Friday, August 05, 2011

Mount Tamalpais

Looking east from the Temelpa trail, Mt. Tamalpais
THE FIRST STRENUOUS WALK of the year, far too long delayed: from Mountain Home, on Panoramic Highway in Mill Valley, up the old railroad grade past West Point Inn and on up to the East Peak; then down through the garrigue on the Temelpa trail to various fire roads and so back to the starting point.

I think this took about four hours or so all told, plus a half hour nibbling and resting at the summit. Glorious views, but of course hardly any can really be photographed.

The fire roads, and the old railroad grade, are comfortable but not terribly interesting walking: but they give fine views, especially over the luminous greys of fog out toward sea. There was too much haze to see much distance: in this photo you can barely make out Mt. Diablo to the east. The narrow Temelpa trail reminded me often of walking in Alpes de Provence, except that the smell is completely different. Is the oregano and thyme and lavender in the Proven├žal garrigue, I wonder, feral escapees from Greek gardens of 2500 years ago? Will the same happen here, a thousand years hence?


Curtis Faville said...


I wish I had been with you.

Have you ever essayed Mt. St. Helena?

Another nice day-hike--with the Stevenson plaque to boot.

Charles Shere said...

Mt. Saint Helena, yes; I “climbed” it — in quotes because it's really just a stroll up a fire road — six years ago, on my 70th birthday, timing the walk to coincide with the rise of the full moon. Really a wonderful walk, and I mean to do it again one of these days. (I've always wanted to do it on January 1, when the air should be clear and crisp, but never got round to it.)

I've done both peaks of Mt. Diablo, too. Logically the next would be Mt. Hamilton, and then “Discovery Peak,” in Alameda county.

Curtis Faville said...

A friend of mine--Dennis Meehan, going all the way back to the 7th grade in Napa--was found dead (of apparent heart attack) three weeks ago on Mt. Diablo. He was hiking alone, birding I think.

A good reason not to hike alone.