Thursday, March 22, 2012

Holy Jim Falls

Well, the next day after the trabuco canyon hike, I managed to slowly drive my car up to the Holy Jim trailhead for a hike up to Holy Jim waterfall. It's a jungle up in that canyon. A jungle mixed in with tons of poison oak. Keep you eyes peeled and your arms and hands in on this ride folks. This is an extremely beautiful place though. The steep canyon walls and intensely thick vegetation and canopy of trees make some areas of this forest just dark and cool, almost like a dark forest scene on Lord Of The Rings or something. Of course, none of my pictures actually display those areas.

BELOW: This area by the stream is where Jim lived. he had a cabin just to the left of this pool. The canyon was first settled by beekeepers in the 1880's, One of whom - James T. "Cussin' Jim" Smith (Later changed to Holy Jim) is the canyons namesake. He also grew groves of fig trees here. There are fig trees all over throughout this canyon.
Also, The last wild California Grizzly Bear, an old bear named "The honey thief" was killed at the mouth of Trabuco Canyon about 6 miles downstream from here after robbing bee hives in 1907.

ABOVE AND BELOW: Glimpses along the trail of Santiago Peak. The highest peak in the Santa Ana Mountain Range rising up to just under 5700 feet.

ABOVE: Holy Jim Falls

BELOW: I made my way precariously up the left side of the falls up the steep rock and scree slope maybe 60 or 70 feet to a small ridge to get a view out and over the canyon. I also found access to the top of the falls and a way to venture further upstream. Hold that idea until another time, I was running out of daylight and it was time to head back.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Trabuco Canyon - Upstream

After work I hiked a section of upper Trabuco Canyon from where it enters the biggest mountains of Orange County all the way up to Holy Jim Falls trailhead. This is a most beautiful place. What a treat it was to walk through a forest of Oaks, Alder, Sycamore, and tons of Maple trees. These are the first Maple trees I have seen in So Cal., It gave the hike a totally different feel from the canyons in San Diego. The creek was rushing pretty good from the recent storm we had. On the shady north facing slope of the canyon, whole mountainsides were carpeted in ferns. I plan to go back and continue from where I left off and hike up to Holy Jim falls while the water is still flowing. I'm loving the extra daylight now as I'm able to do more substantial hikes after work. Happy Trails.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Black Canyon and Tijeras Creek Videos

Here are some videos that I just put together from some recent hikes. On the Black Canyon video I wrote and recorded the music for this video, playing all instruments and vocals myself. Click on the link below.

Below is the video from my hike at Tijeras Creek Canyon in Rancho Santa margarita. I used some music that I wrote and recorded back in 2001 with some friends adding some parts in the music as well. Click on the link below.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Black Canyon 3/10/2012

Click on pictures to enlarge.

I hooked up with my friend Robbie for a day of hiking out in Black Canyon. It was a fine early spring day. We had a great time. The grasses were green. The wildflowers were blooming. Water was flowing fairly well for as little rain as we've had. We hiked upstream exploring all of the small falls and pools. We met a nice group of ladies hiking, Esther and Laurie and several of their friends. When we got to the main pool and falls They joined us for a couple of jumps into the ice cold mountain water. After that, Robbie and I hiked/bushwhacked much further upstream. It looked like not to many people ever venture upstream and it was real nice and pristine. It was a real challenge to stay out of the poison oak. That was probably the most poison oak I've ever seen. We caught a water snake and held him for a minute. It was so fat that it looked like it must have had two frogs in its belly. Upstream, there were so many frogs jumping around and the sound of there croaks filled the air even in the middle of the day.
After lunch, we made our way back downstream to the car and took a hair raising, white knuckling drive on the dirt road down into Pamo Valley. Don't take a standard passenger car on this road. We barely made it out of there. Anyway, we made it to Pamo valley and it was beautiful. Huge expanses of bright green rolling hills dotted with giant oak trees. After that we headed home. It was nice to get out and hike with Robbie as we haven't hiked together in a while.