Memorial Weekend Hiking

We had Memorial Day here in the US this weekend (this bit is obviously for UK readers). Basically a Bank Holiday. On Saturday, I got to go trail running with Jen. But on Sunday and Monday, we did a couple of hikes that were so pretty I thought them worth blogging about.

Pulgas Ridge

On Sunday, we had a lovely hike around Pulgas Ridge, a park bang opposite Edgewood Park when I’ve run trails with Juli and our strollers. This park was much more shady – most of the trails were under tree-cover which was very pleasant! We ambled along at pre-schooler pace, covering about 2.5 miles. The Dude walked it all, pretending to be a trail runner ever now and again!

Lovely Pulgas Ridge

The exciting moment was when a hiker coming towards us warned us about a snake further down the path. She said it was a harmless gopher snake, so when we got there, we had a leisurely look at the reptile before walking on. It was only when we got home and did some googling that we realised it could well have been a rattlesnake. I can’t decide which one (the two snakes are very similar). Quite sobering – next time, I won’t get quite as close!

If you don’t like pictures of snakes, look away now.

What do you think? Is that a rattle at the end of its tail?

Dressing as a family in blue was totally co-incidental! The Husband was mortified.

Colour co-ordinated family!

Mount Tam

On Monday, we were up and out early, by 8am, heading north over the Golden Gate Bridge to Mount Tamalpais (aka Mt Tam) which I have meant to hike since we moved here nearly three years ago. We had a 6.5 mile route planned and the running stroller, which would be fine on trails. But unfortunately, we left the front wheel at home, leaving only the cr*ppy umbrella stroller. We considered changing route, but thought we’d try anyway.

Mummy the pack horse!

In the end, it was amazing. We climbed for three and a half miles up a wide gentle fire road, so the gradient was easy. The Dude walked three of those miles. Our pace was VERY slow and we stopped for snacks on a regular basis, but we were in no rush. The Husband and I took it in turns to carry the backpack/stroller and to encourage the Dude. He was amazing. When we got to the downhill second half, he took off – running (and demanding we run too) and speeding up. Then, we turned off the fire road onto a crazy, steep downhill single track. The Husband took the Dude and they hurtled downhill, laughing like drains the entire way as I picked my way down cautiously. Listening to them laughing was a really special moment. And then the trail spat us out about half a mile from the car, on fire road again. All in all, 6 miles, of which my 3 year old hiked 5.5. We were incredibly proud of him.

Old Railroad Grade
A little overcast but oh the view was amazing!
Can you see the trail through the redwoods? Me neither!
My boys in the trees

This was what happened in the car on the way home.


So all in utterly fab weekend on the trails. We have resolved to hike more often, and now feel we can go a little longer and further than we had expected. I feel so incredibly lucky to live in the Bay Area. It is so beautiful!!

If you’re local, this was the hike we did, taking Corte Madera Trail as a short cut.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Nic J says:

    Not a rattlesnake in my opinion! Rattlers have a very different pattern/structure at the end of their tails, whereas the one you saw had the regular pattern go right to the end of the tip. If you were that close, chances are if it had been a rattlesnake, it would have rattled at you to warn you off! Good walking by the Dude though! Earned his snooze in the car without a doubt!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yeah, I think I may have got it wrong, but it was a big enough beast anyway!! Enjoy your last day at FP!

  2. Cate says:

    I really need to get up to Mt. Tam! Mike’s doing the Double Dipsea, which goes up part of it (I think?) but I love the idea of hiking to the top as a family

    1. Cathryn says:

      This hike was perfect as 90% of it was running-stroller friendly, apart from the crazy half mile through the trees. It was a lot of fun!

  3. Jen says:

    It doesn’t look like a rattlesnake to me.
    Great hikes this weekend! I’m very impressed by the Dude’s running/hiking!

    1. Cathryn says:

      We were blown away by his hiking…didn’t expect that at all! I think it may have been a gopher snake too now, they look very similar!

  4. bt says:

    I agree that it probably wasn’t a rattlesnake — I don’t see the rattle. But more importantly, I grew up in an area where you’d come upon them quite often. I don’t think I or anyone I knew ever encountered one that didn’t rattle to try to get us to stay away.

    1. Cathryn says:

      That is worth knowing thank you!! No, this guy didn’t rattle and looked quite chilled as we examined him!

  5. RoseRunner says:

    SNAKES!!!! twins! You’re hike is superior, though. Even your snake is superior.

    1. Cathryn says:

      I laughed so hard when I saw your snake. But you had TWO!! It’s Snake Week!!

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