Fall is sliding into winter finally. I can feel it in the air now, smell it on the ground. It seems to take forever but then happens in the blink of an eye. One weekend I'm in fall mode, running around and playing on rocks.
The next? A weather system moves through and I find myself almost instantly adjusting to my winter habits.
Winter habit, in my case, is similar enough to summer habit, but with snow thrown in for fun! Yee haha. But this early in the winter season there is enough snow to entice, enough snow to open the resorts, and just enough snow to hide all the obstacles waiting to wreck my knees.
So in early winter I start hitting up my training hikes. These past few days I had some time to kill in the afternoons; time enough to get in some exercise. So I snapped a few pics along the way.
So it all started out, I dunno, about 1 PM on Thursday when I rolled out the door after an early start on the work day.
Road 28 in Yolo county, headed toward the Blue Ridge
Don't know where I'm going exactly but decide to head for Cold Canyon in the interest of time. There is a steep trail there and I can be sweating as soon as I get out of the car.
I make really good time coming up the trail, staying well ahead of the setting sun
Only saw one other hiker
Didn't go all the way to the top this time. Time. It was either the summit and hike down in dark or rest up at top of ridge and walk down in sunshine.
I opted for sunshine
Then I got the brilliant idea to hike back down barefoot!
Only for a little while, I assured myself... until my feet started hurting. Only... they never really started hurting!
A really great day in advance of the winter storm supposedly bearing down on NorCal
So the next day another early start at work got me out in the daylight to play. This time Cache Creek. I started out from the bridge on Hwy 16 over the creek, in the driving rain. Had my brelly with me so stayed quite dry. This is a steep hike too, relentless, and I had no intentions of summiting.
But within 15 minutes the rain stopped and the sun peeked through the clouds. It turned out quite nice!
In the end I did climb all the way to the top of Cortina Ridge, on the flank of Mt Glascock. Probably a good 1500' hike too, good exercise.
Hung out for a while
Checked email, sent some messages to a friend, enjoyed a beer
Great views of Fiske Peak
The fireroads I was following were quite muddy though, and this sort of mud can be exhausting. I decided not to go to summit again, for same reasons as previous day... go up in day but come down in dark. Plus with the mud its like walking in wet concrete some times.
I had to scrape frequently on the way down as plunge stepping really caused the mud to build up on boots. Feet never got wet though! Got back to highway well before dark.
So the next morning I was at loose ends once more. Talking to a friend of mine the seed of an idea was planted. 'Why don't you go and hike up that mountain I was telling you about?"
Well, I thought, because my legs are sore from the previous two days? Oh well, nothing like a bad habit to really trash your legs eh? I headed off in that general direction, but didn't decide until I was an hour on the road. I emailed my friend and told her of my destination plans.
This was to be a coast forest and open slope hike and I figured on post-storm fog.
But was instead treated to another bluebird NorCal day!
Could see a LONG way... north and west to Tomales Bay and Pt Reyes
And to Mt Diablo in the other direction well to south
Hung out on the summit for a while then headed down through the Quiet Forest
And it was quiet and peaceful, though gentle switchbacks were tedious and hard on my knees. 3rd day in a row don't you know... my knees were getting needy. No barefoot for me today though... going rock climbing tomorrow and needed to preserve me foot strength!
And of course pictures from small camera do not do justice to the size of the trees in the ravines
So that was nice. And again home before dark, awesome.
So today rock climbing is on the agenda. I'm going to wake my daughter here in about 10 minutes. It'll take her a good hour to get ready. Waiting for a friend to show up and then we head out for Grotto for a good climber's workout. I'll be sure and take some pics and post em up.
So... 3 days of 4 in the Valley, are behind me. Gonna make it a great Fourth!
Day 4 now draws to a close
Earlier today, Kaity, Angus and Squishy on the approach
It was chilly at first but the day warmed up nicely and we never got the threatened rain.
Kaity made herself at home
Angus of Broken Toe was climbing without a wimper
Squishy gave Kaity a belay as I led another line in the background
Kaity gettin after it!
Then Squishy like a Tiny Dancer floated the thing
Kaity took an interesting one of me messing around over beneath the headwall
Just another day at the Grotto!
And man did it sure feel good, blessed you might even say.
Squishy gettin after it again
First you put you right foot in your left ear... then stand up!