like to eat.


This is said to be the world’s largest marble run. It wasn’t in operation when we went past, probably worth seeing when opportunity presents.

Over the little hill to the Purisima Creek Redwoods open space preserve, where we wandered along the creek for a few minutes. Jacky has a sore leg, so we’re walking neither far nor fast. It will be a strange vacation if we can’t spend it on our feet.


Next stop, Bean Hollow state beach, a pebble beach with letterbox tafoni sandstone liberally surrounding the area. A little better tide pooling, but the water is still fairly high.




And then to Santa Cruz, where we wandered the main drag, found a brew.


The sign above is dedicated to Loren.

We had a bag of cherries from home, so we ate those, then wandered down to the beach boardwalk and found clam chowder. Out on the wharf, where we saw three sea otters nearby. Unfortunately, the light and distance were inadequate for photography.

Pillar point, Princeton by the sea

May 25, 2014

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Jacky and I started out at a reasonable hour, drove to Half Moon Bay. Well, more precisely, we drove to Princeton-by-the-sea. Left the car and wandered west along the shore.


Inside the breakwater, the beach is covered with what looks like spinach. Yummy!


I’m told that this is radar for SFO air traffic control. I often see this distinctive landmark from high on the ridge on my Purisima open space hikes.


Beyond the breakwater, the world-class surfing area Mavericks. Not much going on today.


But if you’re less insistent about mammoth waves beyond the breakwater, you can at least find interesting shells washed ashore. Inside the breakwater, just fine sand and spinach.


A motorized paraglider came over and disappeared behind the cliffs. A few minutes later, he returned and flew back inshore.


Although we started by walking along the beach, we couldn’t resist going on up the cliffs for the high view. Nice.


There were at least three of these crosses. Surfers who didn’t make it, maybe? Or just hikers who got too close to the edge?


Not excessively worried about getting too close to the edge, a millipede. Just about the only small animal we saw, other than birds.


We walked back into Princeton, wandered around the marina.



The beat-up rusty tubs are more interesting than the fancy boats. They have to offer a business case for their existence. Well, so do the fancy boats, if they are used for charter, but many of them are just luxury items.



Here we see three or four cyclists purchasing fresh seafood directly from the fisherman. I thought it would be necessary for the fisherman to provide enough ice to support some amount of delay in getting the fish home, and indeed, the cyclists were carrying good-sized plastic bags, doubtless packed with crushed ice as well as fish.

The clam chowder smelled good, but there was a line, so we went on into Half Moon Bay and ate at our favourite Mexican restaurant. Then a stroll around the HMB streets, and home.

Traffic heading toward the coast was moving along at a pretty good pace, which is surprising for early afternoon on a weekend. It’s usually stop and go by that time of day. But at the foot of highway 92, we came upon any number of emergency vehicles; they were still working on a downed motorcyclist, and westbound traffic was backed up well beyond I-280. Glad we hadn’t been caught in that mess.

Purisima Creek redwoods

December 22, 2013

Saturday, I volunteered yet again to pull french broom in one of the open space district’s preserves. For those who care, here’s a picture of french broom from today’s hike. The tallest in this photo is about a foot; they grow to 20 feet if left alone.


Sunday, 22 December 2013

Today’s hike was from the usual spot where I leave my car, halfway up Kings Mountain road, down through Huddart park, around the long way through the Phleger estate, and up to Kings Mountain village at Skyline.

My first adventure happened as I drove up the road. A multi-point buck appeared at the left side of the road in my headlights, and not smart enough to wait for passing traffic, bounded across in front of me. And stopped in my lane, gathering his strength for a bound up the embankment to the right.

How close? Close enough that I would certainly have hit him, had I not braked. Crazy critters!


I had several layers of clothing with me, but they turned out mostly to be backpack ballast. A nice day as the sun rose. In the picture above, the antic clowns in the center of the redwoods are madrone.

When I crested the ridge at KM village, I took the KM sidewalk (a trail along Skyline) to the north parking lot of Purisima open space preserve, thence down the west side. I usually go down Whittemore Gulch trail, but took Harkins Ridge trail this time, just to vary the routine. Warm enough to be a little uncomfortable in the sun.


Clear enough to see Half Moon bay. I understand that the white dome houses radar used by SFO traffic control. To the left, the line where Mavericks surf breaks. The breakwater around the marina is visible if you look, with Princeton-by-the-sea behind it, and the one runway of HMB airport off to the right.

Probably doesn’t count as a killer hike: a bit less than 20 miles, a bit less than 4000 feet of vertical gain. But for all that, it was enough work. I poured a beer on my way to the shower; by the time I was out, it had warmed up enough to be very tasty, and well deserved.

Heat wave — Purisima

June 29, 2013

Saturday, 29 June 2013

I volunteered for trail maintenance today, but with the heat wave warning, the outing was cancelled. I only found out when I got to the rendezvous area at El Corte de Madera open space preserve. Having already driven to Skyline, I just went on up to Purisima for a short hike.

I have only a small water bottle, and it’s very hot even at Purisima, so maybe I’ll only hike out the North Ridge trail and back. I don’t think I’ve ever been to the dead end of this trail before.


Nice view of Half Moon bay, the surf of Mavericks visible to the left of the point.


Today’s collection of small animals were all flying creatures.


I like the way this one (above) rolls up its proboscis when there’s no nectar to be had.


The eye appears to be a thin surface laid over the hairy back of the head (above); even in the shot below, the eye almost looks detachable. But I really like the elaborate antenna here, not to mention the flexible proboscis drinking straw.

P1030514  P1030543


Even the grasshopper is photogenic.

The trail is not as forested as I had expected, and it was very hot. And there were sections of steep loose rock, and poison oak growing over the trail. So I got somewhere near the dead end of the trail, but finally declared victory and retreated, sucking the last of my limited water supply by the time I returned to the parking lot.

Purisima, Fitzgerald marine preserve

May 5, 2013

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Jacky had to monitor server alerts today, so she didn’t come with Friedrich and Petra and me to Half Moon Bay, where we first went to Purisima redwoods open space preserve and hiked the trail along the creek, out and back. Very pleasant.


Of course, I was watching for small animals.


I stirred this one up with a small stick to get a look at its thousand feet.

We also saw lots of banana slugs, but not a great deal of other wildlife.


From there, we went up highway 1 on a cold, cloudy, very windy day, to Fitzgerald marine preserve. The tide was falling, but with another two hours before hitting full ebb, and the ebb was not all that low anyway.


So we went out on the rocks, such as they were, and looked for interesting things. The wind disturbed the surface so much that there was little chance of seeing anything interesting under water. Mostly just seaweed of one kind or another,



The wind was so strong, those of us wearing shorts felt like the paint was being sand-blasted off our legs. So we retired from the beach after only a few minutes, and went into the Montery cypress forest overlooking the preserve. Still windy, but nowhere near as cold and unpleasant as on the beach itself.


From the overlook, we could see a pod of harbor seals, one of which decided to go for a swim while we watched.




Below, we see an incipient collapse of the cliff. You can see that the trail used to run there; now the barrier fence is 10 meters further back.


The other interesting thing about this forest is the red algae, not everywhere, but on much of the vegetation closest to the water. It is visible, though not obvious, in the picture above, and lends a nice touch of colour to the picture below.


Home again for naps, an early meal, and best wishes to our friends for their return journey to Munich. It has been fun!