Thursday, February 3, 2022

Long View Park

So, my leg, or rather, my left side has not fully recovered from my fall at Holy Jim Falls. I don’t yet have full motion of my left arm (specifically, my shoulder) and it hurts terribly when I forget and reach back in any way. Then there’s the left knee that throbs out of nowhere. One minute it’s fine, the next it’s throbbing. My torn calf muscle on the other hand, seemed to heal up fine. “Seemed” is the key word because while I’m fine doing chores and everyday walking, my calf feels weird and kind of wobbly if I walk too much.

Anyway, injury update out of the way. Covid visited our household as well. I did not catch it (tested negative twice) but there was the quarantine time, which I abided by. This of course meant staying home. We had groceries delivered and hunkered down. When I tested out of quarantine on January 26, it felt great just to get back in the grocery store.

A few days later (1/30), I decided to try out my legs again. I had been wanting to see Long View Park after hiking Long View Park Trail only to find the gate to the park locked from that end. I shortened the walk up quite a bit by driving up to Trader Joe’s in Laguna Niguel and parking in their lot on Golden Lantern. From there I headed down Del Avion toward San Juan Creek and walked through the pedestrian gate (open only during daylight hours) of the prestigious Bear Brand neighborhood. From there, I used my Life360 App to find a park that had an asphalt switchback trail lined with Eucalyptus trees. The climb was a little more than I expected (there’s me under-estimating again!) but it was short (and lovely).


The ocean views began before I reached the top. When I did reach Long View Park, the views were spectacular for 360 degrees. I could see the Santa Ana Mountains and the San Gabriels beyond that. I had the entire park to myself. Of course, I spent much time exploring the place. I found lots of sitting spots and a painted rock garden. I also took the trail down to the locked gate where I had hiked to a couple weeks prior.

When I headed back, I took a different route over a grassy slope down into a neighborhood that dumped me out much lower on Del Avion than where I started. My climb back up to Golden Lantern was not what I had planned but I enjoyed the struggle nonetheless. In all, I the round trip was just over two miles. My calf wasn’t happy back at home. I don’t think it’s quite healed yet.