Las Trampas: Bollinger Creek Loop Trail

Looking for a great trail to hike with young kids in San Ramon?  At under two miles, with a variety of scenery, this is one of my favorites spots in the region for a quick escape into nature! Photos taken February 19th, 2014 *** Las Trampas Regional Wilderness, San Ramon, California I’ve written about this one before… Hike: Bollinger Creerk Trail, Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Continue reading Las Trampas: Bollinger Creek Loop Trail

It’s cold in California! Now let’s go play outside…

I’ve noticed a funny thing here in California (at least in the Bay Area).  When the temperature drops below 60F, kids disappear from the playgrounds.  This morning before school, the thermostat was still hovering around the freezing point, yet the kids who arrived early had a blast running around on the playground.  Really, parents, playing outside is healthy in all weather.  If kids in Finland … Continue reading It’s cold in California! Now let’s go play outside…

Chaparral Loop Trail: Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

The Chaparral Loop Trail at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch is a great trail to hike with kids.  First, the trail starts at the Greathouse Visitor Center, which, alone would be a great destination for a family with kids.  The visitor center is located within the mountain!  After exploring the visitor center for a bit, head out onto the trail.  The trail is … Continue reading Chaparral Loop Trail: Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

Yosemite National Park: Government Shutdown

We’re fortunate.  We visit Yosemite National Park four or so times every year.  This past weekend, we went to the park to celebrate our ten-year wedding anniversary.  We stayed at a family cabin in Yosemite West, which is in the park, but technically outside the park.  We were allowed to go to the cabin, but we weren’t allowed to stop along any of the roads … Continue reading Yosemite National Park: Government Shutdown

DVD Review: Tell It on the Mountain, Tales from the Pacific Crest Trail

I have to admit, I don’t watch TV.  And I haven’t seen many movies in the past several years.  I do, on occasion, watch PBS specials and documentaries.  I was thrilled, however, when I was offered the opportunity to review the documentary, Tell It on the Mountain:  Tales from the Pacific Crest Trail. I received the DVD in the mail several weeks ago, but only … Continue reading DVD Review: Tell It on the Mountain, Tales from the Pacific Crest Trail

A Masterpiece of Nature: The California Redwood

The California Redwood, 1200-1800 years old, growing taller than 300 feet, is a true masterpiece of nature. *** The tallest tree in the world, at 379 feet, is a California Redwood (Sequoia Sempervirens). *** Photo taken July 30th, 2013 San Mateo Memorial Park Where the tallest tree is 225 feet, and 1600 years old. *** WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge:  Masterpiece Continue reading A Masterpiece of Nature: The California Redwood

Camping: Juniper Campground, Mount Diablo State Park

Mount Diablo is the perfect place for those of you in the Bay Area who want a quick mountain escape, but who aren’t up for the three-four hours it takes to get to the Sierra Nevada’s.  At 3000 feet elevation, the views from Juniper Campground are stunning.  Of course, this is also a great campground for those from out of the area, looking for an … Continue reading Camping: Juniper Campground, Mount Diablo State Park

Rock City: Mount Diablo State Park

Love this place!! Great for both kids and adults… huge sandstone rock formations to climb, small caves to explore, gorgeous views, fun hiking trails… what’s not to like?? You’ll find Rock City in Mount Diablo State Park, on South Gate Road, near the Live Oak Campground.  For more information about Mount Diablo, visit the website… Mount Diablo State Park. Photos from our visit, June 21st … Continue reading Rock City: Mount Diablo State Park

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

Escape to me means being far, far away from other people, breathing in cool, crisp mountain air, hearing only the random screech of a hawk, inhaling the scent of pine, and taking in the high alpine views. We’ll soon be heading to the Sierras for our first escape of the season.  I absolutely cannot wait to be there…. *** Weekly Photo Challenge:  Escape Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

Sibley: A Volcano, A Labyrinth, & Gorgeous Views

Did you know there’s a volcano right here in the San Francisco East Bay?  Yep, Round Top, a volcano so long extinct that it’s now lying on its side, is located in Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve in the Berkeley Hills.  On Sunday, I enjoyed a fun Mother’s Day hike around the Round Top Loop Trail with my husband and son.  For being such a short … Continue reading Sibley: A Volcano, A Labyrinth, & Gorgeous Views

Osage Station Park: Roses and Running

Over the past several years, I’ve tried running at just about every park in the Pleasanton through Danville area, searching for ones with trails both long enough for a nice-length run and shady enough to provide protection from our blaring summer heat.  I’ve decided my favorite is Osage Station Park in Danville.  The trail looping around the park is about 3/4 miles long, perfect for … Continue reading Osage Station Park: Roses and Running