Skyline Trail, Oct 2018

Skyline Trail, which is a part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail, was our introduction to Bay Area hiking. Here’s the trail map: Wunderlich to Huddart County Park via Skyline Trail. It was a quiet trail and an easy hike. Blogger, David Baselt, mentions in his gorgeous and incredibly informative website, Redwood Hikes, that the trail includes some little-known patches of old-growth redwoods, although unfortunately we didn’t find them. Baselt’s site also offers detailed, highly readable trail maps, and San Mateo County’s website offers a succinct description of the trail and it’s connectivity to surrounding trails.

Sun-rays slanted through tall pines, painting pine needles gold and creating panels of light that intersected the trail and were so thin that you could almost step through them.

I think the hollow in this sandstone is called a “tafoni.” There’s a great explanation of what tafone are in this article: https://baynature.org/article/the-rock-in-the-redwoods/.

Fallen conifers look so funny without their needles! Is this a spruce?

This was our first encounter with a Madrone tree (Arbutus menziesii). They reminded us of South Florida’s gumbo limbo trees, also known as tourist trees because they are red and peeling, like this guy.

Acorns of the Tanoak, which are in fact related genetically to both chestnuts and oaks. Tanoaks are native to the region and play a significant role in its history.

Resources consulted:
Bay Area Ridge Trail
“Geological Outings Around the Bay: Las Trampas Regional Wilderness,” by Andrew Alden in KQED Science (10 Jan 2013)
Lewis’s Five Firs, Discovering Lewis and Clark
“Madrone / Stunning evergreen tough to tame,” by Pete Veilleux in SFGate (28 Dec 2005)
“Mechanical Weathering Through Physical Processes,” by Andrew Alden in ThoughtCo (2 March 2019)
Skyline Trail, County of San Mateo Parks Department
Redwood Hikes Press Trail Maps
“The Rock in the Redwoods,” by Carolyn Strange in Bay Nature Magazine (1 Jan 2007)
Tanoak, Calscape (includes map of plant range)
The Skyline Trail: San Mateo County Parks, Redwood Hikes
“The Tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus), A Significant Santa Cruz Native Plant,” by Melissa Ott in Sierra Club Santa Cruz Group (7 Dec 2014)
Wunderlich to Huddart County Park via Skyline Trail Trail Pap, Bay Area Ridge Trail.

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