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Aspen highlands | photo by Matt Feyerabend
   Ventana Chapter Schedule of outings, meetings & other activities

Sierra Club Ventana Chapter Hikes and Outings for Monterey/Carmel and Santa Cruz
from Tuesday October 21 to December 30, 2014
(Please contact leader to reserve a space)

Monday, December 15
Hike: Tanbark Trail to the Tin House has been canceled.

Tuesday, October 21
Senior Hike/Saunter: Point Lobos
Two routes for different abilities will be available in this beautiful Park to the south of Carmel. Hikers will park at Whaler's cove and make a loop around the park, about 3 miles, to a picnic spot called Piney Woods. After lunch we'll continue back to Whaler's Cove. Terrain is hilly but not strenuous. Walkers will park at Bird Island and follow a more level route. Scenery is spectacular. Dress for windy cool weather. Meet before 9.30 a.m. at Sears on 41st Ave. Bring lunch, water, $5 carpool and share of Park fee. Restrooms. Leaders: Joan Brohmer, 462-3803 and Brooke Ewoldsen, 475-6188.

Wednesday, October 22
Hike: Fort Ord
Our 6 mile loop has about 700 ft. elevation gain, moderate pace. This area is wide open with nice views and no shade. Bring a hat, water and lunch. Meet at 9:15 a.m. at the new parking lot for Fort Ord National Monument along highway 68 (across the street from Toro Cafe). Please let me know if you are coming: Leader: Gisela Nobinger, 393-4983.

Saturday, October 25
Hike: Mount Defiance/Pinnacles National Park
Mt. Defiance offers a grand view of the High Peaks, the Little Pinnacles, North & South Chalone and is the fifth highest peak in this seldom visited part of the park. Elevation gain is ~2,000’, distance ~ 6 miles. The hike is off-trail. We will stay together and hike at a moderate pace. Bring plenty of water! Don’t forget gloves, a warm head cover and rain gear–just in case! From Hollister take 25, then 146 to the Pinnacles East Entrance Visitor Center and continue from there on to the Peaks View parking lot where we meet at 9:00 a.m. Heavy rain cancels! For reservations call. Leader: Burkhard Siedhoff, 831-920-1803.

Saturday, October 25,
Hike: Butano State Park
This is the walk up to the airstrip at the top of the park that we've done before in the spring to see the rhododendrons along the way. So we'll see what it looks like in the fall. About 9 miles, 1300 vertical feet and views from the lunch spot at the top. We will meet at the Santa Cruz Gov't Center at 9:30 a.m. to carpool. Call for more information. Leader: Nick Wyckoff, (831) 462-3101.

Tuesday, October 28,
Senior Hike/Saunter: Pogonip Emma McCrary Loop
This will be a 4 mile loop up the Emma McCrary mixed use trail at Pogonip. (It connects with the Rincon and Ucon trails.) A shorter Senior Saunter for walkers will be available. From the McCrary Trail the hikers will join the Spring Trail to the Brayshaw Trail, and from there they will walk to the clubhouse to enjoy lunch or snacks. Walkers and hikers will start off together but walkers will go more slowly, stopping as needed. Meet before 9:30 a.m. at Sears on 41st Ave or go direct to Golf Club Drive off Highway 9 (4th left after turning on to Hwy 9 from Hwy 1), drive to the end and park. Parking is very limited so carpool. Bring lunch, water, $1 car pool. Leaders: Perry Brohmer, 1-650-793-3987 / Brooke Ewoldsen, 475-6188.

Thursday, October 30,
Hike: Maple Falls
Join Andy Werner and Lynn Bomberger on this 7 mile Nisene Marks hike with 700 ft. elevation gain. Our path takes us through a lovely forest along beautiful creeks and eventually to serene Maple Falls. If our timing is right, we will enjoy gently falling maple leaves around us as we relax for lunch at the falls. Agility is required. Bring water & lunch. Arrive early; we depart at 8:40 a.m. from the far end of the parking lot in front of REI in Marina or depart from the parking lot behind Aptos Station at 9:30. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 375-7777.

November and December
Hikes to be Determined for Pinnacles and Wilderness
I backpack on the weekends, so my hikes will be during the week. My hikes are all day, so an early start is required. I will have one in November and one in December. Please call me so we can all decide which day works for all of us. Call me and leave me your name, phone number and a good time to reach you. I have e-mail addresses of friends that usually come to my hikes. I can add you to my list, if you like. One hike will be at Pinnacles National Park and the other will be in the Ventana or Silver Peak Wilderness. I do screen my calls, so you must first talk to my message machine because I don't have caller I.D. Leader: Esperanza Hernandez, (831) 678-8538.

Tuesday, November 4
Senior Saunter: Pleasure Point
A pleasant 2+ mile walk along the cliffs at Pleasure Point to Lake Moran Park for lunch, returning by a route through the neighborhood. Meet before 9:30 a m at Sears on 41st Ave. To go direct, park in the small surfers' parking lot at the bottom of 41st Ave or at the roadside on Opal Cliff Dr. Bring lunch and water. Leader: Brooke Ewoldsen, 475-6188.

Saturday, November 8
Walk: Carmel Meadows
How about an early morning walk from Carmel River Beach toward Monastery Beach via the hill and back via the bluff trail. Enjoy late summer wild flowers, birds, views of Point Lobos and listen to the surf. Approximately 3 miles. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather; wind breaker recommended. Bring water, a snack and binoculars if desired. Meet at the Rio Road "Park & Ride" just east of Hwy. 1 at 9 a.m. for short carpool to hike start. Call to reserve a space. Leader: Martha Saylor, 372-9215.

Sunday, November 9
Hike: Circular Pools on the Little Sur River
We will hike from the Pico Blanco Boy Scout Camp to the Circular Pools on the North Fork of the Little Sur River; the hike is about 4 miles one way and is rated strenuous because of down trees that we will have to navigate and many stream crossings. Some may just want to hike as far as Jackson or Fox Camp for an easier day. Bring water and lunch, there is an $8 per vehicle to park at the Scout Camp that I will need to pay in advance so please let me know if you intend to drive. We will meet at the Rio Road Park and Ride in Carmel at 8:00 am. Bring water and lunch. Leader: Steve Benoit, 831-394-4234.

Sunday, November 9
Hike: Wilder Ranch State Park
We'll start at headquarters and do the old cabin trail loop. Expect 6-7 miles and perhaps 1100 vertical feet. We will meet at the Santa Cruz Gov't Center at 9:30 a.m. to carpool. Call for more information. Leader: Nick Wyckoff, (831) 462-3101.

Tuesday, November 11
Senior Saunter: Asilomar South
Easy 3+ mile walk from Asilomar to Point Joe and return along sandy paths and beach boardwalk. Lunch at tables just south of Point Joe. Meet before 9:30 a m at Sears on 41st Ave. or at 10:40 by the Fishwife Restaurant at Asilomar in Pacific Grove. Bring lunch and water, $5 carpool. Leader: Bev Meschi, 475-4185.

Wednesday, November 12
Walk: Elkhorn Slough
There should be plenty of migrating birds to enjoy. Elkhorn Slough harbors the largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California outside of San Francisco Bay. This ecological treasure at the center of the Monterey Bay coastline provides much-needed habitat for hundreds of species of plants and animals, including over three hundred species of birds. Bring your binoculars & some money for the entrance fee (I think it's $4.-) for the National Estuarine Research Reserve. We will walk about 5 miles around the Reserve. Bringing lunch is optional as great restaurants are nearby. Meet at the REI parking lot, but away from store entrance at 9:00 am. REI is near Hwy 1 and Imjin Pkwy. Please, let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, 393-4983 or .

Friday, November 14
Hike: Bluff Camp
Let’s see if there’s any water left in Los Padres reservoir! Meet at the Park and Ride lot on Rio Road in Carmel at 9am for carpooling to Princes Camp in Cachagua. Our walk of 8 miles round trip takes us across the dam and along the edge of the reservoir to our lunch spot at Bluff Camp on the upper Carmel River. Expect scenic and moderately strenuous terrain at a leisurely pace. Bring lunch and water. Rain cancels. Leaders Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton 372 7427.

Saturday, November 15
Hike: Jacks Peak
A moderate hike around Monterey's "house mountain". Views onto the Bay and the town. Meet at the Elementary School on Olmsbye Road (opposite the Monterey Airport) at 9:39 a.m. Bring water and a snack and wear good shoes for the hike of about 6 miles and 800' elevation gain/loss at a leisurely pace. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 624-1467.

Sunday, November 16
Afternoon Walk: Carmel River State Beach
Let's take an easy walk about the shore and hills to Monastery Beach and back, assuming that the mighty River has not already broken through! We'll look for wild animals (bring binoculars if you have them!) and hear some stories of life in the old days along this bit of coast. Bring water and snack, dress in layers, and call for time to meet. Leader: Mary Gale, 626-3565.

Tuesday, November 18
Senior Hike: Nisene Marks/Hoffman
Approx. 4 mile shady hike starting at the Porter Picnic area, the last parking lot before the iron gate. Narrow trails with some uphill to Hoffman site. Meet before 9:30 a m at Sears on 41st Ave. or at the dirt parking lot before park entrance. Primitive restroom. Bring lunch, sit-upon, repellent, $1 carpool and share of entrance fee. Leader: Bev Meschi, 475-4185.

Saturday, November 22
Hike: Garland Ranch Ridge Traverse
Invigorating traverse of all three ridges of Garland Ranch Regional Park. From the Kahn Ranch addition to Garland Park, climb the steep Cougar Ridge trail and Vazquez trail to Vazquez Knob, then down East Ridge to Redwood Canyon. Finally, climb the Garzas & Snively Ridge trails to the viewpoint and descend to Garland Ranch Visitor's Center. Strenuous, about 6 ½ -7 ½ hours for 11 miles and 3800'. Meet at Garland main parking lot at 8:00 a.m. and consolidate into maximum 3 vehicles for which we have permits to enter and park at Kahn Ranch. One additional vehicle will remain behind and shuttle drivers back to Kahn Ranch at end of day. Permit limited to 12 hikers, so please reply to with your name and phone number, and we will call you. Leaders: Randy May & Carol Greenstreet.

Saturday, November 22
Hike: Almaden County Park or ??
We haven't been to Almaden in a while. So we'll drive Hicks Rd south of Los Gatos to the Woods Rd entrance. Or we might do something new and different in the area. Expect 5-8 miles and I'm not sure of the vertical feet if we do the option but probably 1000+. We will meet at the Santa Cruz Gov't Center at 9:30 a.m. to carpool. Call for more information. Leader: Nick Wyckoff, (831) 462-3101.

Sunday, November 23
Hike: Westridge Trail Loop
Join us for this Nisene Marks hike of 8 miles with 1000 ft. elevation gain through a lovely shaded forest of redwoods, tan-bark oaks, maples and ferns with stops to enjoy them. Arrive early; we depart at 8:40 a.m. from the far end of the parking lot in front of REI in Marina or depart from the parking lot behind Aptos Station at 9:30. Bring water & lunch. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 375-7777.

Tuesday, November 25
Senior Saunter: Natural Bridges
Four mile round trip walk from Lighthouse Field to Natural Bridges. Meet before 9:30 a m at Sears on 41st Ave., or by 9.50 in the parking lot on West Cliff, just left of the bathrooms, across from and south of the Lighthouse Museum. Bring water, lunch, $2 carpool. Lunch at Natural Bridges. Leader: Jean Harrison, 425-5447.

Wednesday, November 26
Hike: Jacks Peak
A pre-Thanksgiving hike of 4-5 miles, moderately paced with about 700 feet elevation gain. Jacks Peak offers quiet forested trails with some views of Monterey and the Bay and Carmel Valley. Bring water & lunch. Meet at 9:45 a m at NW corner of Whole Foods parking lot in the Del Monte Shopping Center in Monterey or after 10 am in the West Parking lot at Jack's Peak. Please, let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, 393-4983 or .

Saturday, November 29
Hike: Kirk Creek to Twitchel (Limekiln State Park)
Kirk Creek Campground (from Rio Rd. 1½ hrs. south on Hwy.1) to Vicente Flat is the first part of the hike. The trail offers fantastic vistas from high above Hwy.1. At Vicente Flat we will have a well deserved rest and then continue along the Stone Ridge Trail for a steep descent to Twitchel Flat (an old homestead from the late 1800s) and from there on to our shuttle near Rain Rock, a recently completed rock shed on Hwy.1. This 15 mile hike is strenuous! Bring 2 to 3 liters of water! Call for reservations, meeting time and place. Rain cancels! Leader: Burkhard Siedhoff, 831-920-1803.

Sunday, November 30
Hike: Kahn Ranch
For those who haven't visited this portion of Garland Park, this will be worth the effort. Exploring the outer edges of Kahn Ranch, we will encounter some small waterfalls (if we get rain), and elevated views of the Carmel River. Also expect some poison oak. 8 miles with 2500' of sometimes steep elevation gain/loss. Limit of 20 hikers. Call for a reservation. Leader: Larry Parrish, 622-7455.

Tuesday, December 2
Sierra Seniors' Holiday Lunch
At Severino's Bar and Grill, 7500 Old Dominion Ct, Aptos. Names to Irene Lennox by Friday, November 21 (tel 457-2690, ).

Saturday, December 6
Walk: Point Lobos
About 4 mile walk, starting just north of the front gate and continuing down the South Shore trail to China Cove and back. Meet at Rio Road Park and Ride at 10 a.m. Bring lunch and water. Leader: Kris Kissman, 521-5662.

Saturday, December 6
Hike: Arroyo Seco
A winter hike, not a swim hike. We'll walk from the gate to Horse Bridge, either on the Arroyo Seco road along the river or on a side trail high up with a view. We'll walk down to the old suspension bridge, cross and walk mildly uphill, then steeper to a wonderful rock formation high above the Horse Trail for our lunch break. Same way back. About 10 miles and 800' elevation gain/loss on a moderate pace. Bring lunch and water, wear good shoes and dress for all kind of weathers. Please call before. Meet at Mid Valley Safeway opposite Chase bank at 9:00 a.m. for the one hour drive up Carmel Valley to the trailhead.
People from Salinas and Santa Cruz could drive to the Park Entrance of Arroyo Seco and meet us there by 10:15. Confirm if you want to come and need help with directions. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 624-1467.

Saturday, December 6
Hike: Asilomar-Pebble Beach Forest & Coast Loop
4 mile loop inland of Spanish Bay and through Pebble Beach neighborhood to sand dunes and horse trail to beach trail. We then go out to Point Joe and return along the beach boardwalk back to Asilomar Blvd. Beach late wild flowers and wildlife to be seen. Meet across from the Fishwife Restaurant on Sunset Drive and Asilomar Blvd., Pacific Grove at 9:00 a.m. Back about noon, bring snack, water and binoculars if desired. Call to reserve a space. Leader: Martha Saylor, 372-9215.

Wednesday, December 10
Sierra Club Outings Meeting at Monterey Public Library at 5:30 p.m.
Hikes for January and February 2015 will be collected. Everybody interested is welcome!

Wednesday, December 10
Hike: Monterey History and Holiday Walk
We will visit Colton Hall and walk from there around town with stops at the Royal Chapel and Custom House. 3-4 miles, not much elevation gain, moderate pace. Let's see how many of the Monterey Angels we can spot. Meet at 9:00 a m at Colton Hall at Pacific and Madison in Monterey. (There is unrestricted parking on one side of Van Buren above the police department.)
Please, let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, 393-4983 or .

Saturday, December 13
Hike: Pogonip City Park
This is local and simple for the Santa Cruzans among us. So close to the winter solstice, I'll even let you sleep in a bit with a 10 a.m. start from the Santa Cruz Gov't Center. Expect 6 miles and about 900 vertical feet. Leader: Nick Wyckoff, (831) 462-3101.

Sunday, December 14
Hike: Pebble Beach Fly Agaric Quest
We'll zig and zag through the serene pine forest of Pebble Beach searching for the beautiful, hallucinogenic and/or deadly Fly Agaric mushrooms (red with white polka dots). Bring water; lunch gives us the option of purchasing a Poppy Hills sandwich. 5½ miles, 750 ft. elevation gain with flora and fauna stops. Arrive early; we depart at 9:30 a m from the "Haul Road" gate on Highway 68 in Pebble Beach. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 375-7777.

Monday, December 15
Hike: Tanbark Trail to the Tin House has been canceled.

Sunday, December 21
Afternoon Stroll: Old Monterey by the Sea
We'll start at the original Spanish presidio, and mosey from that base down through El Encinal Cemeterio to the Customs House where the tax collector awaited visitors. A story of two of pirates and rebels might be in order too. Bring water and snack, dress in layers, and call for time to meet. Leader: Mary Gale, 626-3565.

Sunday, December 28
Hike: Secret Trails of Jacks Peak
Let's break in those new boots you got for Christmas and explore some of those trails that you always wanted to take, but never did. Let's see where they go. Expect 6-8 miles, perhaps 1200' of elevation gain, and probable poison oak exposure. Bring water and a snack for lunch. Meet at 9:30 a.m. Call for meeting site and shuttle info. Leader: Larry Parrish, 622-7455.

Tuesday, December 30
Senior Saunter: Watsonville Slough
Watsonville Wetlands. A mostly flat walk around Watsonville and Struve Sloughs. We'll see egrets, herons, mallards, etc. Meet before 9:30 a m at Sears on 41st Ave. or at the Nature Center, 20 Hawkins Slough Rd at 9:50. No restrooms. Lunch at Ramsay Park. Bring lunch, water, $3 carpool. Rain cancels. Leader: Bev Meschi, 475-4185.

Reserve January 1, 2015 for our traditional New Year's hike –to be announced!

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