Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Long View Trail

I’m still laying low because of my leg (but that’s really an excuse because there’s other things stopping me from progressing, mainly myself!). Anyway, my calf is still rather tight and I’m a little (I mean a lot) fearful of doing any significant stretches. I will put it on my “To-Do List” today.

This past Sunday I was able to get in a pain free short hike – less than a week after my last hike. Progress! In search of short distances to let the calf heal, I headed to the hills in Laguna Niguel (just up Golden Lantern, about a five minute drive from my house). Though I’ve lived in this area for decades now, I’ve done very little exploring of Laguna Niguel’s trails. Why? Because I don’t need to with so many wonderful trails in OC. Being on the mend though, it was a perfect opportunity to do a little exploring. I miss exploring.

IMG_9738I mapped out my route to end up in Long View Park, a park within the prestigious gated community called Bear Brand. I parked near the dog park along Salt Creek Trail, which is a paved bike path out of Salt Creek Beach. From there, I took Colinas Bluff Trail for just a bit until the turnoff for Long View Park Trail (not marked!). Long View Park Trail is a single track with minimal climbing and  long views for sure. Unfortunately, the weather quickly turned overcast and the sky became the same color as the ocean. So my long ocean views were gray. On a good note, the weather was pleasantly cool.

Long View Trail is a lovely urban trail in and amongst multi-million dollar homes that frankly, I’d be embarrassed to live (talk about gluttony! Something I know all too much about). Now, I’m not one to promote class envy, in fact, I despise class envy. It really infuriates me – but I just have to say that I found these homes somewhat vulgar – like public masturbation. That may not make sense to some but being that I know a lot about gluttony (I’m an expert!) I couldn’t help but be slightly repelled by the neighborhood. (Search Bear Brand for sale and you’ll see homes as high as $25 mil.) Fortunately, the trail wound in and out of the neighborhoods and was mostly serene and lonely (the best!) so I did not have to look gluttony right in the face for my entire hike.  I took the trail as planned, all the way to Long View Park in Bear Brand. But I arrived to find the gate locked! Later, I read online that you can only enter that park via Del Avion which is much closer to my home. . So, there will be a part 2 to Long View Trail.

This hike was about 3.5 miles for the round trip.

From Salt Creek Trail, the tunnel beneath Golden Lantern to Colinas Bluffs Trail:
Colinas Bluff Trail
The Gate to Long View Trail:
View of San Juan Capistrano  & Mission from Long View Trail: IMG_9763
Long View Trail:
Gate locked at Long View Park:
Heading back (Long View Trail):IMG_9783IMG_9785IMG_9787

Friday, January 14, 2022

Cave-Rock Post-Injury

When my doctor said that I could take short, flat hikes, I was sure to clarify exactly what he meant by flat (because the road can be flat at an incline). It didn’t even occur to me to pin down what he meant by “short.” Monday, I took a “short”, “flat” hike up Aliso and Wood Canyons to a lovely hidden (in plain sight) gem, Cave Rock. It was the shortest hike I could think of where I could sit in a nice place in solitude.

Cave Rock Trail:
Cave Rock in the distance:
Approaching . . . IMG_9694
My only bit of “non-flat”:IMG_9698My Place of Solitude: 

As usual, weekdays are best. A father and daughter came by early on. Other than that, I had this side of Cave Rock to myself. I probably had all of Cave Rock to myself. But to investigate the entire rock would have entailed some additional non-flat hiking.

It felt wonderful to be out again. My secret place was so peaceful that I accidentally dozed off for a second. Whoa. It was time to head back. About 3.75 miles total for the round trip. I call that short. But I don’t think my calf thought it was short. It felt weird, kind of wobbly after a gentle stretch back at home. Worried that I over did it, I was back on heat and ice for the next few days. Since Monday, I’ve been off the trails and have been using my down time to get some painting done on the inside of the house. I am pleased with the progress but really want to get back to my obsession. Trails.


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

New Moments

With lots of December rains in Southern California, I looked forward to hiking along rushing creeks and searching out waterfalls during my winter break from work. The saddest story is what could have been, right? A day or so before Christmas Eve, I crept back into the house after a morning in the “man cave” with an armful – a few books and various loose papers. It was raining and wearing klutzky winter-type boots, I stumbled through the back door and quickly turned toward the kitchen table to set my things down. I didn’t see, nor did I remember, the stacked cases of bottled waters placed there the night before. Of course, I hit this stack completely by surprise and stumbled head first to the hardwood floor. Instinct was to protect my arm, the one I injured on the 17th hiking back from Holy Jim Falls. Without using my arms to brace I made quite a crash to the kitchen floor. I recall a 3 point contact fall with my left knee hitting first, next I believe, came my left hip (or that general area) and then finally the left side of my face, just above my ear, crashed into a plastic jug of laundry detergent on the floor. I saved my arm though.

So, that stumble was a stunner – nice icing on the cake to this strained body. With help from my husband getting off the kitchen floor, I went straight for the ibuprofen. Then I continued with my “spring” cleaning until the evening when I stretched my leg forward and felt a pop in my left (overworked, injured) calf. I dropped to the floor after that. I guess it was time to stop.

Ends up, I tore my left calf muscle which the doctor said should take six weeks to heal (I’m about half way there!) Of course, all was not lost. This did occur during the holidays so I was preoccupied some. Christmas time was filled with feasts and celebrations. And then we ended the year with another feast that lasted from the evening into the next day. The new year however, came and went without much fanfare as it has with me for many years. I don’t make New Years’ resolutions. Ever. I don’t need a new year to start over. All I need is a new day (which is why I love mornings so much!) I don’t even really need a new day. All I need is a new moment. So, with my leg out of commission, I’ll be using other ways to focus and grow. I’m feeling good about that right now, optimistic in fact, by the possibility of new moments.

Happy New Year!