Ride to Pulgas Water Temple

There was a break in the rain this afternoon and I have the week off of work — the perfect combination for some riding!

My original intent was to ride north to the Crystal Springs Dam, but I was quickly thwarted:

I knew that some of the area around Crystal Springs Dam was closed for renovations but I hadn’t realized that Skyline was closed as well.  Apparently the 122-year-old dam is getting improvements and the whole area is shut down until 2013.

Well, that’s OK — I realized I was in the area during a magical, mystical time: a weekday afternoon when the Pulgas Water Temple is open!

The Pulgas Water Temple is the terminus of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct and is itself a monument to the aqueduct’s completion. All of the Bay Area’s water comes from Hetch Hetchy and is stored in the nearby Crystal Springs Reservoir (that’s the reservoir you could see from the vista point I visited last month).

The temple itself is a short walk from the parking area, so there are no pics of my bike with the temple.  I think the temple pics stand on their own, though. I’m so glad I finally remembered to store my mini tripod in my tankbag.  So much easier than balancing the camera on my helmet or nearby rocks.

Just like at the Sunol Water Temple, the inscription reads:

“I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people. [Isaiah 43:20] “

I like the reflecting pool lined with cypress trees; it was very clean and calming.

This was, by far, my favorite photo of the day:

And some more, just for fun:

I took advantage of the tripod to take some self portraits, too.  I really do go to these places!

This next one was obviously taken in the parking lot; I had to lay on my stomach to get the tripod set up and I’m pretty sure a passing ranger thought I was dead or having some sort of medical emergency.  He gave me quite a look when I suddenly popped up and ran over to the bike to get in the shot within 10 seconds.

Finally, I rode down Cañada Road to Woodside. The late afternoon sun was perfect for shadow pictures.  I’m a total sucker for shadow pics while riding.  This one was sort of poorly timed as my head is in a puddle, but I didn’t notice that until I looked at the photos at home. Oops.

From Woodside, I rode down to Sand Hill Road, hopped on I-280 north, and back to home.

Ride total: 34 miles, which is somewhat impressive given that the water temple is less than 6 miles from my house.

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5 Responses to Ride to Pulgas Water Temple

  1. chornbe says:

    Awesome. Truly. *thumbs up*

  2. Red says:

    That looks like a pretty cool place!

    How did you get the shadow pic? Do you take pictures while you are riding? Mine always come out blurry, so I stopped.

  3. carolyn says:

    Nice, Phil! 😀

    Red, yeah, a lot of my pics are taken while riding. I have a long lanyard that attaches to the camera that I put around my neck so I don’t have to worry about the camera (if I need to suddenly drop it to put both hands on the bars, it won’t fly away).

    Many of the pics I take that way do turn out blurry (especially in the low light, tree-filled twisties that I like to ride in), but I take enough that I can weed out the good ones. My current camera is a Canon S90 and it takes impressive shots from on the bike. I just leave it on “auto” mode while I’m riding (“low light” if it’s cloudy or if I’m in the trees) and it does the rest of the work for me.

  4. Red says:

    Interesting. I tried my best to take a few shots of the lake while riding over 520 last month and failed miserably. I also find it difficult to turn the camera on and off and taking photos with my gloved hands while also concentrating on the road. Clearly there is something to this technique that I need to learn.

  5. Linda says:

    I love that place. And I think it’s awesome that your head’s in a puddle, because it shows that you have amazing puddle-fu and can ride through those things without messing up your hair.

    Happy holidays! 🙂

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