Posts Tagged ‘Phleger estate’

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.

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

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.


August 27, 2011

Saturday, 27 August, 2011

Hiking 20 miles is a way to get sore feet, and maybe not a whole lot more. The benefit in cardiovascular fitness and weight control comes from adding the 4000+ feet of vertical gain that characterized today’s killer hike, up the ridge from the bay side, down the ocean side and back.

I left the car halfway up King’s Mountain road, in the usual spot, in the middle of the fog zone. As usual, I hiked down through Huddart park to the Phleger estate. I took the Raymundo trail just to add a little distance to the hike, and climbed out to Skyline.

Purisima redwoods open space preserve lies across Skyline. Most places were sunny now, but there was still fog over the ocean and inland some distance. By afternoon, maybe (or maybe not) all the fog will have burned off.

I don’t take the upper Purisima trail (fire road) all that often. Turned off at the Craig Britton trail, hiked over to Harkins ridge and down. First wildlife of the day was a pair of banana slugs making mad, passionate love.

At the bottom of the trail, we come right down along the creek, which runs year-round. Very pretty. There was a log fallen across the creek, with a fairly deep pond just downstream, and in the pond, crayfish!

I bet not one visitor in a thousand knows there are crayfish in this creek!

And a very pretty butterfly, willing to wait motionless while I photographed him.

A nice day indeed, but it was starting to become work by the time I got back up to Skyline. Crossed the road to Skyline trail, which I took to Chinquapin trail and back down.

Spoiled again!