Climbing Mt. Baldy with Jennie – 28 September 2015

Our Deer Park hike had a new destination this time as Jennie led us on a memorable climb to Mt. Baldy’s 360 degree view. There was Mt. Tamalpais dominating to the south, Mt. Diablo projecting a clear profile above a line of white fog far to the east and San Anselmo below in a fine imitation of a child’s Lego construction. One of the highlights of our hike was a 15 minute quiet-meditation portion in which Jennie had us walking a bit apart/together. We’re a social group with lots to share each week so this contrast, a quiet time along the way was a great idea. All of sudden there were the sounds of the trail crunching under our feet, bird calls echoing through the forest, pungent smells of the bay trees and dry grasses, the contrast in light going from dappled shade to bright sunshine, hearing our breathing and feeling our hearts beating – the joy of being alive together in friendship on the trail.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” Our National Parks, 1901, p.56 by John Muir Bald Mountain near Fairfax, CA may not be the highest but it was a top experience for us on Monday, listed here as Bald Hill. – Our mountain whether you call it Bald Mountain, Bald Hill, or Mt. Baldy is one of Fifty Bald Mountains in California . . .

Jennie is an artist, teaches the first grade, leads vision quest hikes, is a baker and shares Michael’s enthusiasms for adventuring into the natural world around us.
Mixed Media Workshop with Jennie Oppenheimer – Healdsburg Center for the Arts

Sharing before the hike with poles at the ready

Jennie explains the plan to take part of the walk on the quiet side.

Worn Springs Fire Road crosses our path and we wonder how far back it traces, maybe buckboards teetering their way up and down these hills in days gone by.

Sue B. captures the moment when we catch our breath atop the Deer Park Trail. Sue’s a splendid photographer with an insightful photo journal of her travels.

Perhaps a nice linger in the shade of a live oak

Getting a bit of altitude with San Pablo Bay, “northern extension of San Francisco Bay” in the distance.
PRBO Conservation Science: The Observer Number 139

Familiar profile of Mt. Tamalpais as some of our hikers approach the top of Mt. Baldy. Tom Killion made some his remarkable woodblock prints into his first handprinted book “28 Views of Mount Tamalpais”.

Just peeking above the straight line fog is Mt. Diablo’s double peak with San Francisco Bay in between, it’s a bit of a stretch to see I know but sometimes it’s all in the details.

What or who goes up must come down . . . this time for lunch.

Picnic lunch in the shade, Jennie shared some of her deliciously moist oatmeal cookies for desert along with a marvelous poem by David Whyte entitled “Mameen”. Cookies and poetry go really well together, here’s just a part:

“Remember the way you are all possibilities
you can see and how you live best
as an appreciator of horizons,
whether you reach them or not.”

A small celebration of autumn with madrone red against the blue sky

Resting at our lunch spot from a couple of previous hikes on the Yolanda Ridge Trail

Heading down from Six Points we cross a bridge which we hope will be over a rushing stream in the not too distant future.

That classic bay tree on the edge of the Fairfax-San Anselmo Children’s center grounds with its symphony of branches, you’ll recall the turkey vulture that we saw resting on one of its lichen covered limbs on a previous hike.

The trailhead for all of the hikes in Deer Park goes by the Fairfax-San Anselmo Children’s Center. That’s a tame cougar lurking in the background.

Can’t beat Hokusai’s wave homage on a wall of the Fairfax-San Anselmo Children’s Center “The Great Wave of Kanagawa” as a finale – trying for a new view of it each time we’re here, in the vein of those many views of Mt. Fuji.
Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The hike is ALSO available at: for this and previous hike-logs.

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