Sunday, March 19, 2017

El Corte De Madera

A month back or so we found on Craigslist a new ride for Maddy. After a quick ride it seemed pretty worthy of off-road.

So we decided on El Corte De Madera : The cutting of wood ? Our new favorite place to ride We had hiked it a couple of weeks earlier.

I noticed the trails were nice and curvy through the trees, no too steep or bumpy, but still fun and even worthy of focus here and there. 

Maddy Loved it ! Laughing giddily all through the redwoods. I enjoyed it too.

Beautiful terrain, fresh and peaceful.

There are some trippy looking rocks in that park too! This is the Tafoni Sandstone Formation

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Birthday #3

Maddy is now old enough to get really excited for a party.

Though we had spent some time building up the excitement in preparation. We spent hours making this paper mache bee piñada.

Rolled out the fake grass, a few tables and chairs, some decorations.

The piñada was a real hit (unintended pun - sorry)

Mommy made some themed art activities. The theme was Jackson Pollock - known for his splatter art :)

Amazing how tough a few layers of paper can be. I thought it was going to fall apart right away with a nerf pool stick. But actually it took some heavy abuse with a wood chair leg. Everyone had fun and the party went late ;)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Pt Reyes

A Hike on Point Reyes, a pretty awesome place on the planet. Starting from Pierce Point Ranch.

Hog Island, with some strong memories from 3 years ago. 

There is a Tule Elk preserve on the north end of the peninsula. 

Didn't quite make it all the way to the end, but enough to get some good views.

Elk are impressive beasts, they do closely resemble red deer and caribou. 

Tamales Bay caused by San Andreas fault sliding up the coast, is the background.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

USS Hornet

There are many good reasons to go see the USS_Hornet. From an engineering standpoint, it's amazing. It is pretty much it's own mobile city. It has a power station, water purification, an airport, communications, food entertainment. Docents lead tours in many facets of the ships features, with first hand stories of the experience of being in service on the vessel. 

There are 4 engines on the ship, here are the 11 oil burners to one of them. Essentially they heat seawater to steam.

The steam turns a turbine, which then through a transmission goes a propeller. The setup is repeated 4 times. Here is the control panel to control the furnace, the steam is also moved around the ship and used for heat and now distilled water. Bare in mind this is 1940's technology.

Up top in the bridge, there are control mechanisms, which you could mistakenly thing directly controlled the ship. The devices are more communication systems to the various devices that power and maneuver the ship.

Up in the bridge steering was not priority number one. Strategizing, commanding, communication

and navigation were more important most of the time.

The tower looks pretty small compared with the rest of the ship.

This F14 tomcat was used in top gun I believe.

The sense of scale is really incredible.

The navigation room is interesting too, before GPS LORAN was the primary.

Below deck is the "top gun" room where pilots were briefed among other stuff. The room has a completely different look than the rest of the ship. Which is sort of stainless steel and cream. All in all a fun interesting day out. 

The museum ship is moored in Alemada now, east across the bay from San Francisco.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Santa Cruz mountain redwoods

Another favorite walk - Henry Cowell Redwoods state park. So nice we went twice over Christmas.

One sunny, walk with views of the Monterey Bay.

The other deep in the virgin redwood grove.

Even Mum and Dad have been here multiple times.

We were lucky to catch the train, puffing through the forest, in the winter holidays it only runs once a day.

It's a spectacular sight watching it climb the mountain over the trestles, and it is a nice walk to boot.

Clam chowder bread bowls for Dinner on santa cruz wharf, overlooking steamer lane surf spot.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Ed Levin Equestrian Adventure

A nice day to be outside.

While Dad and I flew off Ed Levin, Heidi went for a horse ride.

I've flown over the stables countless times and see folks out riding, but this is the first time I've visited.

Everyone had fun :)

Nice to see the hills so green, should last a while this year.

The Paddock and staging area are fun too. Bay area Stables does a good job of the old west feel.

A motley clan.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The mountain view ride

One of our go-to rides is to jump on the VTA to Mountain View and ride back.

We just take the Stevens Creek trail up to the google area.

Then through the Shoreline Amphitheater, stop at the 19th hole.

Enjoy some sun and a brew. It's not very far but has lots of variety, is flat and family friendly. No driving necessary and just one short section of road, which is mellow.

Then around the outside of Moffett field back home. The ride is about 13 Miles and even pretty much downwind.