Recent Rambles

Rambling on Live Oak Trail.

I get up early most days, before the sun, and I dig in.
Not a complaint, an Exclamation.
I always try to find some way to be Engaged Life, in the Moment.
Employing an Athletic Philosophy in all that I do.
What we Practice informs our Doctrine.
Words on paper mean nothing, Actions come First.
Perspiration is the only proven elixir to turn Dreams into Realities.

On most weekday evenings I drive Lucy to her Dance Studio in Orange County. The hours in between dropping her off and picking her up are crucial, I always try to make the most of them: Reading, Riding and Rambling. Seeking Beauty in the hills, at the beach or in the pages of a book. And I Always find more than I seek. Recently Rambling in O’Neill Regional Park and the Quail Hill Trail in Irvine — There is so much to do, so close to us, always. We just have to look.

Ceremony of the Sunset on Quail Hill Trail.

This weekend Ann, Lucy and I drove up to Santa Clara, CA for a Dance Convention. Yesterday, while Lucy was in class, I got out to Sunol-Ohlone Regional Wilderness for a long Ramble along Alameda Creek and lunch on Flag Hill before heading into San Francisco with Ann and Lucy for dinner.

Cow on Cave Rocks Rd.
The view from Flag Hill Rd.

Black Mountain Trail

4/2/17

While in Las Vegas with Ann and Lucy for a Dance Convention, I had a really nice Ramble and Scramble yesterday to the peak of Black Mountain in the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area.

What a Beautiful Day on the Trail: Blooming Cacti, Wildflowers and a Brilliant Blue Sky playing Canvas to an ever changing Painting of Cumulus Clouds.

As lizards darted across my path, I got the Legs and Lungs Burning up the Trail to eat my lunch at the peak of Black Mountain (5030 feet), where I Soaked In Views of the Las Vegas Valley and off into Arizona and California before heading back down.

Unforgettable Beauty

3/26/17

I had an amazing day and night hiking around the Portuguese Bend Reserve, the Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve and the Filiorum Reserve in Rancho Palos Verdes with Lucy.

We rambled for hours down through countless trails of wildflowers, and then out onto Palos Verdes Drive, before cutting over and down the Cliffside Trail to the Pacific Ocean at Sacred Cove.

From there we headed back up to the bluff above, known as Inspiration Point, to take in the Ceremony Of The Sunset as it dropped below Portuguese Point.

At dusk, we started our journey back up and through the Portuguese Bend Reserve. As darkness fell we became slightly disoriented and jogged too far to the west and found ourselves entering the Filiorum Reserve. It wouldn’t have been a big deal in daylight but in darkness everything becomes intensified. As we moved briskly along the Kelvin Canyon Trail I realized our mistake, and just before giving Lucy the bad news that we had to turn around, we found ourselves at the foot of Rattlesnake Trail. The trail was barricaded and closed due to trail damage, but I knew it went directly to where our car was parked and so under the circumstances we stepped around the barricade and took off up the trail using extreme caution.

A few hours earlier, Lucy had been very wary of any trail with a climb in elevation or that hugged a cliffside, and because of that our scramble down and out of Sacred Cove was a bit tedious. But watching her navigate the precarious Rattlesnake Trail with the utmost certainty and confidence at night was an experience I’ll forever cherish. For as we climbed up the trail, I watched her grow and mature right in front of me. As we stepped out on to Crenshaw Blvd, I could plainly see that she now knew herself better, and standing there with her senses heightened and her adrenaline still pumping, she lit up the dark sky with an unforgettable beauty.

Devil’s Punchbowl

Devil’s Chair.
Holcomb Creek.

3/13/17

I went for a nice long ramble yesterday at Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area in the Angeles National Forest. Known for its geological formations of up-tilted rock formations, Devil’s Punchbowl is visually other worldly, but isn’t that precisely what makes this world so miraculous in itself? There are so many “other worlds” all around us if we’re just curious enough to look.

I hiked in and around the Punchbowl and out to Devil’s Chair, a tall cliff in the San Gabriel Mountains that overlooks the eastern Punchbowl formations. The views along the trail of the Punchbowl and the Antelope Valley were breathtaking at every turn.

After spending time at Devil’s Chair, I hiked down the South Fork Trail to Holcomb Creek where I ate my lunch before hiking back up and out.

Sunset Beach

3/11/17

I rode my bike out to the Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach, CA and had a nice ramble on a trail lined with wildflowers. I also watched a Swan swim and feed for awhile in the Bolsa Pocket. Apparently Swan sightings are rare? That’s what I inferred from the excitement and chatter of the bird enthusiasts around me on the trail. Whatever the case, it was truly something to see, rare or not.

From there I rode on over to Sunset Beach to take in the Ceremony of the Sunset. I snapped this photo, watched the sun sink into the Pacific, then got back on my bike and rode home.

Rancho Palos Verdes

3/03/17

I had a good ramble today along the Rancho Palos Verdes Coast. From Abalone Cove down to Portuguese Point, to Sacred Cove, to Inspiration Point to Founders Park and back. I shot this photo early in my outing at the Tide Pools in Abalone Cove.

Hollywood Sign

2/25/17

I spent most of the day hiking in Griffith Park. I parked at the Merry-Go-Round and from there I rambled onto the network of trails spread throughout the park. I hiked up to the top of Bee Rock then onward to the peak of Mount Hollywood. From there I hiked down to the Griffith Park Observatory and then over to the backside of the Hollywood sign, where I snapped this photo and ate my lunch before starting the trek back to my car. Another good day out on the trail.

Mission Peak

2/14/17

On Sunday morning I hiked to Mission Peak in Fremont, CA. I took the Peak Meadow Trail, connecting to the Horse Haven Trail, for a quiet, muddy and somewhat strenuous ascent to the Mission Peak. The views of San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco were awesome, but I more so enjoyed the immediate wilderness of the hike: The mud, the grass, the cool wind blowing across the hills and the cows. I shot this picture on the way up.

Dipsea Trail


2/11/17

I’ve been in the Bay Area for a few days at a Dance Convention with my daughter Lucy but that hasn’t stopped me from getting out on the trail. Yesterday, I did some urban hiking, 8 miles on the San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail in Santa Clara, CA and today I got out to Muir Woods in Mill Valley and hiked the Ben Johnson Trail to the Dipsea Trail back down to Muir Woods Road, taking in Redwoods and this view of the Pacific Ocean.