A Day of L❤️VE

I hope all of my US readers had a lovely Valentine’s Day. In our household, we are not into the commercial side of Valentine’s Day. We usually exchange small gifts and then plan a fun activity to enjoy together. This year I made my fiancé the Antler Hat by Tin Can Knits. This hat is from their Pacific Knits Collection. 

    

 This was a great knit. The pattern is free and it comes in sizing from kids to adults. I used Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Charcol Grey. I did not make as many cables as the pattern called for ( I only made 7 before decreasing) as my fiancé doesn’t like the brim folded up. I got a “Wow!” with an overjoyed look. I think I did well 😉. This hat is well timed as he is headed on a week- long ski trip tomorrow.

Later in the day, we went on a 7 mile hike in Marin County, California.  We started at Stinson Beach and headed up the mountain on Matt Davis Trail. I appreciated the switchbacks on the trail as we accented 2153 ft above sea level. Switchbacks make hiking soooo much easier. The views of the Pacific Ocean were great.

   
We then headed down the mountain on Steep Ravine Trail and later cut over to Dipsea Trail to take us back to the beach. Steep Ravine Trail was the best section of the hike. Imagine being in a wooded wonderland covered in ferns, Redwoods, and huge boulders surrounding you on all sides. It was beautiful. 

     At the end of the trek, we headed to the beach for a few minutes. It was super crowded so we didn’t stay long. Who knew Valentine’s Day was also unofficial go to the beach day? 

   Hiking, beach time, and amazing company are some of the best ingredients for a day of love! 

Exploring Angel Island

On Saturday, we took a little day trip to Angel Island. The island is located about 6 miles north of San Francisco and is only accessible by ferry. Initially, I was a little nervous that it would be too foggy, but the clouds cleared and we had some great views by mid-afternoon.

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We brought our bikes with us and spent most of the day riding along the perimeter of the island and visiting the historical sites. I thought the bike path would be a little flatter, but what was I thinking? Nothing is ever flat in San Francisco😕. We got off to a little bit of a challenging start (I may have fallen off my bike), but we soon got into the rhythm of the rolling hills.

  Our first stop was the Immigration Station. Angel Island was known as the “Ellis Island of the West ” from 1910-1940. The island was the first stop many saw when arriving to America. The historical fact that resonated with me the most was how horrible the Chinese immigrants were treated. Often the Chinese people were kept in the camps for weeks upon weeks just because they were Chinese. I love my country, but some of our history is downright shameful.

IMG_7787[1]                               IMG_7794[1]IMG_7791[1]          IMG_7788[1]Angel Island was also home to many soldiers starting as far back as 1863. During World War II, upwards of 1400 men were housed and trained on the island. In 1962, the army base was decommissioned. They left all of the structures so now you can explore the old barracks, jail, and museum.

We also did a short hike up to the top of Mt. Livermore. The Sunset Trail was about 2.5 miles and was moderately strenuous. Along the trail we got great glimpses of Marin, Tiburon, San Francisco, and all the bridges in the area. All and all, we had a great day. If you are ever in the area, I recommend a visit.

Conquering Machu Picchu

Hello all! I am finally back stateside, which means I have reliable internet.The internet  was so slow in Bolivia I could barely load pictures. So for the next several posts I will get you up to date on my vacation adventures.

It has been a couple of weeks now, but I am in still in awe that I did it. I hiked the Inca Trail and made it to Machu Picchu in one piece YAY! It was the thing I was most worried about on my trip. Don’t get me wrong I love hiking, but hiking up to altitudes of 4200 meters for 3.5 days straight was a little intimidating. I definitely psyched myself out with all the blog posts I read and YouTube videos I watched. Here is a recap of my encounter:

Day One-  The anticipation had built up and I was a ball of nerves. I was going to do this…yikes! The first day of hiking was not too bad. Basically some rolling hills on a dirt path. A pretty good warm-up in my opinion. We made it to camp in the early evening and enjoyed a  beautiful night under the stars.

Day Two-  By far the hardest day of the hike. We hiked for about 7 hours straight and ascended around 1000 meters. Hours 1-4 weren’t that bad. The scenery was quite pretty and I had a great playlist on my iPod. It felt like any other hike I had done in California. Then hour 5 came. I hit a wall. I was getting dizzy and I felt I could not catch my breath. I had to stop every 50 paces or so to rest and convince myself not to quit. Thankfully there were some encouraging people in my group and they got me through the “Dead Woman’s Pass” to the summit of the mountain. The sense of triumph I had was unbelievable. I did it!

Day Three-  I could finally enjoy the scenery. Since it is mostly downhill, I could focus on what was around me rather than concentrating on all of the pain I was putting myself through. We got to enjoy some lovely ruins, snow capped mountains, and jungle-ish landscape. Aside from some blisters I was feeling good.

Day Four- So on Day Four you wake up really early…like 4:30 AM early to make it to the Sun Gate around sunrise (entrance down into Machu Picchu). As we waited at the park entrance in the dark, I began to reflect on our adventure and that feeling of excitement stirred in me again. This was the moment I was going to lay my eyes on an another UNESCO World Heritage Site :). Machu Picchu is notoriously foggy in the morning so we were praying that the site would be clear and sunny. Boy were we not disappointed. The sun came over the mountain and it was beautiful.

All and all I am so happy I did this. It was not something on my bucket list, but it was a personal achievement that I will always remember.

Stay tuned readers for some more adventure recaps!

Hiking in Muir Woods

Muir Woods is a gorgeous National Forest containing some of the oldest Redwood trees in the Bay Area. Due to its close proximity to San Francisco, it is often a pain to enjoy the park. Why you might ask? The parking lot is always crowded and the main trails are generally swamped with tourists. As much as tourists feed our economy they can be quite a pain in large groups. A few deep breaths and many Excuse Me’s later we made it to the quiet beauty of the forest.

We completed an approximately 4.5 mile loop through the park. The exact details of the loop can be found here on the blog Hikerly. All and all this was a quick hike that made for a lovely afternoon outing.

The Land of Ladybugs

Warm sun and clear skies was the forecast for this past weekend. So FH (future husband), myself, and two friends headed south to the San Bruno Mountains for a hike. In addition to our great views, we also encountered what felt like millions of lady bugs!  Since ladybugs are lucky, I hope good fortune is headed my way ;). Overall, we made it 8.5 miles round trip. My feet were killing, but it was all worth it. Nothing like getting to enjoy a little nature.

What did you get to do this weekend?

Follow the Yellow Line

Use Caution! Slippery When Wet!
Boy they weren’t lying! The boyfriend and I decided to make a stop in Atlanta before heading back to San Francisco. I lived in the metro area many years ago, so it is nice to come back and visit. We (along with my sister and her bf) headed to Stone Mountain Park late in afternoon. The park is really pretty and has a vast number of activities to do, such as play in fake snow and ride a sky tram. We only hiked up the Walk up Trail to take in the view. Essentially, you are walking on smooth rock the whole time. Since it was raining the night before, there was water running off everywhere.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/4d1/50267138/files/2014/12/img_4913.jpg This made for interesting walking conditions. The trail isn’t that long (2.5 miles round trip?), however, we had to walk super slow due to slick conditions.

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Despite our caution, 3 out of 4 of us ended up on our butts at some point😳. However, we made it to the top. Cue victory music!

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Happy Monday everyone!

Weekend Hike

Saturday morning I went for a hike on Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County.  The loop followed the Cataract Falls and Potrero Meadows Loop which came out to be approximately 6.5 miles. The rolling hills made for great scenery as were a good challenge on my glutes.

Bird's eye view of the fog

Bird’s eye view of the fog

There has been a serious drought here in California so there was not much water flowing through the mountain and over the waterfall. However, the fauna and wildlife made up for it. All and all a great hike for the intermediate hiker.

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Banana Slug!

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Beautiful Bramble Tunnel

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Sky High Trees

What were your weekend plans?