Hiking Crestridge

In keeping with my attempts to hike once a week with the kids, we picked a last-minute evening hike on Monday night at the Crestridge Ecological Reserve, out here in East County. Both kids claim to have been in the main area of the reserve in elementary school, but they didn’t remember much…

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And we were fully prepared to identify any badger that presented itself…

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There was a little bit of rainfall that hadn’t been checked since our weekend storm…

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And the visitor center was open…

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Complete with mosaic lizard? Alligator? Lizard is native. Gator is not.

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We had a crude map and a warning that the trail was not well marked.

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The beginning of the hike is in a beautiful old oak grove…

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The fire missed this part…

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Girlchild is Queen of the Mountain (of rocks)…

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The fire road was easy to follow, but we missed most of the trails shooting off of it.

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The surrounding mountains were beautiful as always. It hasn’t been too hot yet this summer, but we’ve had a few storms and all the nasty humidity we Southern Californians can’t stand.

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To the right was all private property, mostly avocados…

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We left a bit late, so we didn’t have more than two hours.

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The walk wasn’t particularly difficult.

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And I set my app to keep track of mileage for once.

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The kids walk faster than I do usually.

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The trail dips down into trees every once in a while and then runs up along a ridge. The crows (ravens?) were stalking us…

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Hanging out in murders or alone…

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The skies got cloudier and darker…

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The kids got further apart…

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Here’s Julie’s plant of the week to identify…this is the same one I saw near the water in Hollenbeck Canyon.

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More crows…

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And poison oak, easy to see when it’s this color…

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Girlchild asks why I take so many pictures and I try to explain that I like to document where I’ve been and what I’ve seen…

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She has a million posed pictures of her friends and I have trees…and this bird. Either a juvenile hawk or one of the other raptors…

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Smaller than the crows though. At some point, the girlchild tried to keep up with the boys’ stride…not really fair since he’s significantly taller.

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We kept wondering when it would turn back east…the trail, that is…

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There were some rock piles here…

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Somewhat obsessively…

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A quartz collective…

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A sign to nowhere (this is the section that had been through one of the last two fires…

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This is about where we decided we might not make it back if we kept going…

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So we didn’t do the trail properly…means we’ll have to go back a little earlier in the day…

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We went back much quicker…and actually saw other humans on the trail…

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And the sun started to go down…

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A crow feather issue (could be a raven)…

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And the sun went down.

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Almost 5 miles in about 2 hr and 45 min. I had all these photos uploaded early Thursday morning, in case I felt well enough yesterday to post from the hospital. But I didn’t. I’m home today and doing OK, despite an allergic reaction to one of the meds. It just adds Benadryl to the spacy mix. I’m not getting much done today except sitting around, half-napping, and doing a tiny bit of sewing wool bits together. Lots of TV. I’m hoping after a day or two of this, standing for some period of time beyond the 4-5 minutes I can handle now will be possible. We’ll see. I don’t know if I’ll be hiking next week though…maybe just in my head.

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