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July 10, 2005

Briones

tamEight miles today. (170 so far this year.) (Update: according to my calculations, that makes 2005 the record "Chris goes hiking" year. And 5.5 more months to go!) A bit more than 2300 feet total elevation gain. 80-95 degrees, depending on what section of trail I was on. Two species of Clarkia in bloom, and the sticky monkeyflower on every southfacing cliff.

There were park visitors aplenty near the gates, but I got into the back end of Briones rather quickly along the Table Top Trail, and there it was just me, the hawks, and the reptiles. And one trail-runner, lithe enough and dressed in lycra blue and shiny enough to look appealingly reptilian herself. As if to confirm my ID, she stopped to chat and sun herself on a rock and size me up.

The pretty peak in the photo background is Mount Tamalpais, across the bay in Marin County. There are more than a million people hidden behind the hills in this photo. Only a few radio aerials betray their presence. Aside from the brown non-native grasses - the natives would have been a khaki green - this looks not unlike the view from this spot 400 years ago. I like the lenticular cloud above Tam's peak, a pulse of moisture scratched from the sky by the mountaintop.

Posted by Chris Clarke at July 10, 2005 05:50 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
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Comments

I clicked on your photo first and thought "Tamalpais" then realized I had no idea where this was shot - until I read your post. I was surprised I identified it! I've only been out there a few times, the last time two years ago visiting a friend. We wandered around a fort above the bay and then stood looking north for awhile while my friend pointed out mountain bike trails.

Posted by: leslee at July 10, 2005 06:40 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

Aside from the brown non-native grasses - the natives would have been a khaki green

I've long been curious about the invasive non-native grass species v. the native grasses in CA. Is there a good resource on that issue / history?

Posted by: paperwight at July 11, 2005 07:28 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs