TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Meadows Trail, the Easy Way

IMG_0732Though there is so little time lately, I did hit the trails this past Sunday. Temperatures were in the 80s, but that’s okay being that I had a nice ocean breeze. Did a loop in Aliso/Wood Canyons again. This time clockwise, which meant going down Meadows Trail, not up. The up part came with Cholla Trail, which is steep, but very short. The the rest of the up part came with rolling hills along West Ridge, and rolling hills are always doable. Got to love those rolling hills!

9.72 miles (15.64 km), 1,246’ (380 m) elevation gain

Picture Diary 1/28/18

Overlooking Wood Canyon while climbing Cholla Trail:IMG_0733View of Saddleback Mtns from West Ridge:IMG_0736Looking down at Laguna Canyon Road from West Ridge:IMG_0744Top of the World, about to exit part and walk through neighborhoods to enter park again:IMG_0746

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Exiting Wilderness Park:IMG_07521 mile later, Trail back into park:IMG_0755IMG_0758Headed toward Meadows Trail:IMG_0762View of Pacific Ocean near top of Meadows Trail:IMG_0763

IMG_0766View of Saddleback Mtns from Meadows Trail:IMG_0772Finishing up Meadows Trail (the easy way (that is down)!:IMG_0778Wood Canyon:IMG_0780

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1 30 18a

Friday, January 26, 2018

Meadows/Mathis Loop (A golden standard)

IMG_0611I finally recovered 100% from my illness this past Sunday. To celebrate, I set out for a ten mile hike (approximately), with a little running, in Aliso and Woods Canyons. Crowded park. Lots of hikers, bikers, runners. I didn’t mind the lack of solitude one bit. Total miles traversed: 9.68 (approx. 15.6 km) with about 1,200’ of elevation gain (366 m).

My photo diary --

Heading out on Aliso Canyon Trail behind a group of hikers:IMG_0617IMG_0620IMG_0622At the Aliso Canyon / Wood Canyon Junction where I turned off to hit Meadows Trail:IMG_0623Boots on the ground (not really boots) on Meadows Trail which looks brown and not quite “meadow-like” yet:IMG_0627Some more of Meadows, the easy part – it’s going to get difficult here in a bit . . . IMG_0634IMG_0637Starting the climb up Meadows (looking back on the flatlands):IMG_0638And the climb begins . . . IMG_0643And continues . . . IMG_0644

IMG_0647And continues some more . . . IMG_0650A little reprieve:IMG_0652Ah, look at the view down into Aliso Canyon (Saddleback Mountains in the distance):IMG_0660Just a little bit longer . . . IMG_0667At last, at the top of Meadows Trail (And it’s only 1.5 miles long with much of it relatively easy! The tough part is tough for me). There’s Modjeska and Saddleback Peaks in the distance – a sight that gives me a sense of peace and calm. IMG_0675View of Pacific Ocean from the top of Meadows Trail:IMG_0684Heading out of park (by Top of the World neighborhood in Laguna Beach):IMG_0687Officially leaving Aliso/Wood Canyons Wilderness park. Look at that magnificent home at the border of this park with unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean!IMG_0689On the path behind Top of the World neighborhood that leads to the streets:IMG_0690Once out of the park, there’s about a one mile walk to Alta Laguna Park where I catch West Ridge back into the park. This antenna has always amazed me:IMG_0699Parking is also scare here, as it was at the ranger station entrance:IMG_0702Re-entering Aliso/Wood Canyons Wilderness Park:IMG_0704Feet back on dirt along West Ridge:IMG_0709Heading down Mathis Trail:IMG_0712

IMG_0715Finishing up Mathis Trail:IMG_0720Back in Wood Canyon:IMG_0725

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A nice route – challenging enough, mainly toward the beginning, but not enough to kill me. Peaceful (even with all the other people on the trails that day) and also safe. This loop has been a standard of mine for a long time. A golden standard.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Las Ramblas

So, I relapsed and got sick again for the one remaining week of my winter break. Vacations and me are not friends. Now, I’m finally, slowly but surely getting well after a week back at work. It was difficult going back, a bottle of liquid medicine in my bag, and eye drops in my purse to get rid of the bloodshot. Ugh. And now, I have a sore throat again, and also an earache (doh!), and I will likely relapse again – because I am stupid that way. Proving this point, I threwIMG_0562 caution to the wind and hit some trails in between jobs this past Thursday – Las Ramblas, Cerro Rebal, Forster Canyon and Patriot Trails out to the flag and back. The Las Ramblas trailhead, I should mention, is ideal because it is quite easy to get to, as it’s right off Interstate 5 in Dana Point. They also aren’t very tough  trails at all. I would characterize them as nice and easy.

The “Las Ramblas” trails (as I call them) are mostly truck trail width, and overlook the cities of San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, and Dana Point. I can see the Pacific Ocean, the harbor, the San Juan Capistrano Mission, and Interstate 5 in all its glory. There are gorgeous views. But IMG_0567they are views from trails with no trees to speak of. This last fact is what makes these some of my least favorite trails. I really must have trees! Still, it was good to have dirt beneath my feet once again. I will probably be back to this very same location again, one day soon.

4.13 miles total (an out-and-back to the flag on Patriots Trail).

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