Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hiking to Arch Rock in Point Reyes

Last weekend, I went hiking in Point Reyes. The destination for the hike was Arch Rock and we started at the Bear Valley trail. In order to get to the Bear Valley trail, you would park at the Bear Valley visitor parking lot.

When we first started the hike, I only noticed the trees from a distance and the yellow flowers and grass. But, as we continued our hike, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there was so much more to see.

As we continued our hike, we saw a stream, which was nice. To me, it's always a nice view to see a stream in the middle of a park.

I really liked that this trail was well maintained. It was clear which direction we had to go without a map and not much obstacles in the trail. The only obstacles really were to dodge the poop that came from the horses or other animals. Speaking of horses, I did see a few people ride their horses in this trail, which must have been an amazing experience.

I thought that this trail had gorgeous views. There was so many different plants, trees, and shrubs to notice. I was really surprised to see ferns there, but it was lovely to see ferns in a natural habitat rather than being a part of a Boutineer.

There was so many lovely sights that I noticed, so I took a picture of anything I thought was very pretty.

 The thing about this hike was when I first found out that it was at least a 8 mile hike, I kind of freaked out. I thought I wouldn't be able to do it. But, the hike was quite easy. It wasn't steep, so the paths were straight and easy and I had to do was just walk like normal in a beautiful trail.

There were so trees that had fallen, but they were cut to make sure they weren't blocking the path on the trail. It looks like you could even walk on some of the trees, which is recommended at all because its not part of the path and it doesn't you to lead anywhere really.

I liked that there was lots of trees and plants throughout most of the hike. It offered great shade :). It was also nice to see some benches, which I don't usually see in my other hikes.

This hike didn't take us that long, we ended finishing the whole hike in about 4 hours. That also include the 0.5 miles trail that we took to Sky Trail, which was only a trail to go to Sky Camp and didn't really have any great views.

When we finally arrived at Arch Rock, I thought it was a incredible view. It was nice to see the beach from a good view point.

It was really windy at Arch Rock and I felt that I was going to get blown away, but this bird didn't feel that way about the wind.

I really have to say that this is one of my most favorite hikes yet. Great views while walking in the trail, with good shade, and it wasn't too difficult. I also liked that it's a in a good location, by that I mean its close to a few beaches and other hiking destinations :). I will definitely want to try out the other hikes around the Point Reyes area.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Scavenging for a Pocket Watch

A few weeks ago, I went looking for a pocket watch with a friend. He had a pocket watch before, but it was stolen from him. He been wanting to get a new pocket watch for a while, so I finally decided to help him get one again. I knew that pocket watches were easy to find if you looked and bought them online, but my friend wanted to physically search for one, so we did just that.

First, we tried to get it at the place he got his first pocket watch, which was at Kohl's, but there was none in the store. After leaving the store, I didn't want to give up then and really wanted to help my friend find a pocket watch.

I started thinking of possible places that would sell pocket watches. I called a few department stores, such as Marshalls, Ross, and Burlington Coat Factory, but those places didn't have it.  I didn't really expect pocket watches to be that hard to find. Then, I thought about other places and Sears had one in store, so I asked for them to hold it. However, pocket watch we saw at Sears was pretty expensive and had a big picture of a railroad, which wasn't really the pocket watch my friend was looking for. My friend thought of the idea to check out stores at the mall and so we checked out a few jewelry stores, but a lot of the jewelry stores had watches, but no pocketwatches. Some jewelry stores had pocket watches, but the pocket watches were expensive. One customer service associate at a jewelry store told me she was only ever asked twice about pocket watches during her whole duration of working there. We not only checked the department stores and jewelry stores at the mall, but we also checked other possible places that might have them, such as Spencers or Zumiez.

After browsing through the mall, I realized that the best plan for the moment was just to call places  and ask if they had pocket watches for sale. I probably made around 15 phone calls that day. I called jewelry stores, department stores, and some other places. I even tried calling the Men's Warehouse, but when I asked about pocket watches, all I can hear the associate say is "no, this is a toilet store". Next, I thought that antique shops would be a good place to ask for pocket watches. A few that I called didn't have any. Finally, I called an antique shop and they had a wide selection of pocket watches and I was smiling. But, I asked about the price range of the pocket watches and associate said "around $300-700," which was really out of my friend's budget.

At that moment, I thought to myself what place would sell pocket watches, but also who would buy pocket watches in this day of age and why. The thought that immediately came to me were people who performed and dressed up and accessorized for Halloween, event, or maybe just because. That's when the idea of costume shops came to me and I knew exactly which costume place to call. When I called the costume shop, the place not only had pocket watches for sale, but also it was reasonable prices and they were able to make a hold on the item until we arrived. When we arrived, I noticed that there was a pocket watch in display, but it wasn't for sale. Only two pocket watches in the locations were available, but both looked pretty nice and I think better looking than the ones I saw at the more expensive locations. My friend also noticed that there was a railroad on the one he did used and asked if there was any significance or relationship of railroads and pocket watches. That question stuck in my mind and I decided to do some online research and found out that some pocket watches were approved for railroad use to help avoid risks of accidents through accurate timing, which I thought was pretty cool.