alamere trail run

I’ve been bad and in a slight funk the last two weeks. No exercise, no hiking. I may or may not have used my busted ankle as the excuse to lay off anything that even slightly raised my heartrate. Sigh.

So I decided to hike to Alamere Falls again, figuring it for an easy one since there’s not much elevation change at all and there’s a gratifying waterfall waiting for you at the end of the trail.

It was strangely easy (except for the having to be careful on my ankle part). I suppose this means that I’m in much better shape than I was a little over a year ago? I wasn’t the first one in the parking lot, but I was definitely the first one on that trail and the first to reach the waterfall. I started at the trailhead at 7:20am and made it back to the car around 10:30, including a 30+ minute break for some pictures and breakfast-snack. I had the entire cliff to myself for about 20+ minutes before the first couple groups of hikers arrived too. Compare that to last year, when it took us 4+ hours roundtrip, and we didn’t really stop to rest at all either so we could beat everyone back to the lot. The only thing I didn’t do was the scramble down to the beach. Since I was the only person around, I wasn’t sure I wanted to risk not being able to climb back up on my ankle. Better safe than sorry for sure. I also ran maybe 1/3 of the way back which definitely saved me some time.

Some other observations while returning and observing hikers coming in:
– A lot of girls wear makeup while hiking. The first group that came after me consisted of 4 people, 2 of them female and both wearing full faces of makeup, eyeliner and everything.
– I’m not huge on “trail etiquette”, but since we’re all sharing the trail, it makes sense to at least acknowledge the other people sharing it with you. So I usually smile or say hey/morning really quickly. Younger folks don’t do this, at all. They just ignore you and half the time, don’t even move aside to make it easier for you when you pass them. That’s probably the most annoying part.

Anyway, I’m going to attempt a two-fer this weekend and drive down to Castle Rock for a short 5-miler tomorrow. Wish me luck.



berry creek falls – big basin

Hiked the Berry Creek Falls Loop this morning with Dad. 11.5 miles, and we averaged maybe 3 miles per hour if you don’t count a couple breaks for nature’s calling + food.

The good:
– Great workout overall. Not particularly strenuous like the internet says, in my opinion. It’s more of a long moderate hike. We went counter-clockwise, so tackled all the hard parts first, came down along the waterfalls, then took the gradual hike upward back out.
– Waterfalls! Even in peak summer months, the waterfall +all the littler ones were still pretty nice to see. Given our direction, I actually liked climbing down alongside them.
– Some interesting bits – downed trees to climb under and small hops that might be actual stream crossings after winter rains.

The struggle:
– Loads and loads of mosquitoes in the morning – so aggressive. Had to hide in the car and wait for the park store to open up at 8 so we could buy obscenely expensive DEET spray. It worked, at least.
– Rolled my ankle. Twice. Those hidden slippery roots, man. I should really wear boots from now on if there’s these redwoods about. Fortunately (or unfortunately), it was my left ankle. Not sure if it’s a good thing that it wasn’t the same right ankle, or bad because now I have two weaker ankles overall.
– Big Basin State Park gets crazy insane crowded. We got there super early before the rangers even show up, but when we came out, there were people, kids, everything everywhere. Also in general, lots more people on the trail we took after around 11am. Just the way it is.

Now, I gotta rest my ankle. It’s not as bad as last time, but I need it to be in working condition for next weekends hiking. Thank you, ibuprofen.

Time to do some arts and crafts.


hike plan update

I’ve been bad and have only done upper body workouts a couple times since Tomales Point. Between work and home drama, I’ve been distracted and off my game. Yikes.

Dad’s in town this weekend, so we’re going to hike Berry Creek Falls down at Big Basin. Should be fun. I’m going to try and do a two-fer this weekend and tackle Castle Rock too.

Mission Peak – 6.5 mi, 2200 ft gain, half of half-dome
Tomales Point – 9.4 mi, 1200 ft gain, mileage
Berry Creek Falls Loop (Big Basin) – 10 mi, 2000 ft gain, waterfalls! +mileage
Castle Rock State Park – 5.5 mi, 1000 ft gain, lots of scrambles
Mitchell Canyon-Eagle Peak Loop, Mount Diablo – 7.8 mi, 2200 ft gain, heat/endurance
Stinson Beach to Mt. Tam Loop – 16 mi, 3200 ft gain, mileage