Monday, 29 June 2015

Pillar Point

This post is a week late, we've had a busy couple of weeks. After the last reported hike when we saw a snake, we needed to find a simple, easy hike. Pillar Point seemed to fit the bill. The directions on were slightly inaccurate (or I misread them), but the turn we had to take was the one after the Capistrano intersection traffic light - if you reach the airport you've gone too far. Incidentally, the roads that take us to the parking lot reveal a slightly different flavour of Half Moon Bay, which is interesting.

The trail to Pillar Point is just over 1.2 miles, with the harbor on one side and a cliff face on the other.

When we reached the beach, the 5 y.o. spent a happy couple of hours playing in the sand :) One interesting point - the harbor seems like it would be a good place to kayak for a beginner - it is protected, and should therefore be a little easier. Something I will keep in mind when we eventually make the move to kayaks ... :)

Not much more to write, as I said - easy flat 1.2 miles one way. We saw a couple of hares from the parking lot, and pelicans and ducks at the beach.

For families - the trail is flat and easy, reasonably stroller friendly. There are a couple of pit loos at the entrance, not particularly clean. But the walk is fun, and you can let kids run ahead without worries.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Tafoni at El Corte de Madera Open Space Preserve

Last weekend we went up to El Corte de Madera again - we still wanted to reach the Tafoni, and it was a really hot day - El Corte de Madera has some of the more shaded trails around here.

Unlike last time, we hit Skyline from CA 92 and just drove South. There are three possible entrances - one is near Skeggs point (there is also a bit car park here), one with a restroom previously described here and one in between the two mentioned above. It was this in-between one that we stopped at - the Tafoni is about 1.5 to 2 miles from here.

Unlike the last time, the trails were dry this time so we didn't see much wildlife apart from birds till we reached the Tafoni. We did find hazelnuts on the trail though - and when we finally reached the sandstone, everyone, especially the 5 y.o. was thankful for the break (it was a really hot day!). Luckily, the sandstone is pretty impressive:
The small red figure at the base is out 5 y.o. who raced up ahead of us. Up close, the carvings on the sandstone are pretty cool (impressive, I mean - proper grownups don't use the word cool) :)
We hung around at the observation deck for some time, and then started back. On the way back, we saw a garter snake.

The snake was exciting when the 5 y.o. first saw it, but has raised some worries about rattlesnakes in his mind so our next few hikes will strive to be a little less exciting :)