Thursday, December 15, 2011

Matilija Canyon

Last Weekend I went to visit family Near Ventura. My plan was also to hike saturday in the Los Padres National Forest somewhere. I decided on Matilija Canyon. It's been a year and a half since I've hiked this area. I've hiked the upper north fork once before and the main fork once before. I started at the trailhead at 8:30 am. It was pretty brisk at 40 some degrees but the temps were rising quickly with the morning sun and not a cloud in the sky. I was peeling off my layers after about a mile and a half. The fall colors were really nice. The creek was flowing with plenty of water. I hiked fast all morning with stops at several pools and viewpoints. The mountains in this area are all twisted around and tilted up, Pretty mindblowing. I hiked all the way in to West Falls and took a short break there. Then I made my way up to the other waterfalls further up the other tributary. What a beautiful little paradise up at those falls! I still had not seen anyone all day. I had Matilija all to myself. I stayed at the falls for a while, eating a nice lunch, laying in the sun on a warm rock next to the falls, and exploring a photographing the area. I took my time a little more hiking back out of the canyon. About halfway back I decided to take a break and kick off the boots for a bit. I did finally see a few people hiking in. I actually sat and chatted with a guy named Thomas for a bit. He told me a bit of history of the area from the sixties. Anyway, what a great hike it was. I got pretty sore for a couple day from this one.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Daley Ranch - The Giant Boulder Excursion

It's been almost a month since my last post. Time just fly's. I have been on several small hikes over the past month. I just haven't gotten around to updating them to the Blog. One of the more substantial hikes that I have done recently is out at Daley Ranch. We decided to go out and hike up into the hills and scramble among some really giant boulders. I've hiked to this area before. I took my time and searched out some other boulders that I had not seen yet. What's cool is every time I come here I never see anyone here and I get the place all to myself. The views of the surrounding mountains are really nice too. I took a trail back that I have not been on yet. It was really nice the way it dropped down winding through a really dense canopy of Engleman and Live Oak trees. The last picture in the set below is the sunset view out to the Pacific Ocean about a hundred yards west from my house in the evening after the hike. Happy Trails.....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

From Snow Covered Mountains to Sun Drenched Desert

Last Saturday we had a break between two storm systems. Linda and I set out to explore mountains and desert all in the same day. First we headed up to Laguna Mountain. We started seeing snow around 4200 feet and by the time we reached 6000 feet everything was covered with a few inches to 1/2 a foot of fresh white powder snow. We stopped at many different locations to see the views, photograph and play in the snow and have some snowball fights. Our plan was to hike a old dirt road that I know of but Linda was kinda cold and wasn't up for the hike so I did a small excursion down the road and back while Linda stayed back at the visitor center. After that we decided to drive an hour or more down to the southern Anza Borrego Desert and hike up into the Mountain Palm Springs area. We have not hiked here before and it was great to explore somewhere new. The weather was perfect around 70 degrees and this area was really nice. as we hiked further west up into the In-Ko-Pah Mountains we started to see more and more palm trees that naturally grow here. As we were nearing a very large grove of palms, maybe 60 or more trees, I seen a coyote running, then it stopped and looked at us, and then ran off. We rested at the palm oasis and had a nice lunch, checked out the views and checked out the area a little. We scrambled up a steep rocky ravine up to a ridgeline and checked out a broader view of the desert and distant mountains. Later, after our hike, we made our way back home for sunset at the beach. What a day in beautiful San Diego County.