Trip Report: High Point from Oak Grove

I love the Palomar Mountains. When faced with that question of “what is your favorite hike,” I always try to demure and say that it’s like picking a favorite child. But let’s be honest here. I do have a favorite child, and it is Palomar. It doesn’t matter if it’s the State Park or Cleveland National…

Fantastic Smells and Where to Find Them

Stroll through any corner of San Diego County on a warm spring day, and you’ll likely encounter a potent cocktail of intoxicating scents no matter where you go. The relatively unsung olfactory experience of the county’s open spaces often proves to be the chief pleasure on many hikes, with hundreds of different plants releasing their…

Why Should I Have to Follow the Rules?

Note: I reference a number of agencies in this piece. I’ve kept the agencies and workers in question anonymous so as not to break confidence. You’re scrolling through your Instagram over your morning coffee, and you see it: the Goat Canyon Trestle. Some acquaintance you barely know is standing in the middle of the tracks a hundred…

February in Review: Return of the Blog

Some time ago, I used to maintain a regular blog chronicling many of the hikes I took. That blog helped me develop the outdoor writing skills to begin writing for Modern Hiker, which eventually led to the Afoot and Afield gig. I dropped blogging once I started writing for Modern Hiker, but I’ve since decided it would…

Best Pictures of 2014

Clevenger Canyon I got in a lot of hiking this year, which means I also got in a ton of photography. Out of the nearly 10,000 pictures I took this year, these are the ones I enjoyed the most. Aspen leaves in October Aspens on the Big Pine Creek Trail Jeffrey Pine at Beetle Rock,…