Alamere Falls

12 03 2017

With abundant rains this season, California is finally out of drought and its water bodies are brimming with water. Best time to visit my favorite part of the nature – waterfalls. That Saturday the original plan was to hike to Cataract Falls. But alas! Mudslides the previous day had blocked the access to the trail on both sides. So, the decision was made to head to Alamere falls instead. The last 2 miles drive to the Palomarin trail head was so horrible with unimaginable potholes. Especially in the Porsche Convertible. ( Not my car. I carpooled. πŸ˜› ). Drive past Stinson beach, turn into Olema Bolinas Rd and then take Mesa Road.

It was a 8 mile out and back hike. A sunny clear day after a long time, it seemed everyone is out that day. The trail was so overcrowded. We ourselves are a group of about 20 people.

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Much of the trail was muddy but the hike offered splendid views of the bay on the way.

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Continue on the Coast Trail. Beautiful lakes galore.

 

Turn left into a not so evident trail to reach  Alamere falls at the beach. To my satisfaction, they were lush and roaring.

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Had to climb down the rock to reach the bottom of the falls.

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Access to the beach was limited  requiring one to cross the a-little-too-wide creek.

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I didn’t try crossing the creek. Just spent some time at the falls. Before leaving though, I couldn’t resist recording the sound of the roaring water. It’s music.





Havasupai Falls (part 2)

6 03 2017

Click here for part 1.

The Havasupai campground was spread for about 200 meters along the stream. We set our camp beside the stream right at the beginning.Β  There was cool spring drinking water available. It was delicious. No hassle with filtering. No campfire allowed though.

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We spent the next morning taking pictures of all the three falls.

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Little Navajo Falls

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Fifty Foot Falls

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Havasu Falls

We encountered a wolf-like dog, who accompanied us along the way, stopping where we stop, following us, and at times leading us up and down the trail. It’s a wonder how I kept my cool without freaking out or paralyzing with feat at that proximity of such a ferocious looking animal. I pat myself on the shoulder but I think I derived my courage from the others in the group. Can’t imagine my plight if I were alone. πŸ˜›

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We headed to Mooney falls in the afternoon. It’s a very short walk – about a quarter of a mile – from Havasu Falls on the other side of the campground. They have the same aquamarine look as the Havasu Falls. In my opinion, Mooney Falls are even more beautiful and magnificent than Havasu Falls. But these are hard to reach. The climb down to the foot of the falls is a little bit dangerous, requiring one to pass through tunnels and hold on to the chains and use the ladders installed while climbing down the mountain. But there were strong foot holds, so it wasn’t totally risky. I was trying to compare this with Zion’s Angel Landing climb and at first was very reluctant to take the risk.

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But I’m glad I pushed my boundaries and moved on. Experiencing the falls from the bottom was heavenly. IΒ had a great time.

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The distinct aquamarine color of the water is a result of a chemical reaction between the minerals in the soil and the desert weather. The details of the involved chemistry might sound a little boring, but the result is nonetheless magical.

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Mooney Falls

There were one more falls 5 miles down the stream – Beaver Falls, but were told that at that time it requires wading through waist-deep water to reach them. So, we called the plan off. Maybe next time. πŸ™‚

There were a few, including me, among our group who decided to use the mule service to carry our backpacks back to the hilltop. I’m glad I made that decision as I enjoyed my hike back a lot taking in the beauty of the surroundings. You don’t have to take the hard path. πŸ˜‰

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Havasu Falls, and Mooney Falls are undoubtedly the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen so far. It was a splendid trip made more memorable by the entire group. Lots of teamwork and camaraderie. I’m so grateful for the whole experience.

 





Hiking in Sunol

30 01 2017

It was a bright and sunny Saturday. Perfect for a hike. It was Sunol Regional WildernessΒ the chosen venue. Lush and wet from recent rains. Another Indian Adventurers of Bay Area meetup event. Though, I must say that, the organizer prefers to communicate via email and likes to keep the planning, the participants, and the actual hike itself in a close knit aka on a tight leash. πŸ™‚

As soon as I turned onto I-680, I saw everything shrouded in thick mist, giving rise to misgivings about the impending activity. But as I drove through and past it, all was clear and bright again. πŸ™‚ Nature, being mischievous I guess. πŸ™‚

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The long winding drive on Calaveras Rd seems never ending for the first timers and there’s absolutely nowhere to pull aside. Just stay put, you can’t miss the park entrance on your left when coming from Fremont.

There’s a $5 entrance fee to the park. As soon as you pass the kiosk, you can see a trail to your right and cars parked to your left.Β  Don’t stop there and take the trail unless you have a permit to hike the Ohlone Wilderness Trail which takes you to Mission Peak. Instead drive past and take right at the fork.

The original plan was to hike along Indian Joe Creek, which requires one to do multiple creek crossings. But it was evident right away, even with the first glance at the roaring creek, that it’s not a wise idea at this time. Perhaps, Summer is a better time to indulge in its beauty . πŸ™‚

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So instead we headed towards Canyon View Trail, onto Backpack Road, up McCorkle Trail, onto Cerro Este Road, Cave Rocks Road, Eagle View Road … Well, I’ll stop right there. It seems like we took a twisted and elaborate path. I couldn’t have figured out myself. I was blindly following the organizer. I think no one can disagree that there’s a sense of comfort in following a capable and knowledgeable leader, without worrying about anything. πŸ˜› After the hike, he kindly traced the path we followed on the map for me.

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On Canyon View Trail, we had splendid views of the creek. We could hear the roar of the water all along.

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View of 3 peaks –Β Monument Peak, Mount Allison, Mission Peak

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Calaveras Reservoir view. A new dam is being constructed to replace the historic one and Calaveras Rd is closed between Geary Rd (the park entrance) to Oakridge Rd.

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The park at this time is laden with small creeks.

 

Also ponds.

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And cattle. What does ponds and grazing cattle have in common? They make beautiful candid pictures, when together πŸ™‚

 

On the way back, we stopped at Little Yosemite. It was beautiful and serene. Not too crowded.

Foolish attempt to feel the water. It was freezing cold!

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All in all, we made about 9 miles. Thanks again to meetup and the wonderful event organizers for the opportunity. Hiking in small groups is always fun. Good exercise, great conversations!





Beautiful waterfalls

29 06 2010

Washington is insatiable. Whatever other people might think about this perpetual rainy state, I feel so lucky to have lived here for so long. There is lots of stuff to do and see here, one doesn’t get tired of it. It seems like it would take at least a decade to see and experience everything that this beautiful evergreen state offers – beautiful lakes, amazing mountain ranges, snow-capped peaks, countless trails, fascinating waterfalls, magnificient national parks, tranquil and other-worldly gardens, beckoning state parks and lots more.

I guess, I must really extend this description to the other North-Western state Oregon too. Of course, Montana has a different terrain altogether but is even more gorgeous. Every Summer seems really too short to cover anything and just flies by packed with travel and activity. Over the years, I have been to a number of scenic waterfalls and here are some pictures for your eyes to feast on:

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