Today I am testing out my waterproof hiking gear on a short, scenic hike through the Montini Open Space Preserve Trail in Sonoma, California. Most people are afraid of hiking in the rain. And, I admit, that it is not the most pleasant thing. But I walk to and from my office in San Francisco in the rain all the time. The rain doesn’t bother me then because I wear proper rain gear. Why should going on the simple hike be any different? All I have to do differently is wear clothing that is appropriate for the occasion.
Here we start at the end of 1st Street West, parking at the police station.
This is a really easy hike with some pretty scenery. I don’t think it’s as rewarding as the Overlook Trail to the immediate east, but it provides some variety if you’ve done Overlook a few times. Overlook, however is much steeper, and will burn your quads as you ascend the hill. And at the top, you’ll get some great views of downtown Sonoma. Views that matter.
This trail, though, rewards you with beauty that is closer to you. Take a look at this picture of the greenery that you walk past. The whole journey is pretty much like this:
The weather started out with a light drizzle. It started out pretty wet, but it was manageable. Surprisingly, I saw a couple of other hikers out that day. Towards the end of the hike, though, about 3 miles in to it, it started to rain pretty hard. While I had a pretty rainproof jacket and the boots were waterproof, my canvas pants were not. I stayed pretty dry with my rain gear on, but my pants were absolutely soaked at the end. Also, the glasses I had on were pretty spotted. It was for this reason that I did not go to the top of Overlook as I had planned.
Mostly, this was a test of my Columbia hiking boots. I noticed that they said waterproof on the sole, and I wanted to test that out. I’ve already taken these boots out on a lot of dry hikes, and they were extremely comfortable. They are almost like wearing sneakers. I remember when the hiking boots that you bought had to be broken in before they were ready for a long walk. Now, I don’t think this is the case anymore. Columbia boots are pretty nice. They are moderately priced at just under $100, and I think they are a great investment. If I were to do something more epic, I might invest in something a little more high-end, but that has just been my experience with footwear in general. You get what you pay for. That’s why I started wearing Allen Edmonds at the office. Maybe Wolverines would be a better investment for hikes. For now, though, These Columbias did just fine.