Last Sunday I had a wonderful day hiking with a friend whom I share two hobbies; photography and hiking. We met to hike up Mission Peak.
We chose the less steep but slightly longer route. This route meanders through verdant pastures in the Winter and Spring months. Cows roam free munching on grass throughout the park.
Rachael loves cows, and was very excited to be so close to them, but was more comfortable with them behind a fence. This is my favorite photo of Rachael taking photos of the cows on this hike. This was taken on the way up.
Two times we came across cows near or beside the trail. On one occasion a calf was on the opposite side of the trail of its Mother, and the Mother cow Mooed at a passing hiker. So we hiked up the side of the mountain and gave them a wide berth, but I watched cyclists and other hikers walk or ride right past them without any trouble. Here’s a Happy California Cow munching on the new grass just beside the trail. She totally ignored us.
I turned around to look back and could see way out in the distant horizon San Francisco’s skyline. Can you see it? There was little to no haze today, and the colors were wonderful.
We ran into lots of hikers on the way up. I even met a neighbor when I was nearly at the top. He was just starting his descent. The para-gliders were out enjoying the day too.
On my hikes up here before I’ve froze at the Summit. Today it was warm by comparison. My ski pants, long-johns, parka, gloves, and fleece jacket were not needed. The last time I was up here I set up my tripod, snapped my photo and headed down as quickly as I could. It was a little chilly, and windy but not uncomfortable waiting my turn to take my photo at the pole. For the Gear Heads:
I packed really light for this hike. The Nikon D300s, one lens the Nikkor 18-200mm VR, the B+W Circular Polarizer w/warming, one Singh-Ray 3 stop Graduated Neutral Density filter w/holder and adapter ring, spare battery, and my Carbon Fiber tripod with Really Right Stuff BH-40 ball head. I use the L-plates with my cameras. I packed it in my Lowepro Flipside 300 back pack. That’s it! It was the right kit for this steep of a climb.
Passing the pond once again we were treated to great reflections, and a picture perfect scene.
Begin at 500ft
Total climb 2,017 ft
Total Elevation 2,517 ft
Total miles 3.4 up to the top- 6.8 miles round trip
All photos Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac
(Click a photo to see it large)