TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Monday, July 29, 2019

The Way to do Summer Trails

7/24/19 was my last hike for a while because of the weather. It's not a miserable sort of hot on the California coast (yet). But when you're out there hiking on exposed trails, the heat can get to you. Not to mention! There's lots of bees around in these coastal hills. Definitely not a big fan of bees. I like what they do and all, but I've been stung twice so far this summer. I try and ignore them and let them land and take off on me at will. It's when I interfere that I get stung. Anyway, I did not get stung by a bee on my last hike. But there were lots of bees. And there was a young man hiking up Mathis Trail (what a brutal hike in the heat!) who asked me to look at his back to see if he had been stung. Sure enough, there was a bee sting on his back. He didn't look too happy. And who would be -- the hike up Mathis is all uphill and entirely exposed. I, on the other hand, was hiking down Mathis in the middle of the afternoon. It was warm, but again, it wasn't a miserable sort of hot.

West Ridge Trail on the way to Mathis, Santa Ana Mountains in background:



I took my time on this hike because of the heat. I was aiming for about 6 miles, ended up with a little over 7 miles. There were a few people on the ridge. Just one other person on Mathis (the guy who got stung by a bee). And then I had all of Wood Canyon to myself. And I also had all of the climb out (Cholla Trail) to myself. It was a beautiful day. Having no time constraints made this trek utterly enjoyable. I freely stopped to take in views and cool down in the shade. That's the way to do summer trails. 

7.17 miles, 1,171' of elevation gain. From Alta Laguna Park in Laguna Beach: West Ridge / Mathis / Wood Canyon / Cholla Trail / West Ridge

The view from a hidden rock formation on Mathis Trail:
Wood Canyon:

There is where my heart is (hint: those mountains in the background. It's just too darn hot for me there right now).

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