My new favorite place to run

Helen PutnamMy new favorite place to run

A jackrabbit, snake, lots of geckos, a horse and a parrot. My Friday morning run through Helen Putnam was as beautiful as always. Only 3 miles or so, but lots of verticals, and an interesting assortment of wildlife!

It was a perfect way to start the weekend, and a great warm-up for our long hike at Mt. Tam on Saturday.

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Cataract Falls

Meg at one of the lower waterfalls on the Cataract Fall Trail.

Meg at one of the lower waterfalls on the Cataract Falls Trail.

Life is busy. Crazy busy. Luckily, Jake and I love exploring, and we had the perfect day last week to go on a little adventure. For our anniversary, Jake took the day off and we went for a hike up around Mt. Tam. Finding the trailhead to Cataract Falls was no easy feat, but we managed to find it just off a hairpin turn in the road. With just enough space along the side to park the jeep, we headed off for the ~3 mile hike, which was nearly straight up the whole way out.

After passing a small lake, the trail comes to the bottom of the first of seven waterfalls. We hiked a little ways up, and then we just couldn’t help but to scale the moss-covered rocks along the sides of one of the falls. Though we quickly discovered our need for better hiking/climbing shoes, it was definitely an exciting adventure. We’ll be back soon, I’m sure!

To jump or not to jump….into the ocean

To jump or not to jump....into the ocean

About halfway between Avila Beach and Pismo Beach (well, the far north end of Pismo), there is a cave that goes through to the ocean and then drops off into the water. It’s beautiful. On a hot, sunny day, it’s a very tempting jump.

Just a man and his dog

These are a few shots of Jake and Cousteau from our recent visit to Tomales Bay. Anyone who knows us well understands that our dogs are our kids. Here are a few “father/son” moments.

Jake and Cousteau walking along the beach in Tomales Bay.

Jake and Cousteau walking along the beach in Tomales Bay.

Jake wanted to climb the big rock, so naturally, Cousteau did too.

Jake wanted to climb the big rock, so naturally, Cousteau did too.

On the way down from the rock, Cousteau wasn't quite able to make the leap, so Jake saved the day and carried him down.

On the way down from the rock, Cousteau wasn’t quite able to make the leap, so Jake saved the day and carried him down.

Another visit to Bodega Bay…my favorite place to watch the sunset

Life is pretty amazing here in California. Sure, there are the same stressors and time-consumers here as there are anywhere else, but the beauty of living in California is in enjoying the outdoors and natural wonders of the region. I love exploring this place, finding all the nooks and crannies that don’t show up on the “Top 10 Things to Do” list, and discovering what it is that gives this area the pulse of life that it exudes. While I’ve discovered many a nook, I have also found that some of the most amazing places are those visited by both local and tourist alike. In this case, I point to Bodega Bay and the Bodega Headlands as a perfect example of both locally and “touristically” admired beauty, where I frequently go to find peace and revel at the unmatched awe of the ocean.

You all know I love to take pictures of the ocean, and especially of sunset. Here, I’m trying a few newly discovered features on my E-PL1, including “pop art” and “diorama.” Enjoy.

Looking north along the coast, from the north side of the trailhead.

Looking north along the coast, from the north side of the trailhead.

Looking south along the coast, toward the Bodega Head parking lot and whale watching area.

Looking south along the coast, toward the Bodega Head parking lot and whale watching area.