Photo: Briones Regional Park, Contra Costa County, California

A One Hundred Mile Goal in Briones Regional Park and a few photos taken along the way.

Happiness is setting and reaching a personal goal. And to add icing to the cake, this one came with some photos made along the way.

For reasons I won’t go into here, I had fallen out of my hiking mode throughout much of this calendar year. In short, hiking has traditionally been my version of going to the gym. As the end of summer neared, I could see in the mirror that I gained some unwanted pounds and was starting to feel pretty bad about having rested on my laurels (read: butt). One thing I felt badly about was not doing a few hikes I wanted to do in the Sierra. As Labor Day loomed I still hadn’t hit the hills. I had started walking on the local bike trail to warm up the leg muscles a few miles at a time. Even if I wasn’t going to be able make my Sierra hikes this year, I knew my health depended on making myself start moving again. Then the straw came, the camel’s back broke, and no more excuses could be made; Goal Set: 100 miles of hiking in the hills of my local Briones Regional Park in 4 weeks. Go!

The first week I did five days of 5 miles each. The following week, another five days with each being 6.5 miles. By week three I had stretched my mileage to around 8.5 miles each. Each one of these hikes averaged around 1,000′ to 1,400′ of elevation gain. To add endurance, in the fourth week I started carrying my full camera backpack which weighs about 25 lbs.. By the time I got done with my 16th hike, I had hiked a total of 99.4 miles. Dang it! The next morning I clocked in another five miles to officially crest the 100-mile mark.

On a few of these hikes I carried along my compact Sony RX100mIII 20mp Point-n-Shoot camera. With the exception of the featured photo (above) and a couple others that were shot with my Nikon D800, most of the images you see below were shot with that little pocket-sized camera that produces some incredible results. Almost all were shot along the Briones Crest and Black Oak – Mott Peak trails.

I hope you’ll let me know if you enjoyed seeing the images presented here. (Comments and shares are always especially appreciated.)


Briones Regional Park Photo Gallery,
East Bay Hills, Contra Costa County, California

*Click on an image to see it larger.*

If you especially enjoy any of these images and would like to purchase a print, you can order them through my archive, or contact me directly.

*** SPECIAL OFFER *** Save 30% on any print purchase over $50 using the Discount code “1609BA3-30” – valid through October 31, 2016. (Limit 1 order per customer.)



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Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer and author based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He has seven published books on California to his credit, including “Photographing California; v1-North”, which won the prestigious 2013 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award as Best Regional title. His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, The North Face, Subaru, L.L. Bean, Victoria’s Secret, Sunset Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. Gary is also a photography instructor and consultant, offering both public and private photo workshops. He also works occasionally a professional freelance Photo Editor.

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Sean McLean says:

    Spectacular Gary. Congratulations on the return to the trail. The photos are beautiful and inspiring and now I want to go too.

  • Daniel Wagner says:

    Very nice Gary. Reminds me of my bike rides; motivates me get out and have a hike. A treasure in my back yard.

  • maxroadster says:

    Good for you – hike for life. Photos were a nice addition to your story. Stay with it and you will have walked off the Thanksgiving calories ahead of time!

  • Loula says:

    It takes grit to get back in shape. Congratulations for making a successful effort. Love the pictures and am amazed that they turned out so detailed with your little camera! That you, as always, for a splendid offering.

  • Hi Gary,

    I really love trees, so my favorite image above is the vertical tree trunks in the fog image. Congratulations on the weight loss and the hiking, it’s very hard and not an easy thing to start nor to keep going. I too have lost weight, since May I have lost 25 lbs. It’s been critical for me and my health–for less weight means less pressure on my back. As we get older, being in shape becomes more critical and important for our overall well-being. Thanks too for inspiring the rest of us, with your beautiful photography of this special place, and providing motivation for to get out in nature by hiking trails close to home

  • Leszek J. Pekalski says:

    Very pleasant and sometimes beautiful shots! It can be felt that you had a good time there. Congratulations!

  • Richard Wong says:

    Kudos Gary. Very nice images from your backyard too!

  • […] of last year. I eventually began getting myself back in trail condition on Labor Day. I started by hiking 100 miles in the hills of Briones Regional Park near my house over four […]

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