Monday, April 21, 2008

Two Big Rocks, One With a Lighthouse @ Moraga, Big Rock Ridge & Point Bonita

This weekend was jam packed full of activity. Miguel would say too much, and I might have agreed with him but after looking over my pictures this morning I have to say, nah, I'm glad I got out there as much as I did.

On Saturday we went on a road ride on the Lafayette Moraga Regional Trail. This was not really a "road" ride since we spent most of the time on a paved trail. It's an out and back trip (as opposed to a loop) and on the way back we went on the real road for quite a few miles. It was a lot more fun because we could go as fast as we wanted. This was a perfect first road ride for me because it was relatively flat and the time we spent on the road was good practice for getting used to cars whizzing by. It was a 15 mile trip with an elevation gain of 550 feet. Very manageable for me. My shoulders didn't really tighten up at all, although my left shoulder got a little sore, which I think is from looking over my shoulder while riding. Next road trip will have to be all on real road but still relatively flat while I build up leg muscle and endurance. I was too busy riding to take pictures :(

So on the whole ride I didn't take one sip of water. It just seemed like too much trouble to reach down and deal with the water bottle. This led to an after-trip purchase of a Camelbak (here's a pic of the one I purchased). Funny thing, when these first came out I was like, "Those are silly, I'll never get one of those." Yeah, well. They are ridiculously expensive though. Some are over $100! I found this one on sale at Performance Bikes for only $40. Miguel found one he liked on sale too. Yay!

So on Sunday I had a huge hike ahead of me. Do I have hiking boots? No. Did I need to buy some? Heck yeah! I found these at REI and they were only $99 so I went for it. They are comfy and cute and I hoped they would serve me well on Sunday. Did I mention before that my feet have shrunk? I'm wearing a half-size smaller now, an 8 down from 8.5. Weird. By the way, after all the spending on Saturday afternoon I put a moratorium on shopping until our coffers can be built back up again.

So on Sunday Miguel had a soccer game (he's on a local league team). I planned to go on a hike with a group. The hike was described to me as Strenuous at 11 miles with 1900' elevation gain. This would be my first BIG hike since this health/fitness/weight-loss journey started so I was a little nervous. Fittingly, the place we hiked is called Big Rock Ridge. We started with a steep incline and I was thinking to myself, "Oh crap, I bit off more than I can chew, this is going to kill me!". But, while things didn't exactly level off, the extreme steepness was only in the beginning.

Okay, enough yapping, here's some pictures...

This was probably at the 2.5 mile point, about 1/2 way to the top. You see that electrical tower on the right top of the picture? That's our destination. This is the second highest peak in Marin, after Mt. Tam.

A pic of a fellow hiker with what seems like the whole world in the vast space behind her.

Lots of wildflowers along the way. This is our state flower, the California Poppy.

This is the view from the top! I made it! Whew. My legs were sore and we still had the return trip to make. Since we were hiking on the ridgeline for a while the return trip had it's fair share of inclines too. And the steep declines made my knees sore, something that usually doesn't happen.

And finally, a picture of little ol' me next to some pretty wildflowers. I'm smiling because we're almost done and I'm still mobile.

Did I mention I burned 1800 calories on this hike? 1000 on the way up, 800 on the way down. So after the hike I took some Ibuprofen and headed home. The Camelbak was awesome! It holds 1.5 liters of water and I drank it all. I'm sure I drank more water than I normally would on a hike and that's a good thing. Can I wear this thing to work too? Anyway, I was home for about an hour before I had to head out to a sunset and full moon tour of one of our local treasures, Point Bonita Lighthouse.

We got a tour with some history and science information and then waited for the sun to set.

Isn't it gorgeous?

Oh, it was windy and freeeeezing and I had a ton of layers on to keep warm but it was so worth it. The sun is setting!

This is the little bridge you have to walk over to get to the actual lighthouse. Under the bridge are craggy rocks and crashing waves but one tries not to think about that (or earthquakes) while walking across.

A close-up of the lighthouse.

And finally, the full moon rise over The City.

What a weekend!


  1. Sounds like a really fun weekend. And those are some great pics!! Having grown up in the Bay Area, I miss all those places :(

  2. Wow, you sure packed a lot into those two days! You look so happy and healthy, Michelle. So wonderful to see that smile : )

  3. All the pictures are just stunning! I really like the one of you with the flowers right behind you.

    Nice new Cammelback! I have that I break out from time to time, like when it's super hot and those little bottles just aren't enough.

    You look really happy!

  4. Oops... I forgot a word ...

    It's supposed to say "I have one that I break out from time to time...."



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