The Kaleberg Journal - May 2017

05/18 - San Francisco, First Day

One of our favorite walks in San Francisco is the climb up the Filbert Street steps. It starts in an alley and heads up a rickety set of metal and concrete steps. It turns into a staircase through a garden which wonderful views of San Francisco Bay. There were roses in bloom and nasturtiums everywhere. The climb tops out at Coit Tower which offers even more views of the city and bay.

A look down at the alley and the Bay Bridge

Staircase garden

More garden on a side street

More garden

Our first view of the Golden Gate Bridge

The view west with twisty Lombard Street visible

Looking back at Coit Tower

Another lovely garden, the Vallejo Street Steps

Another city view

San Francisco is full of flowers

The view downtown

Keywords: san francisco

05/17 - San Francisco, Second Day

We spent a good part of our day wandering San Francisco's waterfront from Fort Mason heading west past Crissy Field. There are some beautiful views, and it was a sunny weekend day, so the streets and parks were full of walkers, runners, sunbathers, kite fliers, bicyclists and others out just enjoying the good weather. We made our way to Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge, then we climbed to the bridge visitor center and started heading south along the Coastal Trail. According to the signs, the part of the trail that leads down to the sea was closed, so we pushed on a bit, gave up and headed back.

That's Alcatraz in the distance

A view of the Golden Gate Bridge

A passion flower

Another view of the Golden Gate Bridge

Sea foam

A hummingbird: look closely for it's bright red feathers.

Another shot of that cooperative hummingbird

Yet another view of the Golden Gate Bridge - It is truly photogenic.

The entrance to an old bunker

Another cooperative bird

The grounds of the old Exploratorium

Keywords: san francisco

05/16 - San Francisco, Third Day

On our third day in San Francisco, we decided to resume our hike roughly where we had turned around the previous day. We took a cab to the Golden Gate Bridge visitor center and headed south. We ignored the warning about the trail being closed and headed down towards the Pacific along a wonderfully wild section of the trail. If the signs were right, we'd have to backtrack, but we really wanted to hike this stretch. As it turned out, the trail was damaged, and technically closed, but as a number of hikers informed us, effectively opened. There was a well worn track around the barrier blocking the closed section of the trail. We joined the outlaws, and continued our hike to Baker Beach.

We made it all the way down to Land's End where we hailed a Lyft car to get us back to our hotel. Lyft has made a real difference. One time we took a taxi back, and it took half an hour to get a ride. Another time we took a bus back, and it took 45 minutes for the 20 minute ride across town. San Francisco has a horrible bus system with stops every block or two. No wonder companies like Google are running their own bus systems here.

One of the many hummingbirds enjoying the weather

A view from the coast

Another view, south

The Golden Gate Bridge again, in one of its many aspects

A view of our favorite part of the trail

Yet another view of the trail and points south

Cormorants on one of the rocks

A view of the Pacific

Scud on Baker Beach

Good grief, yet another view of that San Francisco landmark

A peek into the city

Keywords: birds, san francisco

05/15 - San Francisco, Our Last Day

We didn't wander as far afield on our last day. We walked about along the Embarcadero, and walked out on our favorite wooden pier to give our feet a break.

The Bay Bridge from the pier

Emeryville, the actual port where ships load and unload goods

A good old fashioned doorway - That should show them.

A view from the pier

The pier

Keywords: san francisco

05/07 - Sol Duc and Beyond - Part 1

Our latest trip to the Sol Duc Valley had some excitement. We spotted a young bear not too far from the trailhead. We had been driving along enjoying the scenery, deep green forest with occasional views of the Sol Duc River. Then we saw the car ahead of us stopped in the middle of the road. That means one thing in a national park, a wildlife sighting. It was a young black bear, but we only had quick look at him or her. However, on our way back, we had a much longer and better look.

The falls themselves are full of water, but not quite as wild as we have ever seen them. It was quite possible to cross the bridge over the river at the falls dry shod. As the spring and summer melt progresses, the flow will increase, and the spray will get much wilder.

We headed up trail on the far side of the river, taking the trail to Deer Lake. The trail meanders for a ways with little streams and curtains of drips, then it follows Canyon Creek which flows down from the lake. We made it to the bridge, about 500 feet above the falls. By this point we had run into some patches of snow on and beside the trail. Looking upstream we could see more snow above, melting and feeding Canyon Creek.

That was our sign to turn around and head back. We'll get in shape for further climbing while the snow melts. So we'll be back.

The young black bear by the road


A stream

Sol Duc Falls

The Sol Duc River

Some snow

Snow covered hills

Canyon Creek

Canyon Creek with the snow above

The bridge over the creek

A trillium

Keywords: deer lake, sol duc, trillium

05/06 - Sol Duc and Beyond - Part 2

It will probably be a while before we can get all the way up to Deer Lake. We're guessing some time in late July. Right now, we're just getting back into shape for the season, and we've never been big on challenging the snow. We'll let the mountains and trails rest under their winter blanket a bit longer.

Canyon Creek


Running water

The trail

A trillium

The trail through the forest

Back to Sol Duc Falls

Forest again

A little fellow

Keywords: sol duc

The Kaleberg Journal - April 2017

04/30 - Russian Easter

We Kalebergs recently held our annual Russian Easter party to welcome in the belated spring. Given the cold spring, it is no surprise that the real Russian Easter was some time back. Now that the green leaves are returning and the weather has grown milder, we filled our champagne pool, broke out the blini, boiled up the pelmeni and allowed ourselves to rejoice at the end of winter. We even burned Moscow to fight off the monster Napoleon.


A spring-like spread

Truly Russian, at least in spirit

Moscow in flames

Defending Mother Russia from the monster Napoleon

Take that you French, and your French brandy

Routing the invaders

Keywords: russian easter, spring, weather

04/22 - Elwha River Trail - Part 1

With Olympic Hot Springs Road open again, we've been heading up to Whiskey Bend and revisiting the Elwha River Trail. We've already made it to the overlook before the second canyon on the way to Lilian Camp and down past Michael's Ranch for a look at the Elwha River. The trails are still a bit muddy, but lots of people are about celebrating the area's reopening. We've been celebrating this year's crop of trilliums and are looking forward to a great hiking season.

A trillium

A view from the overlook

A tree down across the trail

Another trillium

Another bit of trail

One of the many streams

Yet another trillium

Those yellow violets

The trail is beautiful on a sunny day

Our first slug of the season

Mysterious alligator leaves

Keywords: elwha, spring, trails, trillium

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