TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Aliso/Wood Canyons Loop

August 2nd, Wednesday, in the muggy heat of the afternoon, I parked my car at Canyon View Park for a long hike in Aliso/Wood Canyons. The place was empty. Empty, as in not one car was parked along the road that is usually lined with automobiles. I noticed a young couple hiking up from Wood Canyon as I prepped at my truck, and overheard them ask a maintenance worker the whereabouts of a drinking fountain. The worker shook his head, and I shouted out that there was a drinking fountain over in the playground. Turns out, I went to check that out on my way into the canyon, and to my horror found that the drinking fountain was no longer there. Why would they remove the fountain? It actually annoyed me a great deal. Well, I trotted on down into the canyon to catch the couple, and offered them some of my water. I would after all, be able to refill at my half-way point. They politely declined and said that because they were from Texas, they could handle it. 

So, I took off into Wood Canyon, opting for the shady route for the first half. But as I inched into the canyon, I could feel the furnace heating up. And somewhat disbelieving that the Texas couple could hack their lack of water, I changed my route, and decided to head up Cholla and hike the same route as the waterless two.

Ends up, I never saw them again. And it was really a good thing that I changed my route. West Ridge was breezy and lovely. Much better than hiking the canyon where the heat gets trapped. About a mile in, I met up with some hiking company – gentleman named Kevin, a professor from Cal State Fullerton (my alma mater). We hiked those 3 miles up to Top of the World, chatting and comparing notes, which made the time scoot by quickly, especially on the two particularly steep portions that I struggle on of late. 

At Top of the World, Kevin headed off to his car, while I headed into the neighborhoods to pick up the park at the other end near Meadows Trail. At Meadows I headed down into Aliso Canyon. Then I made the trek back up Wood Canyon to my truck parked alongside Canyon View Park, for a total of 9.71 miles.

I saw lots of snake tracks along the way, but not a single snake, and snapped a few pictures of the scenery that I possess perhaps thousands of pictures of already. Smile

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