The East Bay mountains are known for their rolling green hills, oak trees, and spring wildflower displays. In the summer they are dry and brown, a constant source of wildfire concern and rattlesnakes. Waterfalls and rocks are not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of this part of California, but it turns out there are some interesting places tucked back in the hills that provide exactly that.
Toro County Park is a small park to the southwest of Salinas, California. Its primary attraction seems to be the abundant picnic and BBQ areas which attract big groups and families on nice weekends. But beyond the picnic areas are some nice trails that get you up on ridge lines and summits with great views of the coastal ranges around Monterey.
It’s important for me to maintain my fitness throughout the work week. Simply getting out on the weekends isn’t enough for me to maintain the level that I want to be at in order to do the things that I do. Therefore, I’ve settled into a weekday routine of a combination of climbing and running. I’ve found that to be a manageable plan to stay in relatively good condition. Climbing helps my core, balance, and overall body strength, while running helps with the endurance and cardio health.
In general, I’m not a fan of indoor exercise. I prefer to be outside, even if that only means squeezing in a jog around the neighborhood in between work phone calls. Living in such a temperate climate, the weather is almost always conducive to outdoor fitness, and I never want to take that for granted. I find treadmills boring. That said, there is definitely a time and place for gyms. In fact, I am a member of three gyms! Whaaat?
Believe it or not, there are still a few Bay Area summits I have yet to climb. Until Sunday, Knibbs Knob in the southern Santa Cruz mountains could be counted among those peaks. It’s a short but steep hike, climbing from approximately 1000 ft to 2700 ft in 1.7 miles.
With the new puppy, I didn’t want to be away for too long this weekend, so on Sunday morning I decided it was the perfect time to tag Knibbs Knob. I got to the parking lot at Uvas at 9 am and started off to the trail. It’s a little difficult to find, not being connected to the main attraction of the park, a waterfall loop trail. The hike starts at the gated end of an old road behind a group camp area.
If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram I am sure you are already aware of this exciting news. So consider this the formal announcement. We have expanded our small family by 50%! Introducing Mighty Thor, ruler of naps, the back yard, and our hearts. We’re still working on the ‘Mighty’ part, but he’s big and blonde so Thor seems to be a good name. David picked out the name long ago, but I wanted to make sure the name fit before I committed to it.