Hike #11: Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve–Alpine trail loop (we think?)

Location: San Mateo County

Distance: 3m (but I have no idea how far we went…guessing right around there)

Entry fee: $0

I am not even sure how to really start this entry because the hike as described in the book is absolutely 100% not where we went.  This is becoming a theme that should probably be addressed.  But I would like to thank Molly (and Paul) for waking up at the buttcrack of dawn on their day off from work to join me.

This hike started off on the wrong foot (ha) in a number of ways.  First off, it is listed as a “perfect hike to do with kids” and a great option for people with disabilities.  So really, how complicated can the trail be? I assume that we can get it done in about an hour.

Paul and I pick Molly up at her apartment at 5:45am (which I thought was a little late to get going, but considering the length and difficulty of the hike, didn’t think we would have a problem finishing in a timely fashion.)  We drove down the Peninsula, where the trail head proved to be a little further off the freeway than anticipated.  Arrival at trailhead: 6:45am.  I am already stressing about being late to work.   Entrance to the trailhead was locked, so we parked our car illegally on the side of the road…and proceeded to walk in a huge loop around 2 parking lots, struggling to figure out where to enter the park.  LESSON ONE: if you aren’t totally sure that you’re at the right trailhead, DON’T START HIKING.

After picking a trail, we eventually hit some signs for the Horseshoe Lake, which is where the book instructed us to go, and ended up…back at the main road.  Not where we were supposed to be.  Looks like we may have been hiking on the right trail in the wrong direction?  We turn around, find a new trail, think we know where we’re going…yadda yadda…I’ll spare you the details, you’ve heard this story before.  All the while my distress regarding getting to work on time is growing.

We finally made it up on a ridge…(the wrong ridge, but a ridge nonetheless)…and did get some nice views and the whole area up there is really gorgeous.  Unfortunately, at this point it was close to 8am and I was experiencing full blown anxiety about a 9am appointment that needed to be dealt with immediately.  So when we hit a familiar part of the trail again (how we got back there?  not sure), we decided to head back the way we came.  Super bummer, there is a mountain called Mount Umunhum that I was looking forward to seeing.

Hike #11: MOST HUMONGOUS FAILURE YET.  We are going back to do the real hike at a later date.

One sidenote: we did catch a coyote chowing down on a deer that had been killed by a car.  He had picked one leg bone clean and was digging into the torso.  There were organs laying around…it was gruesome.

Lessons Learned: start at the right starting point; leave earlier than you think you should for morning hikes

Flora and Fauna: egret, coot, poison oak, coyote

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