I don’t mean to spam so much about hiking, I’m just trying to get on track to push the 2011 hiking posts out so I can start with 2012. This is the last one of the year, and then I’m doing a tally post for myself as a challenge for the next year. I decided to take a bit longer hike as my last hike since I had the week off and I went to Windy Hill Open Space Preserve. I wanted to check out the Lost trail, and books and such gave me a 7 mile loop. Perfect. The first 1/4 of a mile was nice, but crowded. I didn’t need my jacket which was a bummer so I had to carry it most of the way. I just wish I could predict the microclimates. I haven’t been getting lost lately, which means I’m going to popular places. This is good and bad. I need to venture out of my comfort zone more!

I need a new hat. My hat is so old and doesn’t even get clean in the wash anymore. Sorry if you hate it, but I’m not hiking without a hat. I’d have to sport a funky sweatband or something and I already get enough stares on the trail. I had no problems with this trail set directionally wise. It was well marked. However it was 3.4 miles uphill. And then a little bit of a summit then 3+ miles downhill. I’m more of a meandering kind of gal who likes a bit of switch up. I had to take some mini breaks because my lungs were not happy with the long uphill climb. It wasn’t difficult, it was just a lot. When I started seeing people at mile 2 I got excited and thought I was close to the summit. Not so much. There is a parking lot off of Skyline where they were coming from, but they were about a mile into their downhill trek. Bummer.

I don’t feel so guilty when I stop to take photos so sorry for all the spam. It was really pretty and I’m glad I took this part as the uphill battle. It was just long and challenging for me. Mostly because I think I want to do things quickly. Pacing myself? That’s a new concept. I did almost turn back at the last photo. I was so tired and it was past mile 3. I figured it would be 6 out and back if I just quit, but I had to be close right? I was about a half mile from the pretty views, so I trudged on and snapped a lot of pictures when I felt tired.

The summit honestly wasn’t worth it. I’ve seen better views in the area with less of an uphill battle. I think I need to go hiking closer to the water because I want an ocean view soon. I mean, city and Palo Alto views are okay, but well… not an ocean view. It’s on my list for 2012, no worries.  Downhill was a bit rolling. I jogged quite a bit of it, since I hate walkind downhill when there is a little bit of gravel. At mile 5 my quads started seizing up again which sucked. It was the day after a (good) kettlebell workout and I guess 7 was a bit rough on my legs. I made it, but I’m not sure I would go again. There were a lot of people on the downhill descent (going both up and down). Not a huge deal but it was also all open so I’m glad I took that downhill so I wasn’t in the sun as much. And it was windy, go figure. So glad I did have my jacket for that last bit, even though it was in the sun!

The only wildlife besides small children and dogs were a few deer at the very end of the hiking coming back onto the trailhead. I’m still not good with snapping wildlife photos. Oh well. At least I got some deer butt in this one!

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