Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rockin' good walk

Our local weather experts have been drizzlin' in their drawers they are so worked up about a series of very wet storms that are set to hit the Bay Area starting today. All of the local ark builders are swamped with work.

I suspect that had something to do with this morning's light turnout for our San Jose Stay Fit walking group - there were six of us total. (Nice bonus for me though is that there are fewer names to have to run through my secret name generator.)

Today's walk was at the Castle Rock State Park. This is a beautiful place with a huge number of trails.

Unfortunately, a lot of the trails are not marked. So maps were consulted and educated guesses were made.

There were also a number of trees laying across the trail.

A LOT of trees. Just when you get the idea that these trails are not getting much love, you see this very useful sign.

They can't put up signs telling the names of trails as they fork off, but they can put up these signs that remind you that you are on a trail.

Here Mrs Notthat poses by an actual useful sign.

And speaking of signs, these are the signs we saw as we arrived at Castle Rock Campground, pointing out the dangers of the trail we had just been on. No wonder people are terrified of getting outdoors and hugging trees.

I don't have a picture of a porta-pottie - there weren't any on this hike. At the campground they had nearly proper bathrooms.

Once we left the campground, the walk started getting very rock infested. I loved it. Notice how everyone is very focused on where they are going to put their feet.

There were some very large rocks, some with sharp drop offs on one side. Several had cables for you to hold onto in the hopes of reducing the number of people they have to scrape up from the bottom of the cliff.

One of the cool things about a rocky trail is that you don't have to sweat mud very much.

Here is the whole group (minus me). From the left, that is Nna, Uidualc, Luap, Yzus (not their real names), and of course Mrs Notthat.

As much as I loved this part of the trail, I think it was very hard on Mrs Notthat's knee.

This part of the trail was lined with manzanita trees. These trees look like some sort of alien life form is slowly swallowing their trunks. They are awesome.

Uidualc could not resist trying to push this rock off the cliff. (He failed.)

There were parts of the trail that were not friendly to those of us that are blessed with excessive girth. Nna however fit through with no trouble.

OK, maybe I got a bit carried away with taking pictures of the rocky trail.

This is the whole group of us (including me!) at a vista overlook sort of thing. It was also the last picture of the walk since the battery died at this point.

In any case, it was a great walk - a bit cool when the wind would kick up, but completely dry. It was also encouraging to see so many other people out on the trail, in spite of the signs predicting near certain death and the hyperventilating weatherpersons.

Next week will be a shorter (but steeper) walk in preparation of the Bear Creek Half Marathon on the following Saturday (January 30th). Which is good since we may really need to be working on our ark next weekend.

That's it - move along...


DAK said...

Is the knee the reason Mrs. NotThat seems to be using ski poles? She doesn't think there is likely to be snow up there does she? She, and you, are looking absolutely svelte these days. It's scary.

mary ann said...

I was going to ask about the walking sticks Mrs. NotThat uses. They are v. popular in Europe. Where did she buy them and does she love them? They look especially helpful for that icky "trail" you found.