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.

Lost Palms Oasis

2/6/17

Yesterday morning I got up early and headed out to Joshua Tree National Park to hike out to the Lost Palms Oasis where I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the shade of the canyon and the California fan palm trees concentrated there. The California fan palm is the only native palm tree to the state of California, and this particular canyon in Joshua Tree holds the largest concentration of these trees in the entire park.

After lunch, I snapped this picture and hiked back out, taking in the beauty all around me. On my way back, I made a detour to the Mastodon Peak Trail Loop where I scrambled to the top of Mastodon Peak for amazing 360° views of the surrounding desert.

It was another great day on the trail. A Super Sunday indeed.

Bridge To Nowhere

2/2/17

I got up early yesterday, I worked for a few hours and then I got in my car and drove out to the San Gabriel Mountains. I needed some time on the trail: Feet and legs and openness.

I spent six hours hiking along the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, crossing the river numerous times in fast rushing water as deep as my waist in some places. I put down some 10 – 12 miles hiking over the demanding terrain of boulders, logs, spiked plants and rushing water.

The trail I hiked is a rather popular trail as it leads to a destination known as the Bridge To Nowhere. The bridge itself is really nothing special, an abandoned bridge that was built in 1936, and now only serves as a bungee jumping platform and a place for me to eat my lunch. The trail that leads out to the bridge is interesting because in some places you can see asphalt and concrete slabs along the trail where a roadway used to be located, and now after 70 some years of disuse, has seen nature all but claim it back.

As I walked along I thought about how we have such precious little wilderness left, and how it remains under constant attack by those in power, by those who have something to sell, by those looking to influence public opinion. But the race to the bottom is so short sighted, and it gives no heed to the well-being of future generations or to the Earth itself, but instead it values degrading jobs, cheating and lying business men and the intolerable arrogance of our elected officials. What we really need to pledge allegiance to is the Earth, not the swarming, distended bulge of real estate and industry. Instead, we listen to, give power to and are led by people who have spent most of their lives in air conditioned buildings. It doesn’t make any sense.

As I walked back along the river, the sun was setting behind the mountains and the only sound was the water flowing. I stopped in the middle of the stream on a bed of rocks and took this picture. A frozen moment on the trail, a memo to the powers that be.