(If you aren't into looking at/reading about a hike today, but want to help me with a new name for myself, scroll down to the bottom :) )
Yesterday my parents and I decided that we wanted to do something active with our Saturday morning, so I suggested a hike. Though they don't quite compare with the redwoods of northern california, in my mind, I still do love the trails of so cal and their dry beauty. After a short deliberation, we decided on Wilder, since it had recently reopened from the wildfires that struck last fall. I hadn't been there since, I think, last summer, and was excited to see how well it survived.
Though at first it seemed about the same, we soon saw plentiful evidence of the burn
(my mom with decimated cacti in the background)
However, even though there were many burnt areas, some species, like the oaks, were already making a bit of a comeback
With the plant comeback, there was a return of mountain bikers as well :) We definitely saw more bikers than hikers, including some very fit youngsters out with their father (the sight of which had another mountain biker lamenting to his friend "my kids are back at home, out of shape, pretending to mountain bike!"- no doubt he has a wii ;) ). However, the most unique sight out there had to be this:
A moutain unicyclist! Has anyone ever seen something like this before? We were all incredibly impressed, especially after we saw the technical up and downhill dip he had just taken. That takes serious balance and skill.
Looking out over the little valley as we climbed up a hill to four corners, it was so interesting to see the charred branches among all the greenery that has been growing up around it. We predicted that in 2-3 years this park will look much as it used to.
It was a hot hike up the hill, and we took a few breaks along the way, in the little shade their was (by this point it was about 11 and pretty darn toasty!), but we were rewarded by a beautiful view as we reached the top
(my great parents/hiking partners)
After we cooled down at four corners we enjoyed the slightly quicker journey downhill, back the way we came.
The biggest difference in the park since the burn was how easy it was to see different parts of the park. We could see trails that used to be obscured by brush, creeks, and even whole valleys seemed somewhat exposed. The cactus trail, that used to be a technical hidden singletrack through a low valley is now easily seen from above
While it's interesting to get this 'backstage pass' as it were to the park, I'll be happy to see it back to its more secretive and healthy self :)
We got back to the car after a little over 2 hours. A lovely day on the trails of Orange County, seeing the new life spring up.
On a different note now that I am injured and not running, and actually a teacher (instead of heading towards teaching), my blog name doesn't quite seem to fit. My mom suggested "Limping towards Tenure" which might be a little too cycnical for my taste :) Doesn't anyone have any ideas about what I should call this blog now? I'm open to all ideas!