Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Goofing Off

It's fall in the Bay Area.  My favorite season here.  School is in session and the colors are starting to turn, but the endless sunshine continues.  The high tomorrow is supposed to be above 80 degrees again.  Needless to say, it is a fine time to be outside, so that's where I've been.  Here are a few things to get you all caught up.

Chad had Columbus Day off, but Nimue had school and it was a band day, so she wasn't due home until 4:00.  As a result, we had a rare parents-get-to-ride-together day, so we headed up Mount Hamilton.  It was a lovely climb, as usual, and we had time and energy to explore Kinkaid Road, a scenic dead-end stub of pavement that forks off partway down.  A fine addition -- it was hard to believe that we were less than 20 miles away from the hustle and bustle of San Jose, given that the tiny road snaked through quiet ranchland with few signs of life in sight aside from old barns and the occasional manzanita-filled bear droppings.  We managed to accumulate almost 7000 feet of climbing in a mere 50 miles, so stopped for well-deserved burritos on the way back home.

Nim needs attention too, of course.  I made a promise of Super-Yum a while ago, without following through.  This, combined with some sticky leftover homemade marshmallows sitting in a tin on the counter driving me nuts led to chocolate cake covered in marshmallow fondant.  (The fondant is not actually hard to make -- just vaguely follow the proportions here and use a couple tablespoons of butter instead of the crisco).  Can be made even when tired after being outside all day, and Nimue deemed it proper Super-Yum.

It's also a lovely time of year for hiking.  I finally got around to searching out a local rock outcrop in one of the local open space preserves. The existence of Aquarian Valley is not well-publicized -- the approach trail isn't even on MROSD's Long Ridge map, even though there is a decent trail with an official-looking sign along Peters Creek down to a small waterfall (where you then get to scramble, climb, and explore to your heart's content.)  There are plenty of rocks, and a couple of caves amid fine views to play around in.  A bit of poison oak too, but that's what Technu is for...

 Climb on the solid outcrops.                             NOT on the tafoni.

That's all just the non-routine M-F stuff; more on the weekend Downieville/Forest City trip shortly.

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