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Austin Explorer's Logbook

Stats

Total Log Entries: 311 (Rank: 3rd) [List Them] [Map Them]
Total Distance: 1,235.31 Miles (Rank: 4th)
Average Distance: 3.97 Miles

Average Rating: (3.04)
Average Difficulty: (2.22)
Average Solitude: (2.52)

Earliest Log Entry: 4/7/2001
Latest Log Entry: 5/29/2017

Average ratings are based on the published values and not the values entered in your own log entries.

Photos

Trail View

A view of the trail looking back towards downtown Napa. The train tracks on the right is the line used by the Napa Valley Wine Train. [Napa Valley Vine Trail]

Log Entries

Two Quarry - South Burma Trail Loop
Annadel State Park - 5/29/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 8.86 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 49 minutes

Coppertone and I returned for follow up visit to map some trails that we had not been able to hike and map last year.  Even after today's outing I estimate we'd have to come back at least twice more before we hike all of the trails.

Every time we come to Annadel it seems to be hot, and today was no exception. We began at the main trailhead and using Warren Richardson Trail as the starting off point made an 8+ mile loop out of Two Quarry Trail and South Burma Trail.

Turkey calls could be heard off in the distance.  We were surprised to see a solitary turkey in the brush just 10 feet from the trail foraging for food and fairly unconcerned with our presense.

We stopped for a snack on a picnic bench along South Burma Trail and as we were packing up to hike some more we noticed a good number of plastic army men lodged into nooks and crannies of the Douglas Fir tree truck adjacent to the park bench.  They continued a good 15 feet up.

Coppertone amused herself by starting small rock cairns on top of the large rocks adjacent to or right in the middle of the trails.  This was fun for a while until it became obvious that that there were so many that could be "decorated".

Up Mount Tam on a railroad grade
Mount Tamalpais Watershed - 4/30/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 7.27 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 29 minutes

Coppertone and I joined some other members of the Sonoma Activity Group on and out and back up the side of Mount Tamalpais.  The route chosen was an old fire road which may have also been part of the path used by the Mount Tamapais railroad.  The trail names (Gravity Car Road and Old Railroad Grade) certainly seemed to hint at that.

The trail provided numerous views to the south towards southern Marin County and San Francisco.  At times it was possible to see sweeping views from Richmond to the Pacific Ocean.  This included Angel Island, Alcatraz, Oakland, the Bay Bridge, the very top of the Golden Gate Bridge, Sutro Tower and so much more.

Because of the gentle grade and wide trail, the path was also very popular with cyclists who occasionally whipped by.  Most were quite courteous though.

Our turnaround point was the West Point Inn, one of the few remaining signs of the old railroad on the mountain.  It once served as a stopping point for the railroad and now serves as an off-the-grid inn and rest stop for hikers on the mountain.  Coppertone and I may consider a couple of days here at some point in the future to be able to do as many trails in the area as possible.

Another SAG outing
Sonoma Valley Regional Park - 4/28/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.20 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 3 minutes

Went on another Sonoma Activity Group outing starting out with a hike around Suttonfield Lake at Sonoma Valley Regional Park.  With all of the rain this past winter the grasslands were still mostly green, a startling contrast from the browns of last fall.  The lake is also filled to capacity.

After completing the loop most of us headed to the Jack London Lodge Saloon for some refreshments.  The wet winter has also created a bumper crop of mosquitoes so we cut our usual stay a bit short before heading down the street for a burger at Glen Ellen Inn.

Art on the trail and wine on the square
Foss Creek Pathway - 4/22/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.77 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 3 minutes

Coppertone and I walked along Foss Creek while visiting Healdsburg for some BBQ and wine tasting.  It's a very easy, flat and paved path that is suitable for people of all abilities.  Some of the public art on display along the path adds an extra dimension to the walk.

Full Creek
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park - 4/15/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 4.69 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 54 minutes

Coppertone and I made a second visit to the park to map some more of the trails we missed out on the first time.  We were impressed with Ritchey Creek.  The wet winter has fully recharged the stream and it was gushing water throughout our hike.  The white noise sound of rushing water was nearly constant all along Redwood Trail.

The trail parallels the creek, much to the delight of Coppertone who loves waterfalls, no matter the size.  The name of the trail is evident given the many tall coastal Redwoods found here.  The parks boasts of the farthest inland stands of Redwoods in a state park.

The heavy rains over the last few months has caused major problems for the trees in the park and the volunteers who help maintain the trails.  Numerous trees, some quite large, have fallen in various directions and knocked down several neighboring trees, opening up the canopy.  In addition, large logs had to be cut up since they had fallen right across the trail.

Another large thing we found right across the trail was banana slug.  Not wanting him to be crushed by the next passerby, we used a couple of sticks to move him off to the side of the trail he seemed eager to get towards.

Ferns love the moist environment along the creek and under the Redwoods.  Their new growth was beginning to uncurl.  New growth on ferns almost look like coiled up caterpillars.  

Our plan was to hike as far back as we could manage and even took along some snacks to fuel our endeavor.  About 2.5 miles into the hike Redwood Trail crosses Ritchey Creek and joins up with Ritchey Canyon Trail.  But we could not find a sure fire way to cross over the stream without getting a bit wet.  Had we brought a towel we could have taken our shoes off but we were not so prepared.  So we ended up doubling back the way we came along Redwood Trail.

On the trip back we saw a Fire Rescue individual crossing the stream at another crossing, and getting a little wet.  Turns out someone on our side of the stream had injured themselves and had called for help.  By the time we cleared the area there were at least four team members there to help.