San Bruno Mountain State Park is pretty unassuming. You drive past it on Highway 101 as you pass South San Francisco from SF. From the roadway beneath it looks like a relatively tree-less expanse of hills, covered in grass or brush that goes from springtime green to summertime brown. While not entirely untrue, the thing the distant view of the hills doesn’t offer is a glimpse at the amazingly colorful wildflowers that are everywhere this time of year on the hillsides.
My memory of hiking San Bruno when I was training in 2006 for the Grand Canyon wasn’t particularly good. It’s where I got my first really nasty blister (one that stuck with me for most of the rest of the season) and it was a hike where I was pushed in terms of physical fitness. All I remembered of it 3 years later was how difficult the inclines were.
This past Saturday the hike felt good. The exposed hillsides drain you with the cold wind gusts, especially after you get good and sweaty on the incline hikes to the top. But beyond that it was a beautiful day with lots of great flowers and scenery to take in. Looking back at my other blog entry, we apparently did a slightly longer hike (3.5 hours) than this Saturday (3 hours) but I still feel like it’s a testament to me being in better shape than I was a few years back that it didn’t really try me physically this time around.
Brush rose up at times as tall as we were, but amidst all the green scrub were tons of colorful flowers (hard to see in this step back image) (credit: Johanna Hoadley)
The highlight of the hike were the wildflowers, most of which I haven’t a clue their names (if you know, please add a comment to this blog post, I’d love to learn). One of the pleasant surprises were the wild white morning glories — a flower I knew from my yard in Ohio. But others remain a mystery.
White morning glories (credit: Johanna Hoadley)
An unknown flower that was arguably the most prevalent one on the hillside (credit: Johanna Hoadley)
An Indian paintbrush (credit: Johanna Hoadley)
?? (credit: Johanna Hoadley)
Assistant coach Steve pointing out some of the wildflowers and plants (credit: Johanna Hoadley)
From a distance it looks all brown and green, but up close there were tons of colors in the wildflowers interspersed. (credit: Johanna Hoadley)
In case you didn’t believe I was really there, my friend and hike buddy Debbie caught this snapshot of me in the overpowering plant life we trudged through. Needless to say hike gear isn’t the cutest thing around, but hey, it protected me from the sun and poison oak that was everywhere!