Spring Training and Trailing with Michael – March 3, 2014

With a quick change of location our first hike came together quite seamlessly. It turned out that Olompali State Park is open Wednesday to Sunday which left us Monday hikers with a closed gate. Michael had arrived early to connect with the hike and could redirect to the Mt. Burdell hike as a near alternative. Phoning made up the rest. We set off up the hill, pushed off from the gate pretty much on the mark. It was an overcast day but we were all in good spirits. Michael had just gotten back from three back to back tours in Tanzania and was handling the strange netherworld of jet lag quite well considering. Everyone seemed pleased to be back in the circle as we related some events of our lives in the interim since last December. Each time it seems more and more like a family reunion.

Whether you approach Mt. Burdell from the San Marin side or the Olompali side, the mountain has a unique history, the story of the last Coast Miwok Indian Chief, Camilo Ynitia who was the only Miwok to own land in Marin & of his buried treasure, the visit of Chief Solano to Olompali with his thirty wives, a battle of the Bear Flag Rebellion, the saga of the Blacks and the Burdells – adventurers who had traveled the world ending up in Marin, Black surviving typhus in 1832 Monterey and Burdell a shipwreck on Duxbury Reef off Bolinas in 1862, the wealth and power of Mary Black Burdell & her nemesis Mrs. Pacheco Black with a contested will over a huge estate and the more recent history with the Grateful Dead, John McCoy and the Chosen Family in the 1960’s. This would make one fascinating PBS or Netflix series.




Sharing travels, families, new directions, wrestles, quiet moments

More of the 360 degrees

What was this exchange?
Forgot, but earlier in the circle Michael told about finding a sweet spot for cell phone calls up behind a rock at one of the Tanzania camps. He went up to make a call and clapped three times to announce his arrival as had been instructed so that wild animals would not be surprised. Unfortunately, a Cape Buffalo (they can be notoriously uncooperative) hadn’t gotten the message decided this would be the time to rumble. The animal charged straight through the trees and brush like an express train and Michael was in instant survival mode running like the wind. He could hear the snapping of trees and brush behind him as he ran for his life. Only when he got to the camp did the charging buffalo finally veer off into the brush. Not sure about Michael’s next phone call.

Looking down on San Marin in Novato and further away the old Hamilton Air Force Base on the left, San Pablo Bay in the left background and the East Bay Hills far side. Mt. Burdell opens up to a lot of North Marin vistas as you climb its 1558 feet. Earlier, quite a lot earlier, geologic history is referred to in this link with photos of the area:

Kit shares some information about this California Newt from her training at Bouverie Preserve where she has volunteered as a docent for almost 5 (?) years.
Bouverie is known for newts. Inge Fraser, our friend from many hikes, is also a docent there. http://www.egret.org/preserves_bouverie

Finding purchase on Michael’s thumbnail, having a thumbnail stretch. Michael mentioned that the newts are highly poisonous as evidenced by their brightly colored bellies.

Here’s a great, short film of California newts at Spring Lake in Annadel State Park from BAY NATURE MAGAZINE:

Having a linger, wrapping up and away.

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