Tag Archives: Hiking

in the redwood forest.

It’s pretty much been eons since the last time I was up North in Redwood National Park. I remember being a little girl and looking up at those giant trees; it made me feel so incredibly small. Even as an adult, standing next to them still made me feel so very tiny. These ancient trees are truly spectacular, and it was such a pleasure to go camping among these giants.

Upon arrival, we had to stop at the first visitor center to get one of the National Park Passport cancellation stamp. It wouldn’t be a trip to a national park without getting stamp(s), hehe! The views behind the visitor center were phenomenal.

It seemed like miles and miles of sand that stretched along the California coast. It’s quite impressive!

After spending some time at the beach, my brother and his fiancee suggested we check out Fern Canyon. I’m so glad that they did because it’s such a sight to see. Basically, you hike on a semi-muddy trail that runs right next to a stream. At some points on the path, you have to maneuver over fallen tree trunks and branches. The trail is actually the valley floor of the canyon, and the sides of the canyon have abundant fern rooted onto its walls.

If you plan on hiking this path, prepare to get semi-wet. We went later in the summer, so I’m sure the water level is low compared to other times of the year. Nonetheless, it’s a neat place to explore.

Here are some other random images of that we captured on our way to our campsite:

There’s an abundance of elk roaming the grounds of this national park! I swear we saw them all over the place. 

A pretty shot of one of the many rivers we drove over!

We set up camp that evening and hit the sacks pretty early because the next morning we hit up Enderts Beach. To get there, you have to hike about 1/2 mile to the shore. It was frightening, however, to see warning signs that indicated that mountain lions were sighted on that trail a couple of days ago. We were cautious though! As far as the trail, it gets steep at some points, but the tide pools below are worth it.

We had a blast splashing around on the beach! My favorite part about Enderts Beach is the incredible tide pools. They are loaded with different types of starfish and thousands of anemones. I would’ve spent all day there if I could. If you ever make it up there, make sure to follow the tides for the best tidepooling conditions!

On our trek back up the cliff side, we kept spotting tons of banana slugs eating all of the vegetation. Check out this one that was making its way on the trail:

Heading out from the trail head, there were people stopped looking off to the side of the road. We couldn’t figure out what they were looking at until we saw a huge elk!

Isn’t it crazy that his antlers are the size of the fence post?!

For lunch, we headed up towards Oregon and had lunch at a local seafood joint in the Port of Brookings Harbor called Sportshaven Marina. Their clam chowder was amazingly delicious. Mmm, mmm!

On our way back down towards California, we drove into Jedediah State Park, where they house some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world.

It’s amazing how far they stretch up into the sky. You feel so small standing next to one of these giants. Speaking of small, as we trekked through Jedediah State Park, I kept imagining Ewoks roaming around the woods, haha! After exploring a handful of the forest floors, we took a walk (and relaxed) in Crescent City.

Although it was foggy, it felt nice to get some fresh ocean air and breeze after a long day.

On our last day, we headed South. Again, we were impressed by the gorgeous ocean views and the abundance of ancient trees.

Later that day, we headed South towards Fort Bragg and Mendocino to check out the Glass Beach. Unfortunately, we didn’t shoot any pictures with the SLR. Boo! (I guess that just means we’ll have to take another road trip, haha!) 

I had a blast this weekend. Sometimes, being out in the wilderness reminds you just how magnificent our world is. It’s a great reminder to take time to appreciate what the world really has to offer us.



Filed under beach, family, personal, vacation


Last weekend, we took our first trip out to Yosemite for the year. This time, we did a couple of hikes, some more strenuous than others. Either way, we got to see the beauty of the park.

First morning in Yosemite, we drove towards the South end of the park (the Wawona side). Neither of us had seen Mariposa Grove, so we thought it would be neat to check it out. Besides, there was an NPS cancellation stamp available at the Wawona visitor center, and we all know how I go out of my way to fill my NPS passport book, haha. We hiked a few miles around the area and checked out the giant sequoias. It’s incredibly how wide their trunks get.

While hiking around the grove, we crossed paths with a family of deer. We stayed a good distance from them at all times, but they kept veering towards us. Maybe they’re used to having human visitors in the grove?

Later that day, we drove towards Glacier Point to get the beautiful shot of Half Dome, Vernal Fall, and Nevada Fall. It’s such an incredible view up there. When I was at the top and looked down at the elevation of both waterfalls, I felt so proud of myself. I actually made it to the top of Vernal Fall last year (out of shape)! Next goal is to make it to the top of Nevada Fall one day. As far as Half Dome, I’m afraid of heights, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to take the steep uphill climb. I’m not crazy and fit like Gloria who has done it multiple times with ease, so I might just pass. 😉

…and while we were enjoying the view from Glacier Point, we noticed a chipmunk not too far from us. They’re so cute! Can you spot the furry little critter in the picture below? 😉

After enjoying the view up at Glacier Point, we decided it would be neat to hike the Sentinel Dome trail. It was a moderate hike, but with it being mid-day, the heat made it feel more strenuous. I am, however, very proud of myself for conquering this hike. Maybe next time, I’ll be able to take Lambert Dome in Tuolomne?! Just kidding! Anyway, the views you get at the end of the Sentinel Dome trail are phenomenal. Here are some of the pictures we took during our hike:

You bet that we slept well that night. I think we were snoozing in our tent at around 8 o’clock, at least I know I was, haha! On our second morning in Yosemite, we woke up super early and walked towards Mirror Lake. We wanted to tackle a simple trail considering my body was sore from hiking the previous day.

It’s such a pretty sight, but if you plan on heading out to the lake, make sure to pack insect repellent. The mosquitoes on this walk are relentless. I think I counted around 15 mosquito bites at the end of our short hour walk to and from the lake. Yeah, I was pretty much walking bait for those pests.

After this trip, I’m even more excited for the future trips we have planned to come back to the park! Besides, I’ll be able to get more NPS cancellation stamps! It definitely pays to have an annual NPS card, hehe. 😉


Filed under personal, vacation

adventurous weekend.

Weekends are something I always look forward to. As a matter of fact, thinking about it really gets me through the work week. By the time it’s Wednesday, I feel exhausted.

It’s been a while since we last played along the Big Sur area, so G suggested we go hiking along the coast. Well before noon, we had already made a couple of detours and lounged on the beach. Below are some snapshots of our recent adventure.

The phenomenal Bixby Bridge nestled along the cliffs of Highway 1 looks amazing even bright and early in the morning. It’s incredible how a man made structure still stands here even after many years of wear and tear.

A windy road down to the shore and a slight hike to the beach, and then it was pure beauty. The views from where I was lounging was unbelievable. I could have really spent all day relaxing *cough* sleeping *cough*on the beach, but I wanted to get a couple of hikes in before day’s end.

We then headed to explore more of Julia Pheiffer Burns State Park. More specifically, I really wanted to see the picturesque McWay Falls. Everybody’s photos always look so stunning, so I had to see it for myself. …and it’s just as it portrays in photos, gorgeous!

Ocean views will always be my favorite type of hikes, but G thought it would be fun to head up the mountainside. Great suggestion on her part because it was so much fun. It was tiring, but a great place to get some fresh air. Hiking this shady trail reminded how beautiful the forest floor can be, minus the poison oak, of course.

After playing  along the Central California Coast, I was having withdrawals from our normal stomping grounds. I love the cold beach weather out in the Half Moon Bay area. Seriously, it’s one of the best feelings ever – sitting in chilly overcast weather and cold breeze blowing in your face.

Yup, there you have it – an adventurous weekend. (Teresa and Ann: Fine! I tend to go out MOST weekends. Not all.)


Filed under beach, family, personal, vacation

here, there, and yosemite.

HERE: A few weeks ago, we took a trip down to So Cal. It was definitely worth the rest and relaxation time. As a matter of fact, I believe that Maui and Hilo definitely had more of a vacation than me. Spoiled much?! Maybe just a little.

THERE: A couple of our good friends have been together for what seems to be an eternity. With a handful of their family members and close friends as their witnesses, they officially tied the knot. I was so honored to be able to share that special day with them at San Francisco City Hall.


YOSEMITE: We also decided that camping needed to be on the agenda. Oh, this trip was one unforgettable outing.

Bright and early on the first morning in the park, we planned for an “easy” hike to the top of Vernal Falls. We made sure to take pictures along the way.

About 1.6 miles with a 400 feet elevation gain to the footbridge, it was time to take a long breather. Phew! You would think that for less than two miles, it would be fairly easy. Nope! I’m not going to lie — that elevation change is pretty rough. Talk about a “moderate to strenuous” workout.

After a 15 minute breather and a refill in the CamelBak, it was up the cliff we go. Literally, it’s a steep climb to the top of the falls.

After the rough (and scary) incline on the granite steps built into the cliff, Gloria and I made it to the top. The feeling of accomplishment that morning was one amazing rush.

As for Gloria, I swear she didn’t even break a sweat. But then again, this is coming from someone who’s done the Half Dome trail a couple of times.

Day two in the Park started at the crack of dawn. On the way to Tuolumne Meadows, we stopped to enjoy the views at Olmstead Point. The alternate view of Half Dome from this angle looks incredible. Just looking at it, I still can’t even imagine hiking that 4,900 feet elevation climb.

Tuolumne Meadows, thus far, is my favorite part of Yosemite. The spans of meadows are so beautiful, so green. We, of course, had to hike through it. Along the way, we couldn’t resist taking photos.

After some downtime at lunch, we headed back towards Yosemite Valley, but we had to make one stop along the way. Gloria wanted to tackle the boulder that broke her foot over five years ago. The fact that she went back to face that fear, in my mind, shows who won that battle.

Playing in Yosemite Village was entertaining. Here’s a couple of photos of me and my brothers goofing around:

Now that we have the annual pass, I’m super stoked for our next camping/hiking adventure. As for now, I’ll settle for some of the trails nearby. Some of the Bay Area coastal trails look like they could be pretty comparable.


Filed under family, hilo, maui, miniature schnauzer, personal, vacation