a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Short Hike Involving Excessive Sweating

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Short Hike Involving Excessive Sweating

SUMMARY: Pulgas Ridge Open Space with dogs and Sierra Club.

(Already posted photos on Facebook.)

Haven't been able to hike with the Sierra Singles Wednesday evening group in a while.  Managed to make it to this one, Pulgas Ridge. OK, it's a 40-minute drive (w/out traffic), and it's 500 feet elevation gain, but it's only a 4-mile hike and the uphill isn't really steep.

Turns out traffic was a mess on the peninsula, both on 101 (several miles north, paralleling I-280) and on I-280, where I was. Usuallygoing north at this time of day, a piece of cake. Except everything was jammed up. Southbound at a standstill, northbound seldom getting over 35MPH and usually less. Drat.

Looks sunny, but look at that fog bank pouring over the coastal range.

Turns out that I was NOT ready to get back to a hike like this with avid hikers--I lagged the whole way and they spent more time than they probably liked, waiting for me. Even the dogs were faster and more energetic than I was. Downhill for the return to parking not so bad, but that steady 2 miles of up starting out took all my energy. Gah. Must do more.

A hiking friend offered to use my camera to take our photo at the top of the ridge. She said she'd been sick for a while and was completely out of condition. Still, she managed her usual dashing back and forth and up and down taking photos everywhere and not even breathing heavily. She was NOT lagging at the back of the pack, and I most definitely was.

But everyone was nice--it's a good group--at least they didn't complain where I could hear them, and lots of people asked nice questions about the Merle Girls. One fellow who also has a border collie (actually got her as a rescue via Jim Basic, my agility instructor) has to leave her at home these days as she's too old for vigorous hikes, offered to take Boost's leash and did for a while. It was good training for mama's dog Boost, trying to get her to be a little independent of me and go ahead on the trail with someone else. She wanted repeatedly to come back to see me, but with encouragement from both of us at the right times, she went for longer and longer stretches and greater distances between insatiable needs to go back and touch Human Mom. She liked it most when he ran a bit.

I mostly didn't want to stop to take snapshots, but had to hesitate for a moment to snap the view from near the ridgetop. Southish, looking across at the Edgewood Open Space park.

Saw quite a few wildflowers scattered here and there--lupine, sticky monkey flowers, blue dicks, white ones whose name I don't know, and a few others. Interesting red California bee plant, another native, which showed up long after it was too dark under the forest canopy and in the shade of hte hill to be able to take a photo, but I did again hesitate in my rush downhill trying to catch up, to snap a blurry shot of these really nice globe lilies, yet another native.

Watched hte nearly full moon rise in front of us among the trees in the home stretch; i could go faster downhill but so could everyone else, so no photos of that, either, but I assure you it was lovely.

Wore out the dogs, which is good. Wore out me, which might be good, too. Every mountain is a step back in the direction of being able to keep up with these folks again.


  1. If you're going to go so far as to name a flower 'sticky monkey' you may as well go the whole hog and name it 'stinky monkey'. Someone should have a word with whoever was in charge of that one.

    1. I have no idea why the "monkey" part...apparently they're supposed to look like a monkey's face... but they are sticky, so I think we're stuck with that name. (Stuck, get it?)