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Austin Explorer's Logbook


Total Log Entries: 314 (Rank: 3rd) [List Them] [Map Them]
Total Distance: 1,253.62 Miles (Rank: 4th)
Average Distance: 3.99 Miles

Average Rating: (3.05)
Average Difficulty: (2.23)
Average Solitude: (2.53)

Earliest Log Entry: 4/7/2001
Latest Log Entry: 7/16/2017

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


Historic Site

A view of the buildings remaining of the Burdell Farm. [Olompali State Historic Park]

Log Entries

First Trail Challenge 2017 Hike
Bluff Top Trail - 7/16/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 8.44 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 32 minutes

This was the first hike Coppertone and I did as part of the 2017 Sonoma Regional Parks Trails Challenge.  We'll probably only end up doing their 5 hike challenge.  Their intreaguing 50th anniversay challenge might be more than we can manage given our schedule through the rest of the year.

We started off at the north end of the trail in Gualala Point Regional Park.  There is an entry fee to get in there, but we had a parks pass (highly recommended) and didn't want to contend with any parking issues at Walk On Beach to the south.

It was a little strange walking past the quiet, seemingly empty houses at the Sea Ranch development.  We saw more seagulls than people in or around their houses.  It was like a weird scene in a sci-fi movie where everyone except the protagonist disappears.

The trail is very easy to follow along and there's not much elevation gain other than a creek crossing here and there.  There were a number of markers with historical tidbits about the various activities that took place on the land in the past, including bombing runs by aircraft during World War II!

The win was incredibly strong today, particularly when hiking back up to Gualala Point Regional Park.  If we didn't have straps on our hats we would have lost both of them for certain.  On the plus side, that helped keep things much cooler than the temps were further inland, which is why we picked this hike in the first place.

Heel blisters prevent us from continuing
Oat Hill Mine Trail - 7/2/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 4.57 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Coppertone and I had planned to do a wine tasting at a specific tasting room in St. Helena so we decided to try out this trail which we had just found out about not too long ago.

The trail was rocky from the start and immediately starts ascending.  But overall, the steepness of the trail is not too challenging.  Views at 0.5 and 1.0 mile marks present some nice views over parts of Napa Valley and numerous vineyards.

The warmer temperatures and some failing tape caused blisters on Coppertone's feet leading us to cut the outing short.  We need to pack some paper tape in our backpacks to avoid such a situation in the future.

Miwok-Burdell-Loop Trails and Miwok Village
Olompali State Historic Park - 6/10/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 5.30 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 26 minutes

Coppertone and I returned to Olompali State Park for the second time.  This time around we went with a couple of friends from the Sonoma Newcomers Group.

Unlike our last trip to the park in August of last year we saw fewer ground squirrels around the area of the park's farm structures.  They seemed to be under or in every structure or crevice in the past.  This time around we did spot two deer bedding down next to the large dead tree stumb next to the Burdell Barns, both when we headed up the hill to start and when we descended later in the day.

Since we tackled the Miwok Village earlier in the day this time around we were able to devote some more effort to reading the interpretive signs.  The signs for native plants in the garden area included not only their uses but also the names ascribed to them by both the Bodega area and Marin area Miwok groups.

We only saw a few people on the trail today and three of them were workers clearing some vegetation in the creek adjacent to the trail.

Unlike our 11+ mile outing to the top of Mount Burdell, we opted to ascend only a mile above the connection with the Loop Trail before turning back and completing the loop.  This still afforded us a couple of nice views over the Petaluma River.  Our turnaround point was probably fairly close to the point where the switchbacks and steepness up the mountain racket up a notch.

Two Quarry - South Burma Trail Loop
Trione-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.