What we're about

The group focuses on getting to know California better. With a friendly community that enjoys outdoor activities; hiking, walking tours, attending festivals, fairs, concerts, dining out, and hiking through the Seasons on Mt.Tamalpais and the North Berkeley Hills.

We strive for equanimity; to give everyone a happy outdoor experience, in a beautiful place.

Hike with Friends, in community, on a Mountain. Get some exercise, gain perspective and relaxation, in the moment, out hiking and in other activities.

Let this Land, the Waters around it, the nearby Mountains and Hills...be magic.

Look forward to seeing you out there with us.


What is the Meetup Group about?

For those working hard, entering or re-entering, to earn a living. Looking for community by: Networking, Socializing, Getting Outside, Working Out, De-Stressing and in these, finding peacefulness and happiness.

* What members can expect: (Typical Meetup Events/Activities.)

Members will find the following Events to chose from:

• Hikes of five to 8.5 miles in beautiful, natural areas around San Francisco. Including themed, interpretive hikes. (Wildflowers, Geology, Cultural & Natural History)

• Guided - Historic, Heritage, Architectural tours, in and around Berkeley, including the Campus.

• Landscape and Night Sky Photography shoots.

• Weekend and Weekday (Usually Wednesday) Sunset walks.

• Visits to the San Francisco Zen Center's, Green Gulch Farm and Zendo. Dharma talk and vegetarian lunch.

• Meditation hikes-walking meditation

• Visits to the Slide Ocean Ranch/ Farm.

• Attend the Mt.Tam outdoor Astronomy Programs

• Attend the SF Mime Troup performances

• Attend the yearly UC, Fall Free for All

• Rent kayaks for kayaking Bolinas Lagoon

• Provide guided tour of Golden Gate Park

• Find interesting places outside the immediate SF Bay Area

Come out and get to know who and what is out there.

Welcome, your host,

Jordan Herrmann


Taking care of the legal side of things now, please read the following:

Legal Disclaimer

Participants in an event fully understand the risks, dangers, and hazards associated with any outdoor activity, and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizer and any Assistant Organizers from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the Meetup group activities. Each member, person or guest who RSVPs or comes, for an event, is fully responsible for their own safety.

It is each one's responsibility to ensure that they are sufficiently prepared, fit and healthy to participate in the event, understanding that these are physically demanding activities. Footing and walking surfaces will be uneven, rocky, root covered, steeply uphill and/or downhill. You are expected to bring sufficient footwear, water, food, and appropriate clothing, as well as first aid and any other necessary equipment.

Hike organizers make no warranties about the quality, safety, or supervision of these activities. By coming on an event, you warrant that you have read and understand and are accepting all of the above and the transportation that may be involved below.

IMPORTANT: Event organizers are NOT responsible for anyone's safety. We are not responsible for any vehicle involved incident during the event. We are NOT responsible for carpool arrangements to the Meetups, or for any accidents during carpools or while riding in a carpool, public or shared or private transportation arrangements of any kind and the injuries that may occur during transportation, to, during or from and after an event.

By joining as a member and/or attending an event offered by this Meetup, you are agreeing to the terms above in every respect.

Upcoming events (3)

Night Sky Photo Shoot on Mt.Tam, on New Moon

Whitegate Ranch Trailhead


Sunset tonight is 7:30pm.

(Take note that all photos shown as part of this event announcement were taken during the photo shoot event of Sat.,Sept.26, 2020. So far photos have been posted by Himanshu Jain, Brett Chun and Jordan Herrmann.)

[On the Meetup.com group web sites, such as this one, each event has its own photo album. The albums are under the Photo tab above, where each events photos are available for easy viewing and posting to.]

Come up and get familiar with one of the best scenic photo locations in the Bay Area. See the Photo tab above to review past photos at this and other locations and nearby. Add your own formula for successful night sky shooting to the Discussion Tab above. Also be sure to check YouTube for likely information.

Be on time if you are interested in getting some dazzling sunset shots before sunset. We'll be in a great location for scenic landscape, night sky and sunset.

We'll be looking southwest in this location as Mt.Tamalpais raises behind us. For those who insist on full darkness the information states this:

The named location on Goggle Maps in this vicinity is the intersection of Bolinas/Fairfax Rd. and Hwy.1. There is a workable location not far from here for us and will be our shooting spot.

Feel free to use the discussion tab above for sharing questions, answers and info sources regarding night sky shooting technique issues.
Below, Kay has distilled it down to basics.


Instructions: Basic Night Sky Photo Settings - Short Version, by Kay, (Sept., 2014)

Use wide lens, f2.8 or brighter if you can.

If not use a wide open ISO, depending on light conditions and your camera.

I use ISO[masked] depending on the light conditions. With a 14mm F2.8, I try to expose, 16-20sec or less to prevent trails.

To focus, find the brightest star using live view, enlarge it and focus.

If you can't see on the LCD screen, do test shots and enlarge. If all fails, try infinity.
(from Kay)

A note about night-time conditions on Mt.Tam.

The highest probability for ideal night-time shooting conditions are during the months of; August, Sept., and October.

We'll be at elevation 500', only two miles from the Pacific. In April, May and June, very cool, windy and even foggy weather is likely some evenings.

August and September offer the best evenings weather-wise for photography. It is warmer and less windy during these months on Mt.Tam, in the evening, usually!

A word about safety in this location. We'll will be starting from a wide pull-out alongside fairly busy Panoramic Hwy. so be cautious when getting close to the roadway.

year 2021- Photo Shoot Plan,+100% Full Moonrise +Mt.Tam Landscapes +Sunset

Above photo was taken looking northwest from O'Rourke's Bench, Moonrise photo from Trojan Pt. Other photos in this announcement were taken in this area .

{The location of this event is under study and may change to the East bay. Stay tuned for updates.}

Outline for shoot: Note the details of the outline are flexible and will be finalized based on feedback received in the field day of the shoot.
2:30pm-Meet initially at Trojan Pt. Parking Area, make a quick initial surveillance of Trojan Pt. walk or drive up to O'Rourke's Bench area. (park at Rock Spring parking area)
Surveillance of O'Rourke's Bench area for landscape shooting.
Initial surveillance led by Jordan.
4:00pm -Drive (if you have parked at Rock Spring, retrieve your car now.) or walk quarter mile down Pantoll Rd. to Trojan Pt. for surveillance of area- set up for Moon-rise at 6:30pm and Sunset at 6:11pm).
After Moonrise - Optional stop at Mtn.Home Inn area for further moon shots and Halloween Party.
(Note Mt.Tam State Park closes at sunset. The Rangers will usually start there rounds a half hr after sunset with loudspeaker announcements that the park is closed. I expect the public will be out there tonite & the Rangers will have their hands full trying to get everyone out on time.)

Goal of shooting in this area is to capture the local landscape beauty and views of the City, Bay and as far out to Mt.Diablo. The locus of the shoot will be the high elevation point of the area west of Rock Spring, known as O'Rourke's Bench. Elev. here is over 2000', less then two miles from the ocean.
Sunset here is very dramatic as the sun dips below the western slopes of Mt.Tam. Sunset shots from past Meetups are shown here.
Reading the following Nat'l Audubon Soc. Field Guide to CA's, explanation, of CA's ten distinct habitats, can be helpful. It helps as far as more clearly seeing the variety of Mt.Tam landscapes that are being photographed. Is it what causes the landscapes of Mt.Tam to be so fascinating and beautiful?
"No other region of N.America has the great diversity of natural areas, flora and fauna or awesome natural beauty found in the 158,693 sq. miles of the great state of CA." The Audubon Field Guide to CA.,
(Available new or used on Amazon.com&others.) goes on to explain.-

"The habitats of CA. are divisions of the natural landscape defined by their plant communities. In turn, the creatures there are dependent on those plants for their survival.

Factors that influence an area’s habitats; availability of water, the shape or contouring elevs. of the land, soils, underlying rock types&climate (temperature, precipitation, exposures&wind). The Guide goes on to list the nine characteristic habitats found in CA.

1. Sierra Nevada Habitats
2. Habitats of Other Mountains: Coast, Transverse, Cascade, Peninsular Ranges, Desert Mtns & the Klamath Mtns.
3. Coastal & Island Habitat: Rocky or Sandy & Dune coasts, the Channel Islands.
4. Deserts: Great Basin, Mojave&the Colorado deserts.
5. Grasslands of the Central Val.: namely Grasses&Vernal Pools
6. Coniferous Forests: Redwood, Yellow Pine, Temperate Rain Forests, Douglas Fir & Mixed Evergreen Forests.
7. Chaparral (a habitat unique to Calif.) & Coastal Scrub (all abundant on Mt.Tam)
8. Foothill Oak Woodlands: Calif.Oaks, 20 oak species found in Ca. 10 of which are endemic.
9. Urban&Suburb Areas: Many introduced plants and “artificial” habitats.
Almost all of the above 9 habitats can be identified in areas in&around Mt.Tam."
From the Pacific shoreline to the top of East Peak. The 2571’high peak is reached in only 4.03 miles as the crow flies from Stinson B. The elev.chges. are not only dramatic&breathtaking to see, but provide in a nutshell, what is found in part, in many of the above fully characteristic locations over the 159k sq.miles of the State, here, in and around Mt.Tam, truly amazing.

-- Full Flower Moon Eclipse, May 15, 2022 --

Inspiration Point

--------------- Full Flower Moon Eclipse, May 15, 2022 ----------------

Stay tuned for more details. Full moonrise is at 8:06pm.
Where exactly we will be meeting will be determined later. At this time I'm thinking Inspiration Pt. in Tilden Park is a good spot with a view to the east. Please make suggestions.

(The Eclipse photo shown here was taken by Bruce Davis on Mt.Tam during the Eclipse of May 26, 2021.)

The info below can be found at this link.


There is an animation that shows what the eclipse approximately looks like in San Francisco. Stages and times of the eclipse are outlined below. All times are local time (PDT) for San Francisco.

Time Phase Event Direction Altitude
6:32 pm
Sun, May 15
Not directly visible Penumbral Eclipse begins
Below horizon
Map direction East101°
7:27 pm
Sun, May 15
Not directly visible Partial Eclipse begins
Below horizon
Map direction East-southeast108°
8:06 pm
Sun, May 15
Rising Moonrise
Rising, but the combination of a very low moon and the total eclipse phase will make the moon so dim that it will be extremely difficult to view until moon gets higher in the sky or the total phase ends.
Map direction East-southeast114°
8:29 pm
Sun, May 15
Total Eclipse begins
Total moon eclipse starts - completely red moon.
Moon close to horizon, so make sure you have free sight to East-southeast.
Map direction East-southeast118°
9:11 pm
Sun, May 15
Maximum Eclipse
Moon is closest to the center of the shadow.
Map direction Southeast124°
9:53 pm
Sun, May 15
Total Eclipse ends
Total moon eclipse ends.
Map direction Southeast132°
10:55 pm
Sun, May 15
Partial Eclipse ends
Partial moon eclipse ends.
Map direction Southeast145°
11:50 pm
Sun, May 15
Penumbral Eclipse ends
The Earth's penumbra ends.
Map direction South-southeast158°
How to use altitude & direction to find in the sky

The curvature of the shadow's path and the apparent rotation of the Moon's disk is due to the Earth's rotation.

This total lunar eclipse is fully visible in San Francisco. The total lunar eclipse is sometimes called a blood moon, as the Moon turns red.

Cloud Coverage (May 15)
In the past, this day was cloudy 34% of the time (since 2000).

Past events (54)

Photos (455)