I Thought He Came With You is Robert Ellison’s blog about software, marketing, politics, photography and time lapse.

Kirby Cove

Trail to Kirby Cove in the Marin Headlands

Kirby Cove Beach in the Marin Headlands

San Francisco through the Golden Gate Bridge from Kirby Cove

Salesforce Tower framed by the Golden Gate Bridge

A short two mile out and back from the Battery Spencer parking area on Conzelman Road to Kirby Cove.

The Marin Headlands have had a bit of a traffic management change recently so you need to go through the tunnel to get in and Conzelman Road is now one way back to highway 101. The advantage is that there is way more parking then there used to be. I think I've only ever managed to park near Battery Spencer once in 20 years.

The walk is my least favorite profile, downhill to start and uphill on the way back and also not a loop. It's worth it though because it's short and Kirby Cove beach is quiet and has wonderful views of San Francisco through the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also visit Battery Wagner and Battery Kirby on the way back up.

Hike starts at: 37.829459, -122.48401. View in Google Earth.

Mt. Livermore on Angel Island

Sunset trail to Mt. Livermore to North Ridge trail loop on Angel Island

Turkey Vultures on Angel Island

View toward Mount Tamalpais from Angel Island

Harbor Seal at Ayala Cove on Angel Island

Mt. Livermore on Angel Island

The Immigration Station at Angel Island is a fascinating piece of history. It's amazing how unwelcoming we were to Chinese immigrants while the station was in operation, and how ineffective all of the unpleasantness was. It's a racist mirror universe of Ellis Island. Get a guided tour if you can. I've visited the Immigration Station a couple of times and also hiked around the perimeter (which is spectacular), but this trip was the first time going up to the top. The Angel Island Company site suggests that this is a 6.5 mile hike but my GPS thinks it was 5 miles and so did the fact that we made it back in time for our planned ferry back to San Francisco.

Get off the boat, head right and up the hill to pick up the sign for Sunset Trail. This takes you up to a spur about half a mile from the top that is well signed for Mt. Livermore. There are a few picnic tables and an annoying mast that makes it hard to take the panorama that this peak is so obviously calling for. On the way back down head right at the first opportunity to follow North Ridge trail back to Ayala Cove.

Hike starts at: 37.868337, -122.434656. View in Google Earth.

Bay View and Shoreline Trails at China Camp State Park

Bay View Trail to Shoreline Trial at China Camp State Park

View from Bay View Trail at China Camp State Park

A nice 4 mile hike at China Camp State Park - starting at the day use parking in the campsite follow Powerline Fire Trail up to a left on Bay View Trail then left on Back Ranch Fire Trail and finally left again on Shoreline Trial back to the parking lot. Gentle ascent for three miles then a fairly steep stretch down Back Ranch Fire Trail (I slipped three times, watch where you're going) and then gentle again for the final half mile.

(Previously: shorter 3 mile hike of Back Ranch Meadows and Turtleback Point loop)

Hike starts at: 38.006014, -122.496775. View in Google Earth.

Limantour Spit

Limantour Spit

Limantour Spit

There is a shorter trail through the dunes before you get to the beach which we attempted a couple of years ago. The vegetation is spiky and unforgiving for small people. Better option is to hit the beach, turn right and walk as close to the end as you can. Five mile flat round trip. We saw harbor seals and one very decomposed whale.

Hike starts at: 38.025765, -122.884455. View in Google Earth.

San Pedro Valley Park Waterfall Loop

San Pedro Valley Park Waterfall Loop

Waterfall at San Pedro Valley Park

San Pedro Valley Park Waterfall Loop

A short but steep 2.2 mile loop in San Pedro Valley Park. From the parking lot go behind the toilet block and turn right to find the start of Montara Mountain Trail. After 1.2 miles winding slowly up you reach the junction with Brooks Creek Trail at a bench with views to the Pacific. Take Brooks Creek Trail down 1 mile to the parking lot, passing another bench with a view of the waterfall on the way down.

Hike starts at: 37.578046, -122.475395. View in Google Earth.

China Camp State Park

View from China Camp State Park

China Camp State Park

New Year's resolution: hike more again.

This is a combined hike of Back Ranch Meadows and Turtleback Point loop at China Camp State Park (around 2.7 miles total). Have never been to China Camp before, it's a beautiful park forty minutes north of San Francisco with plenty of interesting looking trails so will be back again soon.

(Hikes was my first blog, now folded into ITHCWY. Here's an old post about the blog. Since the last update I've ditched My Tracks because it got terrible and switched to Gaia GPS. I also moved from BlogEngine.net to my own custom blogging platform which is mostly better but hasn't worked well for my hike posts. I had to manually upload any KML files and also manually scrape out the coordinates for the start of the hike. Today I've automated this for my post by email system - I just need to attach a KML file to the email and it gets automatically uploaded to the blog and the start point is used to link to Google Maps, geocode the post and include an embedded map. Pretty cool. Hopefully this will inspire me to hike more and post more hikes as well.)

Hike starts at: 38.00733, -122.490322. View in Google Earth.

Round Top loop at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve

Updated on Saturday, December 30, 2017

Round Top loop trail in Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve

Round Top in Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve

Labyrinth in quarry at  Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve

Small garter snake at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve

Round Top is a remnant of a 10 million year old volcano, tipped over by tectonic activity. It's pretty high at 1,763 feet. Unfortunately the peak is privately owned so you can't go right to the top but there is a 2.5 mile loop around the peak. You get views out to Mount Tam, Mount Diablo and even the Sierras and an occasional glimpse of the bay. The drive up is also spectacular.

Hike Starts at 37.8483327,-122.1986103 (Google Earth).

Presidio Plaques

Updated on Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Old Stone Powder Magazine

Updated 2015-11-21 13:26:

To the memory of Colonel Charles B Stone

Updated 2015-11-23 15:50:

John J Pershing

(Recent Photos)