Oregon Gardens

For twenty-five years I drove every summer up to Seattle for a bicycle vacation. And every year I would pass the road signs to Oregon Gardens. This year I visited them. They are 20 miles off the interstate in the small town of Silverton. You travel on scenic country roads to get there. The Oregon Gardens is similar to Butchart ... Read More »

Año Nuevo State Park

Año Nuevo Point was named on January 3, 1603, over 400 years ago, by Father Antonio de la Ascension, chaplain for the Spanish maritime explorer Don Sebastian Vizcaíno. The Quiroste, a group of Ohlone Indians, lived here at least on a seasonal basis in order to hunt, fish, and gather abalone and other shellfish from the sea. The Quiroste were ... Read More »

Russian Ridge – Mindego Hill

The Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve is known for its showy display of wildflowers in spring. In summer, the hills turn to gold with the late evening sunlight. Autumn, when the fog recedes, is the ideal time to enjoy the ridge views of San Francisco Bay, the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean through the crisp, clean air. Winter ... Read More »

Burleigh H. Murray Ranch near HMB

Burleigh H. Murray Ranch is a valley ranch located in San Mateo County inland from Half Moon Bay. The ranch was established in 1857 and became a California state park in 1983. There is only one trail and it parallels the creek running from the parking lot at the West end of the park back up the valley that fills ... Read More »

El Corte de Madera OSP

The Methuselah Tree. Over the years, I have bicycled and drove on Skyline Blvd a couple hundred times and I never saw this tree that is right off the road. It’s 14 feet in diameter, 44 feet in circumference, and 137 feet tall. It is 1800 years old. Read More »

Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve

Pulgas Ridge is a small park, part of the Mid-Peninsula Open Space District, off of I-280 near Edgewood Road, just north of Edgewood County Park. There are about 6 miles of trails in the park with some great climbs and descents with amazing peninsula views. Most trails are single-track with a few paved road sections. The weather is usually mild. ... Read More »

Mission Peak

Mission Peak gets throngs of hikers but only a few trekkers take this route to the summit — an eight-mile out-and-back that stretches out the 2,000-foot ascent to the summit (the most-popular route ascends a similar height in a 5.2-mile out-and-back). It starts from the parking lot at Ohlone College along Mission Boulevard in Fremont, California. Just one trail — ... Read More »

Duveneck Windmill Pasture OSP

Duveneck Windmill Pasture OSP is oak meadowland at the top of a ridge, 1200 feet up Black Mountain, between Rancho San Antonio OSP and Hidden Villa. In 1867 G.W. Moody built a road from the Mountain View train station and a stagecoach stop and inn (the White House) for a stage running from San Jose to Pescadero. The White House was also known ... Read More »

Long Ridge Open Space Preserve

Long Ridge OSP is a scenic section of the Bay Rim Trail system. From its grass-covered hills, you can see the Pacific Ocean beyond the deep canyon that holds Portola State Park. On the way there, you pass through two miles of forest with Douglas Fir, Redwood, Madrone, and several species of oak and tanbark. From the south: Park at ... Read More »


In late spring and early summer, streets are awash with the magnificent purple-blue blooms of jacarandas (Jacaranda mimosifolia). As well as being superb street trees, jacarandas look stunning on their own as a specimen tree in an open lawn, where their fallen flowers form a colorful carpet of blue. My Sunnyvale garden has no room for the jacaranda but beyond ... Read More »