Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We Went Hiking Today

Although we decided to cancel the  RV trip we were planning on taking this week, we still decided to get out of the house and explore a near by state park.  We have lived here for 26 years and have gone to very few local places.

Castle Rock State Park is located about fifteen miles from here, and includes one of the higher ridges of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  

If you were of a mind to do so, you could hike down 32 miles of trail from the park all the way to the ocean. 

We were not that ambitious, and chose a 7 mile loop, that was listed as having a 1000 foot altitude change, and classified as challenging: not for beginners.  

It was  much easier than our Pinnacles Hikes! Most of it was through beautiful oak forest.  At this time of the year the moss on the rocks is intensely green! Most of the trail was either hard up or steep down.  This was one of the flatter places.

Not far into our hike we came to a waterfall with an overlook.  Below us there was a rock climbing instructor working with a ten year old boy.  This view is almost straight down.

Some of the trail was quite rough. We had to  climb over rocks and boulders. 

There were a few places where we had to guess where the trail was, but after a short distance it would be clear again.

Part of our hike was along the top of the ridge and we were able to see the clouds over the ocean in the distance.

The pictures we took didn't show the vastness of the forest we could see.

It was a beautiful day.  The sky was clear and the temperature was just right.  

Some portions of the trail were enhanced with steps and/or cable railings.  Everywhere I looked there was something very special.  

As usual we took a lot of pictures, and it has been very hard to pick just a few to give you a feel for this wonderful place. The Santa Cruz Mountains!

Like most parks, this one had a special feature.  An interesting kind of limestone rock formation.  The largest of these is Castle Rock, with numerous lacy holes and small caves.

Here I am,  at almost at the end of our hike.  Still smiling.  Legs were very tired, and I wouldn't have wanted to go much farther, but I will have good memories of this spring afternoon in the park!

How lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place.  This is why I wanted to lose some weight!  Now I can hike in parks, be they national, state, or county! Be they in far off states, or in our own back yard.  

Have boots, will hike!

Note: I haven't gotten  trekking poles yet.  I'm using a ski pole for this hike.   I wanted to try it so I could get an idea of what I want in trekking poles.  One? Two?


  1. Can't believe you didn't go for the whole 32 miles. lol But the trail you picked definitely gave you a good workout.

  2. Nice looking scenic trail & a great way to spend a day. I always enjoy natural exercise the best & hiking a rocky trail is a great way to get that natural exercise. And, the less weight one carries, the better it is too.....

  3. Very nice shots of that trail. Been there years ago. Your weight loss is evident, you look terrific!

  4. Great hike, thanks for sharing. Love your Badgers shirt. You're looking great! Thanks for the comment on my blog. I've so often said the same thing. Why don't people just refuse to go to war, but then I get accused of being anti-military.

  5. I love my hiking pole. Think I just got it at Walmart. My husband, a "real hiker/backpacker" uses two. I amt go to two also. They sure help your knees!

  6. Sure a beautiful area to be hiking in. We enjoyed all the pictures you shared.

  7. Seven miles is more than I believe I could do. Good for you!

  8. Seven miles is a very energetic hike!! Love, love the pics!! I can only imagine how beautiful it was to actually be there!!

  9. I can't believe you never explore the parks nearby. That's the cheapest place to go and what a beautiful park that was!

    You're looking very slim and trim!

  10. Nice hike! Thanks so much for sharing.

    My trekking poles came as a pair. Usually I only use one, and sometimes Paul uses the other. The big advantage over ski poles is they're adjustable...shorten on the ascent and lengthen on the way down. Saves the knees!

  11. 7 miles! wowzers. You look great btw :-) You are my inspiration.

  12. Merikay you look fabulous. Keep up the good work.

    what a beautiful place.

  13. Merikay, great pictures. Nice to find local places like that to explore for the first time. You're looking good, too! Craig's doing good on those trails. He'll be ready for that Crater Lake hike this summer! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Hooray for you for finding places in your own backyard to enjoy. That is what we are trying to do more of. There are far away places we want to see but there is so much nearby that we can explore as well. 7 miles is a good long hike, good for you.

  15. You look mahvahlous! :-) I'm glad you can do longer hikes now. I've never used poles, but can't wait till I can start to go hiking again too! Guess the new boots were a plus too huh?
    Ya'll are so lucky to live where you can get out & enjoy your surroundings like that.


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