Posts Tagged ‘Mavericks surf’


April 11, 2015

Saturday, 11 April 2015

The lining of my boots is shredding, so I bought a new pair. I fully expect that my new boots and I will be good friends, but perhaps I shouldn’t assume that by going on a killer hike on day one. The default hike at Purisima is about 10 miles, and there’s a loop option that adds another 5 miles and a thousand feet of climb, if the boots are happy by the time I get to the choice point.

And so it was: 15 miles, 3600 feet of climb. Not a killer hike, but industrial strength.


A beautiful, clear day, lots of people out enjoying it. I started by working on broom out along North Ridge trail, cleaning up some that I had missed, and using my newly-acquired folding saw to work on some that were too big to get otherwise. But I’m wearing shorts and have only wrist-length gloves, so I’m doing what I can to stay out of the poison oak, and that gives some of the broom a reprieve.

Then on down Whittemore Gulch trail, and back along Purisima creek, with a detour up Grabtown Gulch trail and down Borden Hatch Mill, finally picking up Craig Britton trail back toward the parking area.

A surprising number of downed trees, given that there hasn’t been a storm recently. I carry plastic tape on which I note my initials and the date, just so the next volunteer knows he doesn’t have to report the same fallen tree yet again. One of the fallen trees had already been flagged, with a date of February 10. That’s one to report a second time!


The one above was on Purisima creek trail. Passable, but you would have to duck-walk under it.

There were so many fallen trees that I ran out of tape. Came upon someone putting up colored tape along the trail. His flags were long streamers, and I stopped to consider whether I could, in good conscience, steal half of one of his streamers. He saw me looking at the tape and came back to talk.

Name of Will, he was marking the route for a run tomorrow. He had jumped to the conclusion that I objected to his tape, so he wanted to assure me that the course would be swept tomorrow, after the run. I believe him.

He went his way and I went mine. I found a poison oak vine wafting itself out into the trail, where a runner (or anyone else not paying attention) could easily brush against it. I was able to pile a chunk of deadfall onto it, to anchor it to the embankment beside the trail. My good deed for the day.


Everyone was enjoying the day, even the insects!


As I went on, it occurred to me that the low-overhang fallen tree (above) would be a nuisance for the runners. And it just so happened that I met a ranger as I was hiking up the last steep stretch to the parking lot. He didn’t have a chainsaw in his truck, but he did have a bigger hand saw than mine, and volunteered to go around and remove the tree today. His good deed for the day.


And in the parking lot, I discovered a pet. Put her on my thumb while I took a picture or two, then gave her the brush-off. I heartily approve of females climbing onto my bod, but not that kind of female, sorry.


Look closely (click to enlarge), and you’ll see the droplets of topical anaesthetic she exudes from her feet, so she can crawl across my skin without triggering a reaction.

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.

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.