A Travellerspoint blog

April 2019

Quick dayhike at Half Moon Bay

20190407_140847.jpg After last weeks hike up Blue Ridge trail overlooking Lake Berryessa, I realized that my Nike sneakers were not an option anymore. They are extremely comfortable, but I have worn them so much. Countless miles of walking, running and hiking is wearing down the soles and not providing proper traction when climbing over boulders. The strenuous hike gave me some trouble this time,my ankles twisted if I got caught between rocks, my right foot cramped while we maneuvered the most dangerous part of the hike and after 4 miles my feet felt tingly. I was not aware of the conditions of this particular trail and certainly not prepared. The next day I went to Sportsman's and purchased a pair of Merrells. It was important to me that they are lightweight and not clunky, but with enough support and good grip. We are planning on a 10 mile hike at Big Basin Redwoods very soon and I used the last 2 days to break in my new hiking shoes. Yesterday's hike brought us 30 south of San Francisco, a small ocean town called Half Moon Bay. F7DD48B3059B55E79756714BD5A6E321.jpg Driving along Highway 1 was beautiful , the curvy road runs alongside the rugged coastline. Several coastal towns speck the area, with plenty of beachy hotels and restaurants. Our destination was the Half Moon Beach State Park, located behind the dunes of the beach, providing some protection for the campers. That's right! You can park your RV here, to reserve a spot go online to Reserve California and pull up Half Moon. Oceanview sites $65 per night, $55 for the other rows - Electric only! To dry camp there is a fee of $35 per night. Dump station, fresh water and bath house are available. F7DE54D1EAA7B3EFFFA97E20B25317D7.jpg 20190412_143752.jpg
A paved trail snakes along the beach, wide enough for bikers as well. It is 2.4 miles to the end or 4.8 miles to return back to the parking lot. Along the way are benches, a couple more bath houses and of course the beach if you want to chill for a while. 20190412_151134.jpg 20190412_151938.jpg q
F7DC0B57B549189F54220D1CB58E5B8F.jpg Our 10 year old son was pretty worn out and our stomachs were growling. It was time to drive to the marina and check out some restaurants. We decided on Peruvian and ordered the biggest burrito I have ever seen. 20190414_092144.jpg
It was stuffed with rice, steak , fried egg, tomatoes, onions and French fries - everything but the kitchen sink. After our tummies were full, we had to walk off some of the food at the marina. We met a longtime live aboard, who owns several boats in that marina and got some very useful information about the slip fees and about upcoming boats for sale. F7DB7E0FD69A11D4768AB9706116C705.jpg We still feel very drawn to the ocean and always return to harbors and marinas. Half Moon Bay marina is a Fisherman's delight, equipped with heavy machinery to unload your catch, full hookup to live on your vessel, restaurants within walking distance, a RV lot for dry camping and a little shopping mall. I could totally dock my boat here and eat fresh crab straight off of fisherman Joe's vessel. The atmosphere was relaxing and totally laid back. That's how I like it! IMG_20190413_091717_958.jpg

Posted by Meike Carter 02:22 Comments (0)

Hiking Napa's Vaca mountain


View Winter Journey on Meike Carter's travel map.

F1EBCDF8CA21012B1500E8DEE6B91FE2.jpg Only a stunning 45 minute ride from Travis AFB where you will cross from Sonoma into Napa county. A massive dam constructed by Monticello divides the counties and keeps Lake Berryessa from draining too quickly. A huge drain hole was constructed to allow better flow, should the lake rise too high. Well, after California's seven year drought, the rainfall from December until now filled up all reservoirs and the spillways are overflowing. It's been years since this phenomenon occurred and we had to see the Glory hole with our own eyes. F1EB2D5505911B2E11B67AE430B46C4E.jpg Yes, we got lucky. A steady downpour of water gushes several feet down the hole, which some call " hell" with tremendous power. People travel from all over to catch a glimpse and snap a photo through metal fencing.
F1E79B3BC1B2E94C1BC255DE3B7DB8EF.jpg Not too far from the Glory Hole is a fantastic hiking trail. I did not see a sign visible from the road indicating a hiking trail, but the flow of hikers emerging from an opening of a wood line made it clear. We parked amongst a cluster of vehicles, filled up our camel bags and rucks with snacks, locked the truck and followed the crowd. First off, you have to cross the creek to get on the trail. Usually the creek is dry extremely low, but since the rain we had to pay closer attention. No big deal, really. 20190407_132404.jpg We decided to follow the Blue Ridge Trail, approximately 2.75 mile hike with an incline of about 1800 feet. Some areas of the trail were steep, but easy to manage going up, no rocks or boulders to climb. A good hour later we reached the top, amazed by the absolute stunning views onto Lake Berryessa. F1E9F6879309F1E6FA78A202FECC6917.jpg F1E965CFE352D86C5D7FD608538D9BE3.jpg We found a nice area with flat boulders to sit on, unpacked our snacks and took a well deserved break. Once we rested enough we had to make a decision to either go left, the same way we just came up on or to turn right and see where it will lead. We decided on the latter and followed the ridge line on top of the mountain range. F1E8DBB8B200E0981D269D05F58E875E.jpg F1E83E2C04C688BD094FDCFECE4F92D6.jpg We still had amazing views onto the lake for another half of a mile until the terrain became rockier and more strenuous. We were literally wedged in between boulders or scooting past steep drop offs at times..I am terrified of heights and faced one of my greatest fears, ultimately causing my right foot to cramp as I maneuvered my way along the peak. I knew that my fear and my lack of water caused my body to seize up and I had to focus on making it back down safely. Just thinking about that situation has be breaking out in sweat. IMG_20190408_090542_682.jpg
I happen to wear the right tank top for this hike, because "the struggle is real" when you hike Blue Ridge Trail.
Well, after what seemed to be forever, we finally came to a less dangerous and less steep decline that turned into a safer trail. We stood at a fork in the trail and had to make the right decision- Homestead trail or Annie trail. We chose Homestead to the left, praying it would tie back to base, where we started. As we looked down into the Valley, it appeared as if we were going even further away from our final destination and began to question our decision. Thankfully some hikers came from that direction and we asked if we are going in the right direction. "Yes, only 2.5 more miles." Whaaat! We were already worn out, had hiked a good 3 hours and running low on water. The downward descend in the wooded area was much better, with plenty of limbs to hold onto. Once we were on the bottom of the mountain and the trail leveled out our feet were happy to step onto flat surface again. A big moral booster was the Creek that we had to cross. We refilled our camel bag with fresh cold spring water and finished our last mile before reaching trail end. 20190407_160455.jpg FB44C654D6A4BABD7032626CFFBC025E.jpg
This hike was absolutely amazing! Next time I want to wear hiking shoes, not running shoes.I was not aware of the condition of this trail and recommend shoes with good track. Also, we will increase our water supply and add a couple of pouches of electrolytes to mix in with the water. To prevent from cramping, I will make sure to use magnesium, calcium and potassium supplements with a protein and vitamin rich meal, before hitting the trail. Oranges, apples, bananas and honey sticks for a quick boost and natural sugar spike will be our go to snacks to keep us going- oh and don't forget some nuts. Until then- happy hiking!
My husband captured way better pictures of the Glory hole. Check it out 8294.jpeg 8293.jpeg

PS. Thanks for the kind comments. I really appreciate it! Keep on blogging @katieshevlin62, can't wait to read your adventures.

Posted by Meike Carter 10:37 Comments (0)

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