Hendy Woods State Park

On Friday and Saturday Serena and I took a trip to Mendocino on the northern California coast. We lucked out with some great weather and were able to visit numerous state parks. Since there were so many great photographs, I will have a series of blog posts featuring a different park each time. The first park is Hendy Woods State Park along Highway 128. It had just rained the previous night so the forest was vibrant and filtered sunshine provided the perfect light for some awesome photography. Also, be sure to check out the complete Hendy Woods Web Album. Enjoy!

Vibrant old-growth redwoods

Vibrant old-growth redwoods

Serena enjoys the redwoods

Serena enjoys the redwoods

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Horseback Riding at Garrod Farms

I had a super fun time horseback riding with Serena at Garrod Farms and Fremont-Older Open Space Preserve last Sunday morning. Serena rode a dark brown horse named Tonto and I rode a brown horse named Kid. There were a total of seven horses in our group. The loop we rode included the Bay Tree Trail and the Seven Springs Loop. The weather was perfect with clear blue skies and comfortable temps as we trotted down the trails. The views of the Silicon Valley were sweet and we enjoyed the single track sections with meadows, views, and oak forest in the wonderful hills above Saratoga.

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New Phase

I’ve been back in CA for almost two weeks now, but I only moved into my new place a few days ago. I’ve been busy buying home furnishings, kitchen stuff, appliances, and food. Also, since I am now a permanent CA resident I got to visit the local DMV office to get a CA driver’s license. I was expecting a horrendous wait, but was pleasantly surprised with the fast service. I was in-and-out of there in an hour. I also got a 100% on the written test and I couldn’t help but smile a bit :)  Work starts on Thursday and I am a little nervous but also excited for this new phase.

There is tons of great trails to run that begin 1/4 from my front door down the road at Edgwood Park. I can use Edgewood to connect to the Crystal Springs Trail, Huddart, Woodside Town trails, and even Portola Valley. Sweet!

Backpacking in Desolation Wilderness

Serena and I went to the Desolation Wilderness along the crest of the Sierra Mountains for a one night backpacking trip. The 63,690 acre wilderness area is near Lake Tahoe and is characterized by rocky basins, granite peaks, and dozens of lovely alpine lakes.

Serena and me at the start of the hike at Echo Lake

Serena and me at the start of the hike at Echo Lake

We hiked in 6.1 miles from Echo Lake to Lake Aloha Friday evening and set up camp along the granite shoreline. We awoke to a spectacular sunrise with a near perfect reflection on the placid waters of Lake Aloha.

Crystal Mountains reflecting in Lake Aloha at Sunrise

Crystal Mountains reflecting in Lake Aloha at Sunrise

Our campsite in the morning

Our campsite in the morning

Lake Aloha and the Crystal Mountains

Lake Aloha and the Crystal Mountains

On the way back we made a loop detour to gorgeous Lake of the Woods before returning back on the main trail to Echo Lakes.

Lake of the Woods in the morning

Lake of the Woods in the morning

Me at Lake of the Woods

Me at Lake of the Woods

We both greatly enjoyed this overnight and plan on returning to Desolation Wilderness in the future for more exploration.

Serena on the trail

Serena on the trail

Leaving Lake of the Woods

Leaving Lake of the Woods

Back in Sammamish

I’m back in my hometown of Sammamish after taking the California Bar Exam last week. I’m happy the exam is complete and the last couple days have been devoted to physical and mental recovery. I didn’t realize how much I needed to sleep until I got home :)

I ran at my old stomping ground at the Redmond Watershed yesterday doing 3 loops of my favorite 5 mile route for a nice 15 mile run.

I look forward to some great adventure runs while at home this month!

East Lake Sammamish Trail

This evening the weather was gorgeous with temps in the 70′s and clear blue skies. I took advantage of the perfect conditions and walked a section of the East Lake Sammamish Trail with my mom and dog Pepe. This 11 mile soft-surface pathway stretches from Issaquah to Redmond and is another example of a great rail-to-trail program. It took a long time to open the trail with steadfast opposition from lakeshore homeowners, but I am glad the county persevered! The views are gorgeous all along the path with shimmering Lake Sammamish always right next to the trail. I also enjoy running this pathway when I am looking for a flat soft-surface run near my home and actually ran a large section of it yesterday.

Sammamish

I’m in my hometown of Sammamish, WA for a week and a half. Naturally, the weather is cool and rainy. A steady rain fell all day today and temps struggled to get to 50 degrees. Fortunately, I am brining some of the California sunshine as a hot ridge of high pressure is expected to build Thursday through Saturday providing temps well into the 80′s and perhaps topping the 90 degree mark in Sammamish, which is located a bit inland from the cooling waters of the Puget Sound.

I celebrated my birthday with family on Sunday and enjoyed my sister’s delicious apple crumble – no added sugar, but so sweet =) I have also had the opportunity to run in a couple favorite local parks – the Redmond Watershed Preserve and Cougar Mountain. The vegetation up here is so lush, especially this year with the cooler and wetter spring. The trails were a bit muddy too, conditions I haven’t experienced in CA for months!

Law School Graduation!

Today was the graduation ceremony from Stanford Law School! It was a great ceremony and reception with memorable speeches from the faculty member, Professor Bankman, and student rep, Onye. Lunch with the family was also great at Macaroni Grill. We topped it all off by watching some great distance running events at the Payton Jordan track meet at Stanford.

Thus, 19 years in the school system has concluded (k-12, 3 years undergrad, 3 years law school). I am very proud of my educational accomplishments and it’s hard to beleive it is now time to enter the real world.

Almost Finished!

Graduation from law school is May 4th and all assignments are due April 23rd, but I am almost done, including completion of two long papers (a total of 80 pages). The only major thing left is a contract mark-up which I can hopefully put away by the end of this weekend. I look forward to graduation festivities. It will be nice to have all my family here for one morning.

I plan on using free time over the next few weeks to hang out with friends, run at cool places like Big Sur, and maybe do some climbing in Sierra or Mount Shasta. April 30th is when I pick up review books for the bar exam and this is when the studying and memorizing commences.