I spent maybe 30 minutes yesterday evening preparing for today. I figured out where I wanted to hike and the trails I was going to take. I fleshed out a few blogging-related tasks, and I even made a grocery list for the kitchen projects I’ve been wanting to work on but never get around to because I don’t know what I need.
With all the decisions made last night, my day has been smooth and productive, and I’ve avoided being sucked into Netflix or my phone. It’s amazing what a little preparation does.
I promised Pita a hike yesterday, she was feeling particularly moody and cabin fever-ish. It’s been hot here in the Bay Area (our summer always seems to come in September/October), so we ate a quick breakfast and headed out.
Greek yogurt, half a banana, handful of blueberries, flax seed, shredded coconut
Redwood Regional Park is one of my favorites in the East Bay. It has an extensive trail system spanning its 1830 acres, making it easy to create hikes of all lengths and to explore new trails as often as you’d like. I usually park at the Skyline staging area because there’s no fee (it gets super crowded on the weekends, so get there early!). If you park at the main staging area off Redwood Road, there’s a $5 fee for cars and $2 for dogs on holidays and weekends.
Check out what I saw at the staging area, I didn’t think payphones existed anymore!
From Skyline Staging Area, we headed out on the West Ridge Trail. West Ridge is mostly exposed, but I was surprised by how warm it already was at 9 a.m.. This trail is really popular with trail runners, dog-walkers and cyclists, so be prepared for a busy trail in the evenings and on the weekends.
We followed West Ridge until the junction with Tres Sendas, which we turned left onto. Tres Sendas is all downhill in this direction (my knees were a little grumpy about this after my long run yesterday), and it takes you down into the under-story of the Redwoods. When you cut away from West Ridge Trail and into the middle of the park, there’s usually fewer people on the trails. This is the part of the park I love the most, the cool stillness of the woods.
We continued on Tres Sendas until we hit Stream Trail. The spot where the two trails join is a lovely place to sit for a while, enjoy lunch and listen to the flow of Redwood Creek (which is all dried up this time of year, womp womp). When the creek is running, it is one of the most peaceful areas in the park. It’s also a protected habitat for rainbow trout, so dogs need to be leashed in this area and no fishing allowed.
If it had been cooler, I would have turned right here to make a longer loop, but since it was already heating up, we turned left and took Stream Trail back to the staging area. I love the smell of pine needles warming in the sun, but Pita is not her best in hot weather.
The entire loop was about 2.67 miles, and took us just over an hour at a meandering pace. I’d call it easy, with the down-hill portion of Tres Sendas possibly challenging for those with knee/hip/back problems, and the majority of Stream Trail being gently uphill. Bring water and sunscreen if the sun is shining.
At a few spots along the trail I saw bags of dog poop left on the side.
I generally carry Pita’s poo bags back to the staging areas and toss them there, but every time I see bags on the side I always wonder, do people do that because it’s accepted? Does someone with the Parks Department come and pick them up? Turns out not so much. Don’t forget to pack your pup’s poo out! Extra points if you pack all the poo out.
Even though it’s hot as a monkey’s bum, I’ve been craving cold weather food and I’ve got a mixed-bean, lentil and ham soup simmering away in a crock-pot. If it turns out delicious, I’ll be sharing soon.