Saturday, January 24, 2015

5:14 PM
Part of 360-degree view from the summit
In a recent post - Making Mountains out of Molehills, I described my family's quest this year to climb more "mountains" as part of our general efforts to get ourselves and our kids outdoors as much as possible - spending time in nature and building healthy minds and bodies. This beautiful day in January seemed the perfect opportunity to bag our first peak of the year and San Bruno Mountain seemed the perfect candidate.

San Bruno Mountain is a very special place - a long, narrow promontory that is one of the largest open spaces in an urban setting in the United States. This mountain stands more than 1,300 feet tall in the midst of an intensely urbanized area of the San Francisco peninsula - it has survived decades of development proposals and assaults and is now considered one of the most important and threatened biodiversity sites in the world. Several endangered species, including the Mission Blue, the San Bruno Elfin, and the Callippe Silverspot butterflies uniquely call this mountain home, which is why it is all the more important to support the work of groups like San Bruno Mountain Watch and others who have made it their mission, along with the State and County Parks systems, to protect and preserve this amazing place. And so the mountain stands tall today - enjoyed by the people who bike, hike and run it's trails, and depended on by the fragile plants and animals who cannot survive anywhere else.

San Bruno Mountain - A Perspective
San Bruno Mountain is part of the view shed from our living room window, the natural fortress behind my daughter's school, and one of my favorite places to run. Today was an opportunity to share the magic of this place with my family.

Because we were limited on time, we opted for the Summit Trail / Dairy Ravine Trail Loop, which is about 2 miles round trip and boasts nicely varied terrain, great 360-degree views from the summit, and a more than a few places to rock climb on ancient sea beds along the way.

We stopped for a snack at the summit and almost giddily took stock of our surroundings - the Pacific Ocean on our left, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge flanking the spires of San Francisco straight ahead, and the tanker-dotted San Francisco Bay on our right.  The reverie was halted while my daughter took an enormous poo that we then had to carry down the mountain in a plastic bag, but that minor incident didn't stop her or any of us from exclaiming WOW, look how beautiful the view is! Look how small everything looks! as we started tromping back down to the car. Another peak bagged, another adventure had, another inconvenient poo - such is hiking with kids.

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