Back in September my friend dragged me out to finally see some of the Californian countryside and the famous Redwoods, which I believe are only found in California. The summer was crazy; such fun work wise, but being taken out to somewhere so beautiful and with no phone signal was just so refreshing and I’m so thankful my friend made me take that short amount of time away, even though I had a migraine brewing when I woke up that morning!
We’re so lucky to live near some truly stunning coastline and countryside, however Mr B and I, together haven’t had the chance to do much exploring as dogs are not allowed in a lot of countryside areas, and where they’re allowed they have to stay on lead which really spoils the fun of exploring when you have a dog!
As it was a clear crisp day last Thursday, Hux went off to his dog daycare and I took Mr B on the 20 minute drive out to the Purismia Creek Redwoods, near Half Moon Bay, California. The area is huge and you have no option but to stick to one of the trails, venturing off a trial would be foolish as there is absolutely no phone signal about 10 minutes into the walk from each carpark. There are a few different trials to follow but we did a circular route which took just over 3 hours. There’s a lot of ups and downs to walk so you do need to be quite fit to do the full circular trial.
Americans seem to use the word hike for just about any walk, even a walk around a park. I do have a little chuckle when I use the term hike as to me it’s going up a mountain or really off the beaten track, so for the majority of the time this is just a vigorous country walk, but some of the climbs are steep so I guess I can get away with describing the 3hours as a bit of a hike!
It really is a beautiful area, theres no road noise, hardly any real noise at all apart from the odd rustle of leaves, and water flowing in the creek as we’ve had a lot of rainfall recently. On some parts of the hike you could hear the pacific ocean at nearby Half Moon Bay and the odd plane high in the sky but it really was quiet. Living in the Bay Area you get used to hearing planes, trains and automobiles just about everywhere you go as it’s such a constricted space so the silence is really something you notice and it’s quite wonderful.
As the Creek is very up and down, and under the shade of the big Redwoods you can easily go through different temperatures. We started our walk at about 11am when the sun was out but it was a very crisp 10 degrees, within an hour the temperature got to 18 degrees so light layers for this sort of walk are really advisable. I opted for workout leggings, a sports bra, Lululemon sweat-wicking tee and a fleece layer from Old Navy, I also took a lightweight Berghaus waterproof coat in my rucksack as the weather can quickly turn just those few miles away at this time of year. I started off wearing a beanie hat but within an hour I had to swap to a cap to keep the sun off! This kind of walk really requires proper trainers or those Merrell type walking trainers. I wore my Asics running trainers as they have the most grip and support; Vans or Converse just won’t cut it.
My other tips for this type of outing are…..
- Wear sunblock, the Californian sun is bright all year round so always wear sunblock on your face and take a small bottle for arms or legs if stripping off.
- Take a hat, again that Californian sun is hot, a peaked hat really does help keep you cool, hair off your face and sun out of your eyes
- Always take sunglasses, I took my Glassy Sunhaters. These are super lightweight and they’re cheap, about $20-30 (similar price in GBPs) and can be bought from most good skate stores. If these get lost or broken it doesn’t really matter at that price, but they’re so dark and very comfortable for long periods.
- Wear leggings not shorts, if you stick to the trial you should be fine but these areas are tick areas! Ticks on the dog freak me out, I certainly don’t want to risk one and, of course, they carry Lyme Disease!
- Carry water; I use a refillable bottle and pack it with water and frozen pieces of lemon, which keeps the water cool and adds flavour which is needed at the end of 3hrs
- Take hand wipes/sanitiser there are toilets but they’re very basic, a quick trip behind the bush if you really need to go might be a better option!
- Lip Balm just because I can’t leave the house without lip balm!
- Plasters – just incase you get a blister!
- A snack – I pack a nut bar or a nut and dried fruit snack bag, just for a little bit of energy
- Map – At the carpark you will find a printed map, take a copy with you as you won’t be able to use your phone for maps or tracking!
Oh and if you see a mountain lion, fight back! I’m not even joking, as you enter most countryside areas you will see the warning signs for mountain lions, snakes, ticks and poison ivy – so take notice.
For a fun vlog of our 3 hour adventure take a look at this video over on Pint of Stuff