I've driven past these mountains hundreds of times not really paying any mind for some reason what could lie within. I soon realized what an exquisite wilderness there is protected within these mountains. I hooked up with Ron and Robie early in the morning for an adventure into the san Mateo Wilderness in the Santa Ana Mountains. Our minds, bodies and spirits were definitely rejuvenated on this trip. We hiked several miles through much diverse terrain, oak woodlands, grasslands, chapparal, Sycamore lined creeks with potential swimming holes, nice backpacking campsites, and to top it off, Tenaja Falls, a 150 foot 5 tiered waterfall with a nice swimming hole at the first tier. As you see, we encountered a large tarantula and another hiker found part of what looked like a spine from some kind of animal at the trailhead. Leftovers from a mountain lion kill?? Who knows.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Ah.........The sweet fresh green grasses of early winter. Saturday around noon I hiked into Hellers Bend Preserve. There was not a soul around. I had 40 some acres of wilderness preserve all to myself. It was lush green, peaceful and beautiful. Rabbits and squirrels were scurrying around and the birds were singing. Sometimes a short mile through a wilderness area like this is all it takes to sooth the soul. I spent a couple of hours exploring the small creek and taking in the views from high in the oak woodland hillsides.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
It was a crisp clear fall morning. not a cloud in the sky. A couple of recent rain storms have already started to clear some of the haze and smog out for a little while. We only had a limited amount of time for this hike as we were headed to a barbeque in Sun City with our dad so we threw this short hike in as we drove the scenic route through the mountains behind Orange County along the Ortega Highway. Five of us, Linda, Barbara, Rob, Josh and I hike the 2.1 mile San Juan loop trail. It was one of those downhill into the canyon and the uphill out of the canyon hikes. The creek was not yet flowing. The falls were dry with a few resting pools of water but even though this was a really nice hike.