Relaxing Weekend Before Half Dome

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Waddell Beach, CA

Sunday, July 12th, 2015


This weekend I decided to take a break from all the training hikes that I had been enduring over the last few months in preparation of Half Dome. Saturday morning, my personal trainer invited me to join him on a morning run at the local high school track, something I had not done in over 20 years. I was a bit shocked that I was able to keep a steady 8 minute mile pace for 2.5 miles, but my calves were starting to cramp after that so I just walked for a bit. Afterward, my trainer and I hit the Gym to do some weight training with a fellow trainer for an hour.

Once we wrapped up in the weight room, the three of us went for an early lunch at a tasty Japanese teriyaki joint called ‘Wasabi’. I have to say that it was nice to feel like I had friends again after more than two years of virtual isolation in the Bay Area. Apparently I was hooked on these early morning runs, because today I got up early again and went on my own this time. I did 3 miles and had to call it after that, my legs were in such sore shape that I had to limp back to my truck.

I knew there was no way that I was going to get in a small hike this afternoon, so instead I met up with my trainer and his other trainer colleagues for a hearty breakfast. After breakfast, I felt I owed myself a recreational visit to the beach since it had been far too many years since I had done anything like that. With the big Half Dome hike only 6 days away, I felt that relaxing the weekend before was absolutely imperative.


I drove out to the place where I had recently hiked to Berry Creek Falls from in the past, Waddell Beach, a part of the Big Basin Redwood State Park region. This seems to be a slightly windy beach from time to time and a most popular venue for Kite Surfers. I brought some swim trunks, sandals, snacks, plenty of sunscreen and of course my trusty old Canon 5D MKII with my favorite lens, my Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM II.

There weren’t a whole lot of people there which made it just perfect. I laid down my beach towel and just relaxed to the sounds of the ocean and watched the Kite surfers catch some serious air. The sun was out, the wind was about 18mph and the temperature was a comfortable 74°F.

“Headquarters has been established, now it’s time to go get my feet wet”

“I found an awesome stone on the shore, after I snapped this pic, I took it home with me”

“The small mountain of a hill marks the start of the Berry Creek Falls trailhead just to the right”

“There were about a dozen Kite Surfers here, some out of the frame”

“These guys would get a lot of speed and then catch some serious air as they hit an approaching wave”

“Waddell Beach is a small area where fresh water spills out into the ocean from Big Basin”

The wind was getting very strong and the temperature was turning balmy, I felt this was a good time spent and packed up my stuff to hit the highway for home. This weekend was much more relaxed than many of the others that I had spent on training hikes, I could definitely get used to this, but not just yet. Half Dome is just around the corner and I will be ready to take it on, so until the next post, remember to travel with camera in hand and “Shoot the Planet!”


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