Posts Tagged ‘Huddart park’

Getting on toward summer

June 5, 2016

Saturday 4 June 2016

Supposed to be a hot day, so I decided to hike Purisima, possibly the coolest of the preserves. Parked halfway up Kings Mountain road, hiked down through Huddart Park, back up through Phleger Estate to the Kings Mountain volunteer fire station, where I refilled the water bottle. Then along Skyline to the North Ridge entrance.

As well as a garter snake (no photo), interesting and unusual sights included a slime mold on a stump.




Looks like scrambled eggs, doesn’t it!

Not far down the Purisima North Ridge trail, I met Michael, who was a bit unsure what he wanted to do here today, if anything. Turned out he was from Fort Collins, Colorado, taking a day’s break from a week of work, staying at a B&B in Half Moon Bay. We walked and talked for a while; I confirmed his identification of poison oak — probably the single most important thing to do! — and we talked about grades, redwoods and Douglas fir, Audobon birds, and any number of things. Fortunate enough to find another garter snake to show Michael.

Hot enough day that I kept it to 17 miles, 3000 vertical feet — industrial grade, not a killer hike.

Sunday, 5 June

Coming down Kings Mountain Road yesterday, I passed workers out painting brightly coloured arrows on the road, and was reminded that the first Sunday in June is always the date for the Sequoia Century.

I don’t want to add congestion to the roads today, so I decided to visit Pulgas Ridge open space preserve, well away from the century routes, close and convenient, and a place I almost never go. Probably worth a circuit to have a look for bull thistle.

Got there during the coolth of the morning; the sun and heat didn’t really break through until I reached more or less the high point of the outer loop trail, so it worked out well. Short hike, but pleasant.


And the special feature of today’s hike was seeing the lawn mowers in action. My favourite thing!



They eat pretty much anything and everything. It’s only a shame they can’t be turned loose on more of the preserves.

Huddart and Purisima

May 4, 2014


Saturday, 3 May 2014

A nice day for a walk in the woods. Cool, even chilly, but very pleasant. The usual hike from mid-way up Kings Mountain road down to the Phleger Estate, thence up to skyline. I bypassed the Kings Mountain village completely this time, turned north on a trail somewhat lower down the hill, a trail I haven’t taken before, and crossed Skyline considerably further north than usual.


Lots of newts; I saw four in one 10-foot length of trail. Populations fluctuate year by year, and this seems to be an exceptionally good year for newts. While I’m on the topic of populations, I think I’ve seen far fewer ground squirrels this year than usual.

From the north Skyline gate of Purisima, I returned by way of the Craig Britton trail, much of it open and sunny. Because it gets so much more rain (from fog condensation), the west side of the ridge is far more lush. Huddart (above) is beautiful, but dry and open.

15 miles, 3000 vertical feet. Qualifies as an industrial strength hike. Nice day.

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.

Wunderlich to Huddart

August 18, 2013

Saturday, 17 August 2013

I did pretty well on last weekend’s hike, so maybe I’ll try for a killer hike today. Supposed to be hot and muggy (!) inland. I went to Wunderlich park and hiked along the Skyline trail to Huddart park. I was worried that I might not exceed 20 miles, which is more or less the criterion for a killer hike, so I took Summit Springs road trail across Huddart to Richards road trail and looped back on Skyline trail. Then about halfway back, I crossed by way of the new Molder trail — new since last I was here — into El Corte de Madera open space preserve. Long enough, 23.5 miles.


Early on, I encountered a family of deer, peacefully munching on the poison oak. Three or four does not in the picture, but what surprised me was the two bucks, apparently getting along just fine.



The other interesting wildlife of the day was this woodpecker. Update: Doris tells me it’s a northern flicker. Thanks, Doris; you are always very helpful and knowledgeable.

Good to get out, get a little fresh air and exercise.

Hiking Huddart, Phleger, Purisima

February 2, 2013

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Left the car halfway up Kings Mountain road, as usual. Hiked downhill to Richards road trail, around the outermost trails of Phleger estate, then up to Kings Mountain village, where I refilled the water bottle.

Went along the trails that parallel Skyline boulevard to the north parking lot of Purisima Redwoods open space preserve, then down the west side of the ridge, and looped back on Craig Britton trail, which runs across more or less halfway up the ridge.


It was getting on toward noon, but fog still lay heavy over the coast, and it was drifting up the valley toward the ridge.


The trail was near the fog boundary. Sometimes wisps of fog would drift across the trail and vanish before my very eyes as the fog evaporated. Further on, further up, it was sunny.


How often do you see a black mushroom? Well, actually, there are lots of black fungi around, but very few of them are conical.


The wildflowers are getting started.


All of these photos came from the west side of the ridge. The east side is nowhere near as interesting, presumably because it gets less precipitation.


17 miles, 3500 feet of climb, nice day.

The fungi of winter

January 6, 2013

Sunday, 6 Jan 2013

A leaking pipe in the yard used up much of Saturday, leaving only enough time for a 5-mile run. Therefore, Sunday was for hiking. It rained overnight, but promised to be only overcast on Sunday. Because of the duff, trails in the forest are less likely to be muddy, so I left the car at the usual Kings’ Mountain road turnout, hiked down into Huddart park to the Phleger estate, climbed to Skyline, and returned to the car. About 10 miles, and a nice day. It is the time of year for fungi.

Rather than embedding today’s photos inline, I assembled them into a PDF presentation. CTRL-L puts the presentation into full-screen mode. Enjoy!

Huddart park, Phleger estate

— Dave

The only people in Palo Alto to see a harvestman on Thanksgiving

November 23, 2012

Thursday, Thanksgiving day

The weather is supposed to be nice through the long holiday weekend. I started out with a short run, followed by lunch with the aged aunt. We went to Flames coffee shop, where the closest we got to a turkey was the soup that came with my chicken souvlaki plate. A good time was had by all.

In the afternoon, Jacky and I wandered out to enjoy the day. Beautiful fall colours!

Jacky’s brother Roy sends her a flower of the week photo. I figure this is one she could send back to him!

We went to the Gamble house and garden, where I kept an eye out for small animals. It really isn’t the season to find very many small animals, but I spotted one of my favourites! — a harvestman! Cool!

Friday, 23 November

Happy birthday, Marian.

I went to Wunderlich park with the idea of crossing Skyline and extending the hike down the other side in Corte de Madera open space. But the trail into Corte de Madera was closed for rebuilding. The sign says there will be an access road and a parking area, which will indeed be an improvement.

So I hiked the trail along Skyline to Huddart park instead. I turned back not long after noon, a little bit short of Huddart: I didn’t recall what time sunset was, and did not want to be benighted out here. Back to the parking lot at 4, getting chilly, but not yet dark. 20.5 miles, 3500 vertical feet.

Here is a wet-season small animal! These tiny salamanders are found under loose bark. Their legs are so small that people frequently mistake them for tiny snakes. Fortunately (from the photographer’s point of view), they tend to freeze when threatened, rather than scrambling away. The same habitat caters for red centipedes, but they don’t stay around to have their pictures taken!

Killer hikes and tarantulas

September 23, 2012

I spotted this little guy on the back door, then (for this picture) on the doorstep, just another of the small spiders you see all the time. More interesting when you get a magnified view.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

The first day of autumn. Tarantula season ought to be getting under way, and the best places to find them are the open grassy lands of the east bay. But my car shows a Check Engine light (NOx sensor), and I don’t want to drive it excessively until I take it in and spend money on it. So I parked on Cañada road just south of Edgewood, where a one-mile frontage trail along 280 gives access to Huddart park.

I hiked up through Phleger estate and stopped at the Kings Mountain fire station to refill the water bottle. I’m told that the trail along Skyline is called the Kings Mountain sidewalk, so I took the sidewalk north to the Purisima Redwoods parking lot. Then down, the Whittemore Gulch trail to the bottom and the Purisima Creek trail and fire road back to Skyline. From Skyline back down on Crystal Springs trail to the starting point. 22 miles, 3800 feet of climb.

Does that count as a killer hike? Less than 4000 vertical feet is a little wimpy, but 20 miles is a fair distance. Yes, I suppose it counts. Sore feet. Nice day, nice hike, but no pictures.

Sunday, 23 September

Before my Achilles surgery, I could run about 3 miles, maybe once a week, with a rest day afterward.  I have been doing 3-mile runs since recovering, but I think it should be possible to extend the distance. What better time than today?

Ran from home through Stanford, detouring to the succulent garden (no pictures, wrong time of year). On up to the Stanford dish trail. I am a little short on energy from yesterday’s hike, but still able to run up most of the hills, walking for a few minutes where necessary.

Open grassland up here, and there he was, the first tarantula of the season! Cool!

One of the other hikers spotted him first, and he was in the tall grass when I went over for a look. Tall grass makes for impossible photography, so I picked him up and put him out in the short grass, where he posed for a picture or two. Thanks, big guy!

Down the hill (500 vertical feet for today), walking the steeper parts in respect for my knees, but running the gentle downgrades. I am radically extending the length of my previous runs, and probably ought not overdo it (well, not by too much). So once I got back into town, I started walking, at least part of the time. The total distance was 10 miles, and I probably ran about 8. That’s a good extension over 3, assuming I’m not limping tomorrow.

Stopped at Elizabeth Gamble House, a small park and garden. They always have nice flowers and sometimes interesting small animals, too.

The second interesting small animal of the day was a butterfly, busy nozzling up nectar from a flower.

And the third was a leafhopper of some sort, so well hidden that I kept losing it every time I diverted my attention to the camera.

There are small animals in California, too!

September 3, 2012

The return from Europe used all of Saturday. Sunday I went out for a little hike to see if I was still okay (pretty much zero exercise in Europe, just a few km of daily walking). 10 miles, 2000 vertical feet — yes, I’m still okay.

And there were a couple of small animals to photograph. The Käfer above isn’t as beautiful as the one we found in Bucharest, but it’s not bad. And I love the transparency of the one in the photo below.

At home Sunday evening: I headed off to bed first. When Jacky came up a few minutes later, she saw my camera lying on the dresser, not its usual place, and said, “I bet there was a spider.” She knows me far too well!

Needless to say, I didn’t damage this guy, although I did encourage him to stay out of the way of bare feet.

Monday is Labor day, and I always like to get to the Kings Mountain art fair. It was definitely subliminal this year — I had forgotten that this was the right time and place until I got partway up Kings Mt road and observed the heavier than usual traffic. As always, I left the car at the wide spot in KM road, hiked down to the Phleger estate trailhead and up the long way through the Phleger estate trails.

This vendor sells woolen yarn and fabric, and I thought the name was outstanding, especially since we’re just back from Deutschland.

I have thought for many years that it would be nice if there were a trail from the Phleger Estate Lonely Trail to the north Purisima parking lot. I talked to one of the Kings Mountain volunteer firemen, and learned that there is indeed such a trail. Cool!

I had not really intended to make this a killer hike day, but it was only noon-ish, and what else am I doing today anyway… ? True, I had worn a tee shirt on the assumption that I would be almost entirely in the forest, and there are some open stretches on the other side, but it isn’t all that bad. And I would have been short on water, but a refill was available at the Kings Mountain fire station.

Not the world’s most congenial trail, but it works, except for walking in the road for about the last hundred meters. It’s an extra thousand feet of elevation gain, exercise that I need. And a good time was had. 16 miles, 3200 vertical feet.

Huddart – Purisima

June 9, 2012

I left the car on Canada road (that’s canYAda) just off interstate 280. In the meadow near the road, two deer. One of them was taking a dump. Had you asked, I would have extrapolated from physical similarity to horses and cows, and said they just dumped as they walked along. Not so: they squat like dogs.

Today’s utterly useless fact!

I walked into Huddart park on Crystal Springs trail. I have done this before, but not for quite a while. Not sure exactly how far it was, so I headed straight up the hill on the Richards Road trail.

Crossed Skyline and went into Purisima Creek Redwoods open space preserve. I was walking down the fire road trail when I heard a hiker ahead of me: “Wow!” What? A big snake? I hurried up.

Not a big snake, but pretty impressive evidence of the geological instability of the Bay area. The trail was closed to horses, probably for fear that the whole hillside could slide down under not very much additional impetus.

I turned off on Craig Britton trail and went across to the Harkins Ridge trail, then down. Stopped along the creek at the bottom to see if I could find crayfish. No, not today. I did find a couple of millipedes, however.

And I discovered that if I used the flash to freeze the motion, I could get some pretty interesting pictures of the standing waves in the creek. Cool! if I do say so myself!

I hiked on further up the Purisima creek trail, discovering a couple of interesting insects along the way.

I am not clear whether this is a carnivorous beetle or not. If so, that aphid is in big trouble.

The west side of the ridge is a distinctly different micro-climate. Duff dampish — you don’t crackle when you walk on it. Ferns thick between the redwoods, and grass and bush elsewhere. When I crossed back over the ridge, I was forcibly reminded of the characteristic micro-climate of the east slope: dry duff and leaves on the ground, ferns quite rare, and no further interesting small animals.

21.7 miles, 4600 vertical feet. I guess that qualifies it as a killer hike.

Huddart-Purisima fungi

January 3, 2010

I left the car at Huddart park and hiked over the ridge into Purisima. Down the hill to the bottom, back up Harkins ridge trail and over the ridge again, where I returned by way of the Phleger estate.

Beautiful hike, and in December, the fungi are out in their full glory. View the slide show (12 MB): Huddart-Purisima fungi