Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Peters Canyon Regional Park: First Hike, 2010

Okay, I'm finally getting the chance to sit down for a while and put up the post I promised last night. I went out for a hike yesterday at Peters Canyon Regional Park, in the hills of North Orange. Below is my basic gear. I picked up a new pair of Hi-Tec hiking boots (the tag's still on the right boot there). You might notice as well that little locking-blade pocket knife I carry, along with the hiking pole and traffic cop's whistle. Both for safety. Peter's Canyon is a wilderness area with mountain lions and other wildlife. I'm not carrying a gun, so between the knife and the hiking pole perhaps I'll be able to fight off a lion's attack. A mountain lion killed a cyclist in 2004, about 10 miles south of Peters Canyon, at Whiting Ranch in Trabuco Canyon.

I like walking with the hiking pole, in any case. I've got the whistle mainly so I can call for help if I become injured in a fall, or if some damned posse of local illegal immigrant vatos happens to come along (probably not up here at the park, but this is outback, so every little bit helps). I've got the phone too. I normally will take along some GORP instead of the Nature Valley bars, just in case I get little weak for energy. I stuff everything in the fanny pack. Not shown are sunscreen and sunglasses. And I'll start taking the camera with me on all hikes, since there's lots to see, and this is a horse trail as well has hiking, running, and cycling.

Here's the sign at the park entrance. Check the map at the second image down. I'm standing at the top of the red "parking" icon:

This shot is looking south along the start of the blue line to the left of the parking icon at the map. I'll meet up at the Lakeview Trail in five minutes or so:

Okay, here I'm turning back right on the map, heading east. There are a couple of inclines. This is the first one. That's actually a pair of park rangers hiking around the park, checking out fencing and other things. The hills are moderately strenuous:

Here's the scenic view resting area at the top of the two hills I just climbed. I'm taking the picture at the "photograph" icon at the map. Looking north or a bit northeast, you can see Mt. Baldy in the distance - hard to tell here, but it's still snowcapped from the late December storm we had. I stop to rest for a few minutes and drink water. My favorite time to hike Peters Canyon is in November after the Santa Ana winds have swept away all the clouds and smog, the earlier in the morning the better. It's a heavenly peak. Interestingly, the reservior is the lowest I've seen it. But we haven't had our normal rain cycle yet, and I expect it will fill back up to the higher shoreline levels you can see at left. Lots of birds come to feed and rest along the waterfront. It's quiet nature here:

Starting back up again, I'm now descending down the back side of the peak. There's a cactus trail here and you have to listen for the mountain bikers, 'cause they like to whip down this trail at full speed:

Now I'm hiking the long stretch heading to the south of the park, at Lower Canyon Trail on the map. It's probably just over a mile to the south entrance. I stopped to take a photo of some guys installing solar panels on a new ranch house just on the other side of the creek that runs alongside:

Okay, I'm at the south entrance. I use the restroom here and take a break for a couple of minutes. While resting I read the information billboards posted at the shade-stand. You can see the trail here in the background looking north. Lots of warning signs for dangers from wild animals. We have rattlers in the woods here:

If you check the map back up top, I'm now heading up the trail at the blue line at bottom. See the trees here? There's a brief hike through a thick eucalyptus grove, and here's some more warning signs:

About fifteen minutes later I come to a rest stop at the top of one of the larger inclines. (This is about halfway back up the East Ridge View Trail on the map.) These rests are the biggest payoffs of the hike. I'm looking southwest, out over the Irvine Valley toward Newport Beach and the Pacific Ocean. It's about 4:30pm. With the clouds last night we had a dramatic reddish-purple sunset. We can see the beginning of it here. I did some pushups and replenished fluids. I dwell for a while to take in all the views, saying hello to passing hikers, bikers, and runners:

I didn't tackle the steepest hill at the park yesterday. You can see a picture here. In one or two more hikes, I'll start also taking the last peak trail, and my rests will be much shorter. I was fairly winded on a couple of the steeper inclines yesterday. And I'm sore. My lower back area, gluteous maximus, and inner quadriceps got big workouts. Calves are a little sore as well, but not bad. Plus, my pecs and lats feel like I was benchpressing yesterday, so I'm out of shape on the pushups.

Ideally, I'll have time to go on this hike once a week. On top of that I can walk my neighborhood on most days. When I'm in good shape I walk for hours if I have time. It's the best stressbuster. Later, I'll do some running and more weigthtraining. I weighed 209 after my doctor's appointment in December. My ideal weight is 185. But for now I'm more interested in the cardiovascular workouts and restoring my overall body strength. I'll also post photos of myself. Didn't feel like it yesterday, but tune in for some DD hotness shots throughout the year!

I'll update with more information on this hike, as well as some additional hikes in the Southern California area. 2010's going to be a big year for my American Power workouts!


Philippe Öhlund said...

Great shots, Donald! :-)

I like your excellent endeavors.

You have beautiful surroundings.

I remember there were Mountain Lions close to Santa Fe too, when I lived in New Mexico 1989.

You have a more hospitable climate than I do anyway.

I live in the deep freeze since a month.

Where I live, the landscape is completely white.

The only thing you will see is a lot of snow and ice.

But we have some wolves.

Recently 12.000 men went out to shoot wolves and they killed 27 of them, before they were stopped.

I look forward to see more pictures. :-)

AmPowerBlog said...

Thanks Philippe. I didn't know you lived in New Mexico!

Rick Derris said...

You know how I know you're gay? You wear a fanny pack.

Sorry Professor Douglas, I just couldn't help myself. And if you haven't seen The 40 Year Old Virgin you really should, it's hilarious. Good luck on your New Year's resolution.

Philippe Öhlund said...

You are welcome Donald!

So many things happened to me in the U.S., I could write several books about it.

There are many people I remember from my years in the U.S.

I hope I will be able to see them one day.

Anyway, I will always carry a piece of the U.S. in my heart.

Well, I went to Santa Fe from Washington D.C. in January 1989.

I remember I arrived to New Mexico in the middle of a snowstorm.

But the snow was so beautiful on the sand stones.

I took in at the La Fonda hotel, and eventually found an adobe house I rented.

Then I stayed in Santa Fe for 10 months, and I even left some clothes and a few books there.

I loved to read Mark Twain.

I thought I would come back.

I went to New York City, where I stayed for a year, before going to Sweden to visit my brother.

In Sweden I then got a job offer so I stayed here.

Since then I have only returned once to New Orleans in 1992 and then I visited Las Vegas in 1999.

On New Years Eve 2000 I met my ex-wife in Belgium, otherwise I would have returned to Las Vegas.

Since then I have been living in Europe.

When I took a break from my job selling insurances earlier today, I went to a Stockholm mall.

There a woman from Tel Aviv started to talk to me.

She had brought in a lot of salt from the Dead Sea, she sold in cans, and tried to introduce me to the business. :-)

She even made me try some, and it's true it's very good for dry skin.

But I have so much else going on.

I used to gamble on horses, and in 1988 I even went to Jefferson Downs in Louisiana to gamble.

In Sweden I am on the positive, when it comes to gambling.

During my time for Texas Instruments in Brussels I was thinking about probabilities, when it comes to gambling.

I have made up a new horse gambling system I started play the 28th of November.

I use it every day, and I still haven't lost.

But since I'm very suspicious of gambling and still have a limited financial situation after my expensive divorce, I only play with very small stakes.

But sofar I'm doing better gambling on horses than selling insurances... :-)

I see great possibilites ahead.

We live in a crazy world, Donald!

AmPowerBlog said...

You're quite the world traveling, Philippe!

Laura Lee - Grace Explosion said...

That was awesome, Donald.

My sense of humor was imagining some blood covered, mauled, poor hiker - going to the office to state, "I'm reporting a mountain lion sighting."


You stay safe!! I'd be carrying a pistol if I was hiking that trail. Also, I don't care how "important" rattle snakes are to the habitat, either. One started hissing at me - I'd shoot to kill.

Then, of course, I'm not a statist, a neocon, a nihilist, or a member of PETA.


Rusty Walker said...

This was a fun post! I am excited for you. When/if I get out there, or you here in Arizona, we’ll definitely hike the canyons. When my wife and I went last time in Sedona we came across a 6’ Diamondback Rattler, inching its way across the trail at high noon! I had always thought they were nestled in the shade in July! And, when out in the desert I came across some pesky coyotes. Since I also paint on location, and we live in the wild West (no need for a gun permit) I take my holstered Smith & Wesson .38 Double Action Revolver along. As long as it isn’t hidden, you can carry a gun in Arizona. I would rather have a gun, and not have to use it, than be a statistic. Perhaps I am paranoid, because of the shooting deaths of my brother and his daughter in an unrelated incident, but it brought home to me that things can happen to anyone.

One other thing, I was hiking up in the mountains here in October thinking it would be cool, but it turned hot and there was little shade, so I barely got back before I was in danger of dehydration. I was only out about five hours. I had 2 bottles of water. I noticed you had only one. I would carry more water if I were you, if only to be able to offer to help someone else out. When I was Provost at a college here, my librarian/s husband who was an experienced hiker/photographer, went hiking out in the desert and was found dead of heat related causes. But, that is Arizona.

kreiz1 said...

Wonderful trails! Wow. Envy ensues from the frozen Great Plains.

Rick Derris said...

I was just messing with you earlier Professor but per Rusty's comment I would recommend getting a Camelbak. It's light weight, carries plenty of water from a spout that frees your hands up and has pockets and cords to hold all of your accessories. The one I linked to is the minimalist version I use but they make more substantial ones as well.

Philippe Öhlund said...

Thanks Donald! :-)

Like the other commentators I also liked your post.

Once in Sweden I stumbled into a Moose in the woods once.

But then I ignored it, and then it also ignored me.

I hope you don't have those small venomous spiders where you are hiking.

They can hide in flower pots, Donald, and they are lethal.

They have them in New Mexico.

The unseen enemy is always the worst.

Rusty Walker said...

Phillippe, do you mean the Brown Reclusive? or the Black Widow? The Reclusive in California apparently isn't lethal, but the Black Widow can be trouble. Although, all one need do is avoid the females (they have the red hourglass shape underneath, but turning them over can be tricky. : ) We have the scorpion which scurries along like a miniature, lethal, prehistoric creature from Predator movies! But, I'll take them, to Mountain Lions! In the Apaches' White Mountains we have cougars, too, that would probably devour my .38 along with my arm – they are at the top of the food chain (that includes me). After watching this video I wouldn’t want to shoot one anyway, perhaps scare it away? http://www.azgfd.gov/video/MountainLions.shtml

Philippe Öhlund said...

Hi Rusty! :-)

Thanks for the video of the Mountain Lion.

Well, I think it was the Black Widow I had in mind.

Cougars too are of course scary.

Here we have Lynx Wild Cats, but they are actually very rare nowadays.

When I was a kid, they were everywhere and often seen.

I also often saw eagles as a kid.

Now, I haven't seen one for many years.

Left Coast Rebel said...

This looks like desert land! Come visit me in Carlsbad Donald and we will kayak around the Carlsbad lagoon, no mountain lions here either, :).