Friday, June 06, 2008
A Hike to Stanford Dish in the Foothills
Photos: Visual Art Services, SU
Now, that its summer and the weather outside is glorious, there are weekends when we decide to do short hikes in and around the county parks etc. in the Santa Clara valley area. Last weekend, K and I went to the Stanford dish area located close to the I-280 and foothills. The Foothills are primarily a habitat conservation area whose trails are open to the public for taking hikes, jogging and of course to breathe in the beautiful panoramas of the peninsula. The dish is located on Stanford University property academic reserve private property and is free to the public.
The Stanford Dish is a radio telescope that was built in 1961 and is a 150-foot diameter Dish, that is still actively used for research and teaching purposes around the Stanford community. It is operated and maintained by the SRI International and owned by the US government. It is actively used to scan distant planets and galaxies.
The hike is approximately 3.5 miles around the loop and begins with a steep-ish 20 minute hike that is a sure test to your knees. Be prepared to get sore tender glutes the next day. It is absolutely a great work-out during summer time and it took us roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes to walk around the dish. The trail is paved and goes up and down. Cool hay art called "Making hay" statues greet you at the entrance to the hike and good views of Stanford's Hoover tower, Dumbarton Bridge, SF etc. can be obtained as you trudge up and down the hills.
I never realized how much I miss open spaces and furry woodland creatures (tons of squirrels cross ur path), we even saw a bunny rabbit, until coming here. What was amazing is there are folks who jog this entire dish area, you can also see different kinds of people, students, families with kids being pushed up the hill on their strollers, old people who are fit and agile to take this intense hike.
The Dish is not just used for academic programs alone, but, is also used for environmental restoration by the Stanford Conservation Biology program (to study the type of brown native grass that grows here) and for habitat conservation purposes, as well.
If you live in the Bay area and would like to get some good workout, a hike around the dish will surely shake some muscles and burn that fat.
Have a great weekend....