steph's 2008
Getting-into-Condition
Half-Day Trips

2 Feb to 22 Mar 2008

Miscellaneous Parks, Preserves, Open Spaces, and other hikes reasonably close to home

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In late May 2007, I was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma. On 11 June, while having my cancerous kidney removed, I was diagnosed with some sort of cancer in my uterus (later diagnosed as diffuse, large B-cell type lymphoma). It and all it's attending parts, nodes, et al were removed at the same time as the kidney.

After two months of recovering from surgery to remove two different cancers followed by five months of sickness from chemotherapy for the lymphoma, I decided that it was high time to start getting back into shape. I had returned to work, but that wasn't helping get me back into reasonable condition. After all, I used to Rollerblade at least twice a week with boys 15 years my junior. I used to camp and hike at high altitudes with these boys. Now I can hardly get up and down the couple of steps between my house and garage. Gah!

The zeroth step was setting a self-motivating goal. Then I mapped out the steps to get there.
The self-motivating goal is to get into good enough shape to be able to go see the spring wildflower bloom at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (by mid-April). It's something I've been wanting to do for at least 10 years, but something always got in the way (crappy year for rain so no flowers, Jamaican vacation opportunity, crushing work deadlines, new job so no vacation time saved up yet, etc). This year I have the vacation time and we've had the rain.

Keeping an eye on Anza Borrego Desert State Park
DesertUSA's Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Wildflower Report Borrego Springs Weather Report

The first step toward the goal is to start walking -- weather permitting -- or getting on my Nordic Track. I've started walking twice a week at a nearby riparian trail, the Los Gatos Creek Trail (sorry, no pictures yet).

The next step is taking a longer, more challenging walk/hike each week at a nearby park or other hiking venue.

One of my sources for hiking ideas is the San Francisco Bay Trail. This "trail" is a series of trails, roads, paths, and such that go through a wide variety of parks, preserves, and public spaces around the bay.

Just in time for March, my Spring 2008 copy of the "Open Space Views" arrived. This publication talks about what's going on with the open space preserves in the "Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District" including all the organized walks at all the preserves in the district.

Keeping an eye on steph's progress
  • On 2 February I walked and "birded" for about 2 hours (about 1.5 miles) with my friend Pat at Shoreline Park in Mountain View. It was too dark and gray to take any pictures, but there were lots and lots of waterfowl!

  • On 9 February I hiked with my friend Ellen at Henry W. Coe State Park. We covered about 2.5 miles -- including up hills and down dales -- and took almost 3 hours. And I have pictures to prove it! I was in such pain afterwards, but I was mostly OK the next day.

  • On 16 February I hiked, again with Ellen (and her two doggies), along a portion of the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens -- some OK picture-taking territory. This hike was fairly flat and was a mere 2-and-a-smidge miles. I was in some pain after this hike, but not too bad.

  • On 17 February I hiked with my friend Chris at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge. I took lots and lots of pictures. This time we hiked a tad over 3 miles in about 3.5 hours. I was in serious PAIN after this hike, but I got lots of great photos.

  • On 23 February I hiked on my own at the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. I took lots and lots of pictures. This time I walked a couple of miles, but only spent 1.5 hours at it because it started raining. That's not to say that I wasn't still in plenty of pain by the time I finished.

  • On 1 March I hiked at a different area of the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve with my friend Mark. We spent a lot of time, but didn't cover a lot of territory. We were too busy taking pictures!

  • On 8 March I hiked at Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve (a county park) in Redwood City -- kind of at the border with San Mateo -- for the spring wildflowers with my friends Pat, Mark and Yvette. I took a LOT of pictures, so it took a long time to get thru them. It didn't help that we have a huge crunch on at work and I've been working 10- to 12-hour days.

  • On 15 March I took another hike at Shoreline, but toward the south end and on my own. Again, I took way too many pictures, so it took a while for me to get them whittled down and posted.

  • On 22 March I took the advice of several folks who said, "Steph, you should just go to Rancho San Antonio. It's right there near you." Well, it's apparently close to everyone else in the south bay! The sign at the entrance clearly says, "Opens at 8 AM." I got there before 7:30 and the acres and acres of parking spaces were already completely full-up. Including the equestrian parking area! So, I drove to McClellan Ranch Park. I took WAY fewer pictures today than I have been, so it was much easier to get them processed in finite time.

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Send e-mail to me at:
stephfenton @ mindspring . com

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This page was last updated on 23 March 2008.