Last Hike of Summer Vacation

August 9, 2017

Today the boychild and I hiked to celebrate the girlchild’s 20th birthday, because she is 3000 miles away and wouldn’t have hiked that far with us if she were here. Or maybe it was just the last day of summer vacation where I could actually find the time to hike at a reasonable temperature (time is irrelevant in Southern California summers…temperature is the determinant factor of hiking time). Yeah, that’s it. Boychild leaves Monday and it’s been a while since we hiked for realz, so he picked one hike and I vetoed it because climbing mountains is not good for me right now, and then he and I decided we could figure out random trails (really, I figured that HE could figure it out, and he did) to try to make a loop out of something we’ve done as an out as far as the girlchild can possible stand it and then back (which usually ends up being 5 miles or so, but because she was only there in spirit, we managed just over 7 miles). AND…there was fog in the morning, which was abso-fucking-lutely delightful. Seriously. Cool wet fog. Who woulda thought?

But wait. Because I am chronological. Tuesday night, I did some of this in the feather stitching again…a fly stitch with a straight stitch…

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Kitten is more playful when the dogs are gone…

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Then I quilted…about 2 1/2 hours yesterday…

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Then Windows tried to auto-update and killed my computer…

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Boychild fixed it this morning.

More quilting…

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All I have left is the head and the rocket and the spaceship…and then the whole damn background. I was going to get some done today, but that hasn’t happened yet. It will.

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So we got up bloody early to beat the heat and went out to the Crestridge Ecological Reserve, which had mostly no people, a few coyotes, one tiny snake, and a shitload of bunnies.

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I haven’t been out here for a couple of summers…

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Yes, the sun eventually came out, but it wasn’t too hot out there. Sweaty, but not hot. And poison oak, yes. Right there. At one point where the trail was kinda not trail-like, I was inching around a poison oak bush and talking to it about not touching me.

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Yup. Proof the girlchild was with us in spirit. Left by the side of the trail.

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She whines on hikes. Unless there’s chocolate. And sometimes even if there IS chocolate. Lots of old trees…

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And some transmission towers for the noise effect.

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There’s those towers after hiking a mile further on…

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Pretty much this is always my view, behind the spiderweb destroyer…

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The trail had been hit hard by last winter’s rains…at least this part of it. This would be the off-the-beaten-path part of what we did.

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I think he has air!

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This part was blocked off…the ditches are taller than I am…

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I saw lots of whatever this is (Julie!)…

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More ditches…to be avoided so no broken ankles.

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We went around and up to and past that water tower…

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Up up up. Yeah. It’s warm. It’s near the end. He trudges on, happily. I’m tired.

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But I did it. Only an 800-foot gain though. That’s about right for the bad shape I’m in. A good end to the summer hiking with the boy. Man. Whatever. That kid of mine.

OK. Need to finish the quilting and put a binding on that sucker. But first? Chiropractor. He’ll be amused by my morning activity. I always wait until he does the first check and asks, so what the hell have you been doing? My back is fucked up differently based on whether I’ve been quilting, hiking, lifting weights, or grading papers. He loves it. Really.


Hiking Crestridge

July 24, 2015

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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Anthills…

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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.