2014 Hiking Goals

Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with a friend about what we respectively did during long periods of unemployment. We both realized that neither of us had really done much because there were no real goals (aside perhaps from getting a job), and therefore there was no impetus to push hard to…

2013 Summary

In 2013, I hiked 945.3 miles while gaining 149,365′ of elevation. I spent 432 hours and 33 minutes on the trails, which amounts to 18 days hiking. My average hike was about about 6.3 miles with 1,010 feet of elevation gain. I didn’t ultimately keep track of how many calories I burned, but I know…

Best Pictures of 2013

Sunset from Haleakala Part of hiking for me includes photography, which has always been a minor hobby for me. Throughout the year, I’ve taken what I think are some decent photographs. This is my opportunity to share those that I felt were the best. New Year’s Day sunset over Oceanside Beach   Batiquitos Lagoon, January…

Best Hikes of 2013

                It’s about that time of year where everybody with any kind of opinion is throwing together a completely arbitrary and subjective list that reflects what they think is good and in what order. There is, of course, no science to this, because everything you’ll ever see on a “Best of” list is nothing more than…

Santa Rosa Mountain

Santa Rosa Mountain is a sky island amidst a sea a scorched rocks and barren valley. This offshoot of the peninsular ranges demonstrates the spectacular biodiversity of Southern California while affording some of the best views in all of Southern California. Distance: 7.2 MilesElevation Gained: 1260′Difficulty: ModerateCritters: Squirrels, ravens, hawksTime: 3:15 Get there like this.…

Caspers Wilderness Park: Juaneno Loop

Caspers Wilderness Park is a fine patch of preserved wilderness featuring broad canyons supporting oak and sycamore savannas, as well as sage-scrub covered ridges and ocean views. The trail network ranges from easy to strenuous, and the park offers several campgrounds and equestrian staging. Distance: 10.5Elevation Gained: 1,800Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousTime: 3:25Critters: Bunnies, hawks, ravens Get…

Relict Species: The Elephant Tree

Relict: N. A remnant or survivor Species: N. A distinct sort or kind Bursera microphylla                 Perhaps you’ve had that odd experience where you say a word enough times that it seems to become stranded from its regular associations. When that happens, a common word like “banana” or “toast” suddenly stops representing a thing or a…

Relict Species: California Fan Palm

Relict, n: a remnant or survivor. Species, n: a distinct sort or kind Washingtonia filifera                 While you wouldn’t know it based on urban development together with beautifully manicured and shady trees throughout the city and suburbs, Los Angeles and San Diego were once largely treeless. The wide, rolling coastal plains were…

2013 Goal: Take 75 hikes I’ve never taken before.

At the end of 2012, I wrote “I will be setting exploration goals that will help me explore more areas, thus ensuring a better variety of experience.” To that end, I determined that I would take 75 hikes that I had never taken before. In some instances, this meant that I would hike places I…