Some time ago a new loop popped into my head, a lollipop loop actually. My idea was to connect two trails that I’ve run (Bommer Ridge and Laurel Canyon) with a trail that I haven’t run (Willow) in Laguna Wilderness. Though I did glance at the map to make sure I could connect these trails (they meet at a staging area), I didn’t bother to calculate mileage. I like some mystery (but I figured between 6 and 10 miles). Anyway, I finally decided to do this loop today, on probably the hottest day of the year. First off, I ran to the public restrooms and was already overheated.
Bommer Ridge gave me spectacular ocean views to my right and some ocean breezes. To my left I couldn’t help but glance occasionally at The Saddleback Mountains. On Willow I began to make my way down, down, down, BENEATH THE RIDGE, away from the ocean breezes.
Willow is definitely not a summer trail, especially in 99f degrees. With very little shade to be found, my downhill pace was much slower than usual. I came upon a couple hikers here and there, all dressed too warm in my opinion. Though a few ladies carried parasols. I certainly would not rate Willow very high from today’s run. And I probably won’t return, if I do, until the wintertime.
In all, this new loop measured 8.08 miles. I would have liked 10 miles, but I was happy enough to quit at 8.08. I came upon one lonely hiker as I ran up Bommer to the trailhead. He said, “It’s hot!” To which I replied, “Yup, it’s an oven back there.”