Time Is Weird

Well happy New Years Eve, all. Or for some, you’re already in 2019 and that’s just weird. Time is weird though, so what’s new. Yesterday I didn’t write because I was hiking, which was cool. Today the kids leave for Lake Arrowhead…I will follow them tomorrow, when the wind gusts will kick up to 45 mph, so that will be a fun drive. Plus really cold up there for people who don’t own puffy coats. I have fleece. That’s it. Fleece and Uggs. Prepare to freeze.

It will be fine. I’m looking forward to some artmaking time today, but also to a diabetes educator appointment. My insulin isn’t working right. Or I’m not working right, which is more likely. So I got a last-minute appointment to go in. Apparently no one wants to go to the nurse on NYE, but me…I’m OK with that. I’d rather deal with it now than try to fit it in during school. It’s so difficult to get appointments of any kind around my job. Frustrating. So maybe we can figure out WTF is going on with my body as part of the new year.

But yesterday, we hiked to Eagle Rock, which is on part of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). I’ve been there a few times, and it’s a relatively easy hike, but not super short…I think we did 6 1/2 miles.

First we drove way the freak out to Warner Springs…

It was chilly at first, but exercise warmed us up enough to shed the outer layers, even in the shade of the oaks…

It was a beautiful clear day, no wind, just a bit of a breeze…welcome as we got out into the flat areas…

I call this hike mostly flat. My hiking partner did not agree. I think I just forget about the hills after I hike them.

Mostly flat.

There were a lot of people out there, but not too many. Most of them had dogs.

Ah! There’s the eagle in Eagle Rock…and my partner, glad to be halfway. When we started dating, he had written that he liked to hike…

I’m not sure he and I agree on what hiking is…but he’s a good sport about it. Here’s the view of the valley from the rock formation.

The hard rocks that survived erosion over the years…

Proof I was there!

The last time I hiked this was May 2014…more flowers then. More water too, strangely.

There’s this place in Ramona that looks like a total dive from the outside, but is pretty hip on the inside, so we stopped for some food and a drink before driving all the way home.

Came back to lounging tiredly around post-hike, with puppy, who did no hike at all…

He ran around a lot in the morning.

I took a long time to draw this…just tired, I guess.

Yes, that’s T. rex as a spirit animal.

Girlchild eventually showed up again.

Puppy likes her. Although I think he slept on everybody. I haven’t seen the kid much…friends in town.

I finally started cutting out, but late…

It was an Avengers night…but it doesn’t look like I got much done.

Seriously, that’s three hours of cutting. Sheesh.

This is what’s left. A lot.

I’ll do some of that tonight. I’m not a fan of big NYE partying. We have errands to do today and I have that collaboration piece I need to get done by next Sunday, so I should get going on that today. I’ll go to Arrowhead tomorrow with all my crap that needs doing, hang out with the kids etc. for a few days, and head back to face the fact that I’m going back to work. Stressful. Oh well. I had time off…I still have almost a week. Use it wisely.

Eagle Rock on the PCT

A couple of weekends ago, I did another small section of the PCT, this time with the purpose of seeing Eagle Rock. It was a warmish day…

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But the first part of the hike, which leaves near the Warner Springs fire station, is mostly under big oak trees, running next to a stream.

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It was quite pretty on this section…

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We were not a huge group, but that’s because there was some race going on that blocked traffic from North County making it to Ramona, so we were missing a bunch of people who were supposed to go.

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There were these great big meadows of grasses that stretched out under the warm sun…

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This reminds me of the area near Sacramento, where I spent the first 7 or so years of my life (obviously imprinted on me).

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Of course, that’s because things here turn brown very early…we haven’t had much rain this year.

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There is a section that is more desert-like after the trees…

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You can see mountains surrounding the valley…

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We were blessed with a decent breeze for most of the hike…

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Lots of far-off vistas and beautiful blue skies…there were many through-hikers of the PCT on this section…apparently Warner Springs has good pancakes and omelets, so they were motivated to get up and move.

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This was not a difficult hike, about 6.5 miles, with no real climbing.

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It is out and back…and I’m sure it’s very hot during the summer, so lots of water…

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More of those grassy meadows stretching for miles.

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There were lots of wildflowers around too…not that I took many pictures of those…this was the last hike my old camera made it on. To get it to take photos, half the time I had to remove and replace the battery. So yeah. That’s what finally motivated me to get a new one.

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Not a lot of trees in this section…

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Oh yeah, and it’s not a hike in Southern California without some cactus…seriously, this stuff grows everywhere.

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All the while, I’m keeping my eyes open for something big enough to be called Eagle Rock…

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More flowers…notice how dry the ground is? These won’t last long…

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It’s not a wide trail…

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Rocks? In the distance?

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These were actually west of the formation itself (which is not on my PCT map at all)…

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And there we are…you can’t see this from the PCT…you see the back end. It looks like someone did some selective chipping to the beak area, but otherwise, that’s an eagle all right…

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It’s big enough to stand on. No group photo this time…not enough motivation for that, I guess. This is looking south towards the PCT. Someday I’ll do this section…it’s supposed to be nice.

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More southerly looking…

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Giant flowers…seriously, bigger than your hand, just growing right out of the rock.

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A view to the west…

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And back towards the south…there was a steady stream of through-hikers on that section.

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Thistles…

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Rocks…in case you’ve never seen one.

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People eating lunch on rocks…we actually hiked this really fast, so it was more like brunch on the rocks.

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Bird…refused to turn around and pose.

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I think this is a blue-belly (despite the lack of actual blue belly showing)…I had a lizard expert helping me stalk these around the rocks…we heard a rattlesnake under one of the rocks too, but we never saw him.

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More sitting upon the rocks…

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A spiny granite lizard…there were a bunch of these, but they were photo-shy. This one did push-ups for me.

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No photos please…

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After a short stop, we hiked back the way we came…

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It always looks a little different on the way back…

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One of those big flowers ready to bloom…notice the lavender tint.

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And those big old beautiful oaks…

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More flowers, even on cactus…

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Back through the desert wash area…

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And into the meadows and trees again…

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I could live out here…except for all the hikers. And the summer heat. And the fire danger.

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We made it back quicker than it took to get out there…

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Here’s the sign for food at the Warner Springs stop for the hikers…they must be good for business.

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Like I said, it was hot and dry…over 80 degrees, but a nice breeze kept it bearable…

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This would be a great hike with kids old enough to make the distance…just be careful of snakes, especially around the rocks. Oh yeah, and if you just want to see the rock, you can drive up very close and do a super short hike to see it (wimps!). It took us about 3 hours, I think, to do the whole thing…it took longer to get OUT there and park, because yes, it’s in the boonies if you’re coming from San Diego proper…but definitely worth it. Crossing it off the list and trying to figure out how to hike the section south of it next…