Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dipsea Trail Part III--from Chaparral to Beach

We back-tracked to the descending trail head we had previously missed and paused for a break to take in the view and contemplate the distance we had left to travel! (Links Part I and II of our Dipsea Trail hike)
Photo credit:  Wendy Pitts Reeves     That's me, enjoying a leisurely rest with coastal scrub and a bit of the trail in view behind me.  

Below you see the stairs we are about to descend that add to the challenges of trail racing.  We encountered trainees running up these stairs as we went down.  You can also see why the trail is so popular.  In addition to the changing habitat, the views are stunning.
Photo credit:  Wendy Pitts Reeves

To the left in the image below, you can see the trail winding through the coastal scrub as it descends to the Pacific Ocean. Here we were among low-lying, draught-hardy shrubs with Anna's Hummingbirds hovering over our heads as they approach the spring blossoms.      
 Photo credit:  Wendy Pitts Reeves

From the hillside, a pair of coyotes surveyed the hikers on the trail, waiting for dusk to begin their hunt.  They were surprisingly unbothered by the presence of humans, perhaps because the area is protected by the state park system and people are a common sight.  Clever and adaptive to a variety of habitats, coyote populations are flourishing bringing them into frequent conflict with people and making them one of the most persecuted predators in our world, next to the wolf.
A young hiker alerted us to their presence.  It was a pleasure to witness this peaceful co-existence between humans and this intelligent canine in a protected shrub habitat.

Above and below, views of Stinson Beach and Bolinas Lagoon, located to the east of the beach.
At the base of the hills, we again entered a forest habitat and followed a winding trail through live oak and fragrant, arching bay laurel.

Photo credit:  Wendy Pitts Reeves

Here we found more flowering trillium.  The trillum in the next image was impressively the size of a dinner plate!  That's no exaggeration!


As we came out of the woods, a short trek through town brought us to the beach.
Photo credit:  Wendy Pitts Reeves

Above, one tired but happy hiker as we finish our Dipsea Trail hike only a short distance from our beach house accomodations.  Once there, with shoes and packs discarded, we settled into beach chairs on the dunes to enjoy a glass of wine and the beautiful sunset--a lovely ending to our first day!
Photo credit:  Wendy Pitts Reeves

All my posts on Stinson Beach, California.  The first post will be last in order.
Dipsea Trail hike






Dipsea Trail 
Wendy Pitts Reeves and Wendy's website
Coastal chaparral is an ecosystem dominated by woody-stemmed shrubs that are draught and saline tolerant.
Bay Nature
Coyote

6 comments:

  1. OMG your photos are awesome. You are a talented photographer. I envy your hike. Wish I could!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Judie. A hike well worth a visit to the area.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. I thought so, too. It surprised me to see them so peacefully watching hikes as they passed on the trail below where they were perched.

      Delete
  3. This is SUCH a treat, Vickie, to read back over your lovely detailed description of that wonderful day. And I'm so pleased at the way the photos turned out. You and I both know, though, that it's hard to take a 'bad' picture in a place that is full of such magic. I loved that hike - through, what was it, 5 ecosystems? So glad to have shared this entire lovely experience with such a great friend - and patient hiking buddy.

    So where're we headed next? :))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A wonderful hike, exhilerating to think about even now. Your photos were exceptional. You have a good eye and I enjoyed the opportunity to share them. Next destination? Lovely thought!

      Delete

For the Love of It...

...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.
Sendivogius (1750)

Your Uncapped Creativity...

Your Uncapped Creativity...
"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action; and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. You must keep that channel open. It is not for you to determine how good it is, nor how valuable. Nor how it compares with other expressions. It is for you to keep it yours, clearly and directly." ----the great dancer, Martha Graham