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Friday, May 25, 2018

RockIt / Meadows Loop

Got to make this one even quicker than the last – tying up loose ends today, so much to do before I hit the road after work (and yes, I am at work right now).

Last Wednesday, May 16, I surprisingly had the morning off from work. Actually, it should not have come as a surprise (and this happens to me every semester). If I would have looked at the academic calendar, I would have noticed that there was no class on Wednesday, the day before finals started. My students clued me into the fact that I didn’t have to come to work Wednesday morning or afternoon. I am so grateful for them! So, off to the coastal hills I went for a little (well, not actually little) run-hike loop in the Wilderness. It was my last one to date. All other training since then has been in the gym.

Wood Canyon Trail:IMG_2319Coyote Run Trail:IMG_2327IMG_2328IMG_2338RockIt Trail:IMG_2346IMG_2349IMG_2350IMG_2353IMG_2354Top of the World:IMG_2369Meadows Trail:IMG_2391

11.55 miles, 1,191’ elevation gain, Aliso Cyn/Wood Cyn/Coyote Run/RockIt/West Ridge/Top of the World/Meadows/Aliso Cyn

rock it loop arock it loop

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Mother’s Day to Bedford Peak

On Mother’s Day (5/13) I took a short hike up to Bedford Peak with my oldest son (who is now home from college for the summer). The route was: Maple Springs Road to the Silverado Motorway, then right on The Main Divide to a small unmarked trail up to Bedford Peak. It was a great Mother’s Day gift. The weather was cool, and spring flowers were out in abundance. And when I say “short” hike, I do not in any way mean “easy.” That Silverado Motorway is a hell of a climb. In all, the distance only measured 7.25 miles, but the climb measured a gain of 2,176 feet! What a wonderful hike, and what beauty there was for me to photograph. Going back soon!

Photo Diary of my Mother’s Day Hike:IMG_2251IMG_2252IMG_2255IMG_2259IMG_2260IMG_2275IMG_2276IMG_2283IMG_2295IMG_2296IMG_2304bedford peak 5 13 abedford peak 5 13

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bald Peak or Not

I am terribly behind in my trail posts. And with a big weekend coming up (going for a circuit race even though I have not trained at all) I’m going to try and do a post a day to catch up. The furthest back goes to May 12, a Saturday. I woke up fairly early on a cold misty morning and headed out to Maple Springs Road. My original intention was to take all of Maple Springs Road, turn right at The Main Divide and eventually summit Modjeska Peak. But being that I did not get out as early as I wanted, I changed my goal to turn left instead on The Main Divide and summit Bald Peak

The skies were white with clouds. The weather was cold. I never removed my long sleeves, or my beanie. It was wonderful. And to top it off, I saw my friend Tom as he was coming back down on a bike ride.


IMG_2181Talk about socked in. It was definitely beach weather up in the mountains that Saturday morning. We call it June gloom in my parts, and in my parts (that is down at the coast), June gloom has already hit. Up there on Maple Springs Road I could not see the terrain very far out, and certainly not the peaks. There is where my trouble lay. I could not find Bald Peak. Finally, I found a spot that looked very familiar and as I made the climb, I became more certain that I was indeed climbing Bald Peak. It all looked very familiar to me from my previous trips. I had a couple of bars on my phone, so I was able to access my GPS. And it said that I was 1.6 miles from Bald Peak as I stood at the spot that I thought was Bald Peak. Huh? Well, the two previous times I climbed Bald Peak, I may have been wrong at the wrong location, and therefore I have never indeed been to Bald Peak before, or the GPS was wrong. With the poor visibility, I could not see any peaks in the distance to make any knowledgeable judgment.


With time fleeting, I decided that the peak I summited was good enough. I headed back, snapping a multitude of wonderfully eerie pictures on the way down (which I ran most of – all down hill!). You can be sure, I will be back to investigate to true location of Bald Peak.


11.4 miles, 2,250’ elevation gain

5 12 18 maple sprgs 25 12 18 maple sprgs

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Little Runs

With back-to-back weekend trips, I’ve had but little time to reflect. First trip (Thousand Oaks) I got in a run-hike at a new place. And I also maintained this now semi-new way of eating (ketogenic diet) with delicious food. The second trip out of town was to San Jose. I was a chaperone for my youngest son’s music orchestra for a three day trip which included a music competition, an amusement park, a night out at the pizza parlor, etc. Needless to say, I didn’t get in a run-hike at a new place (though I’m sure it would have been lovely -- the hills are gorgeous up there!). And I did not maintain my now semi-new way of eating. ;) Hence, the bad side of a ketogenic diet. I didn’t feel good when I arrived home Sunday night. I was nauseated and just overall not well. Monday morning arrived and I jumped right back on the wagon back to eating food as fuel. In between my two schools I hit the gym hard in the afternoon. I think my body rebounded fine, but my mind, it did not follow suit. I pretty much felt anxious all day, and it seemed that every worry that I have or could possibly have popped into my mind to bother me more. The following day was much the same.

The third day after the carb-fest (Wednesday) I felt solid on my feet. After getting two boys off to school, I ran a little run down at the harbor (2.25) miles. Quick and short, and just what I needed. I even made it to the gym later on in the afternoon. Thursday I hit Quail Loop for two of it’s 1.8 mile loops. I chose this location because I pass it on the way home. It’s not exactly scenic this time of year (all of it brown), but Quail Loop is nonetheless a trail, and a trail even with a little bit of elevation. These little runs are actually more taxing that the multiple miles I put in on run-hikes. I suppose the little runs are more tiring because I run the entire time, and at a quicker pace than usual.

Lessons learned this week:

1) There is a bad side to keto, which are the effects of taking in too many carbs when your body is not used to it. And 2) Little runs are wonderful even though they are a pain in the butt while in the process.

use ause b

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Paradise Falls

The last weekend of April I visited my oldest son who is a freshman in college up in Ventura County. The first night I caught the spring string symphony concert in which he plays violin. The next day, my son had to work, so I thought I’d take a hike-about some Ventura County trails. I had lots of time to spare since he did not get off work until 4:00 pm. So, first I took in breakfast at Denny’s, then leisurely made my way to the trailhead. It was easy to find. At the end of Avenida de los Arboles Road I found a dirt lot with dozens of cars parked at the Wildwood Regional Park trailhead for Mesa Trail. Apparently, there are many different places to enter this park, much more than I am used to with the wilderness areas around my home in Orange County.


Right off I was taken by the beauty of these trails. There wasn’t much shade out there on the Mesa. But I didn’t need it. The weather was cool and breezy. The hills were green with color. I was right at home in my element, exploring trails I have not been to before. I really love doing that – it is my favorite pastime.

My first stop was Lizard Rock, or rather, what I thought was Lizard Rock. After summiting this lovely perch above the mesa, I hiked back down to the trail where about a tenth of a mile later came up on a marker that pointed out Lizard Rock. It wasn’t the rock that I had just climbed down. So, I summited the actual Lizard Rock and took in the expansive mesa view once again.

Mesa Trail:IMG_1809IMG_1811Coming up on the “1st Lizard Rock,” actual Lizard Rock is the rock outcropping in the background:IMG_1822View from “1st Lizard Rock”:IMG_1825Looking back at “1st Lizard Rock”:IMG_1826View from the actual Lizard Rock:IMG_1832

The trails up to this point were moving with lots of people -- hikers, bikers and runners. But everyone disappeared once I turned off onto Lizard Trail and made my way down to Wildwood Canyon Trail. The hike along Wood Canyon Trail was also pretty empty. An occasional runner came by. And then, out of nowhere, I came upon a large shady picnic area with benches, bbq’s, bathrooms and even a drinking fountain that hosted several families. Apparently, people can reach this spot from other trails with shorter distances from the start. 

The continuing portion of Wildwood Canyon Trail was forestry with lots of shade. My kind of trails! I also made several creek crossings, some over protruding rocks, others over small plank bridges.

Wildwood Canyon Trail:IMG_1853IMG_1861IMG_1866IMG_1869

Paradise Falls came as a surprise. In other words, I did not hear it before I saw it as I expected. It was crowded with people. But despite the crowds, the area was surprisingly clean. Usually busy spots like this are marked with littler. Not so for Paradise Falls. It really was beautiful and I enjoyed the festive mood all those people brought along. Quite pleased to be there, I hung out for a good twenty minutes, sitting in various spots around the pool.

Paradise Falls:IMG_1871IMG_1872IMG_1877

After Paradise Falls I hiked up and behind it, following the creek along the way. I wasn’t sure if I was headed in the right direction for my next stop: Indian Cave. I questioned another hiker who looked like he knew where he was. He said that he knew the cave, and that “it wasn’t much.” But apparently, I was on the right track. Whether or not the cave was something worth seeing, I still wanted to check it off my “list.” (In quotes, because I didn’t really have a list, but I did map out this hike-run earlier in the week). So, off I marched on my way to Indian Cave. All the while, the views of the creek below continued to delight me to no end.


When I arrived to Indian Cave, it did look like “nothing much.” An unassuming wooden staircase led up to an opening in the rocks. Of course, I climbed the staircase. Not expecting much, I found a small but wonderfully charming cave. What a delightful, tranquil spot this was to sit and look down the canyon. Once inside, a small opening at the back of the cave became visible. You can be sure that I climbed through that opening which led to a nice little sitting area. In this spot, I was obscured by anyone who might be walking up the trail. And as it happened, a man and woman walked all the way up to Indian Cave as I sat there. They took a look at the staircase, and to my shock, turned around and left. They didn’t even climb up to explore. I was perfectly content though to continue having that cave all to myself.

Indian Cave was the biggest gem of this hike. And that says a lot, because Lizard Rock and Paradise Falls were wonderful!

Indian Cave:IMG_1896IMG_1898IMG_1900IMG_1906IMG_1916IMG_1917IMG_1918IMG_1920IMG_1925

After Indian Cave, I began the climb out to close up this loop. The trail was mostly shady with continued views of the creek. I even spotted another waterfall far below. Maybe on the next trip I’ll try and check that one out.

Very pleased with Wildwood Regional Park.


My route: Mesa Trail / Lizard Rock / Wildwood Canyon Trail / Paradise Falls Trail / Wildwood Canyon Trail / Indian Cave Trail / Indian Creek Trail / Avenida de los Arboles

5.51 miles, 1,206’ of elevation gain

4 29 18 a4 29 18