Keeping Busy – The Story of Two Hikes

Actually, there isn’t going to be much of a story, except in pictures.  Being in isolation has been trying in two, maybe three ways.  One, hubby is working from home and I am conscious of not making too much noise, so… I can’t run the vacuum or do anything so loud his customers can’t hear him talk, or he them.  Especially, since sometimes they amount to him putting out fires and handling discrepancies.  Ugh.  It’s hard to negotiate things when he can’t go to the warehouse and see what went wrong and who dunnit, so I hear him in his “office” trying to appease some irate customer.

Because of that, when the weekend comes, it is so nice to get out and away in whatever fashion we are permitted to.  At first, it was short drives where we couldn’t get out of the car, but they were scenic.  Now, we can hit the trails and we did.

I intended to write last weeks excursion, but events (interviewing roofers etc.) got in the way and I just didn’t get around to it.

So, today, you get two for one. Two in one?  You get it.

The first was scenic and amazing. It was in the Calaveras Hills Preserves not 10 minutes away from home. There were so many fabulous pictures to take of sites scene… uh seen.

We wore our masks (well I did and he did when we came upon other folks) and at the beginning of this one, there were a few too many people so at one juncture, when the trail split, we took the road less traveled and we were rewarded for doing so.

What is interesting is that all these hikes and preserves are tucked in gully’s of residential neighborhoods. clp6 - Copyclp5 - Copyclp14

I don’t know about you, but I love old, giant gnarly trees and beautiful spring flowers in bloom. On this hike, notice our famous California Poppy and the purple flower of a stinging  nettle.

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Water lily’s in the waterway, a graffitti’d dam, some green spiny gourd or fruit of some sort on a tree and my favorite, some sweet unknown green flower in a stump.

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This hike was marshy and we could hear, but not see the quail in the brush.

There was a rotted rope swing, that God forbid anyone would even contemplate using since the water couldn’t have been more than two feet deep below it, and the trail of what was probably a rattlesnake that had recently crossed before us.

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Another favorite is this picture of what diversity of foliage that is so California, because in this photo, there is a giant cactus(native), palm trees, a tall eucalyptus in back(not native),  An old brush oak and trees, I can’t name.

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Hike #2 was on the Manchester Preserve somewhere between Escondido and Rancho Santa Fe, about 30 minutes south from home not far off the 5 freeway.  It was a bit deserty, but no less beautiful.  The flowers were gorgeous and with the exception of those cactus flowers, these were tiny, despite their size in the photos.

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Again, we are in a valley between residential neighborhoods.

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I loved the contrast in this picture of the new cacti among the skeletal remains of the old.

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And someone leaving us a reminder to…

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Steps to one of the neighborhoods above and a bee seeking nectar from a flower.

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and of course, a smaller gnarly branch.

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I hope you enjoyed the walk with us and if you’re ever in southern California, look us up, we would gladly take you with us into the unknown and less know canyons of SoCal .

Memorial Day Hike

It was a lovely idea my Hubby came up with to go on a hike Memorial Day.

However… the route he’d suggested was extremely popular, so we would have to get up very early to find a place to park and go up.  Groan.  I didn’t want to get up early on a holiday!

As it turned out, it was pouring rain when we woke up, groan again.  Not to be deterred, Hubby managed to get me up and going.  He said, if nothing else, we’ll get in a nice drive.  By the time I was dressed, however, the clouds were dissipating.

We got up to the trailhead of Iron Mountain, after first picking up a Starbucks of course, at around 7:30 AM.hike1

It was lovely.  The beginning portion had us going through a canopy of scrub oak.

The trail was long and arduous, and I was gasping most of the way up.  I was never known to have super strong lungs, even when we did this all the time.  I’m super strong from working out, but did not have the stamina for this long haul.  My understanding was that it was a 2 1/2 mile hike,  It was more like 6 miles round trip with over 1,000 foot altitude gain. Ugh.

We saw so many people, happy people coming down and ones who passed us going up.hike2

One group were these vets, carrying a flag in honor of all the service people who’d fallen.hike4

They’d been up and were now heading down and were only too happy to pose.

WE saw lovely flora and fauna (are bees in the category of fauna?) plus marvelous views of the mountains.  Many wished us Happy Memorial Day and we wished it back.

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I also had a video that I haven’t managed to download though I keep trying. My apologies.

On the way down, we saw this clump of bees that we can’t figure out how we missed seeing it on the way up, given the size it was and that it was right there.  hike10One woman told us it was a relocating bee cone.  I think that’s what she said, so if anyone knows better, please tell me.  She explained that when a hive gets too big, they break off and regroup until a new queen is formed and then they take off and find a place to hive. hike7

At the top they had a telescope and also this tube-like thing, that had the directional for all the peaks and locations in the area. You would point to the location you wanted and look through it and find where you just drove in from or whatever marker was near your home.  I was all turned around and things were not where I thought they’d be.  Pretty neat actually.

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Something else I hadn’t noticed much was the dressing of flowers on the path down just before getting near the end of our hike. Which, I noticed later,

made a great backdrop for our own Memorial Day pose.hike12

When we got down, I could hardly walk, my calves and back were in agony.  And,  and I thought I was fit!  I guess I’ll have to have a chat with my trainer.

All in all, it was a great day!hike3