Friday, May 28, 2010

Bushwhacking

Family portrait 10 years and 1 addition since the hike

Glenn from "The Running Fat Guy" had a great post today. I won't go into too much detail because it's a great read, but the gist of the story is that he was trail running, and decided to take a diversion into a gully with no clear trail just to see what happened. Semi-calamity ensued. It's good stuff.

The first time I hung out with my wife we got into a similar situation. There where 4 of us hiking in Will Rodgers State Park in Pacific Palisades. We hiked in to see the remains of Murphy Ranch, which was an American Nazi Party compound built in the 1930's. Unsurprisingly, it was raided and closed down by the FBI the day after the Pearl Harbor attacks. In 1951, the site and remaining buildings became part of the Hartford Artist Colony, where it is said that the writer Henry Miller stayed for a time. The colony closed in 1965 and all burnable parts of the buildings where destroyed in a 1978 brush fire.

Pictures from the camp. The top picture is apparently the ruins of the main house. The bottom picture was the power plant. Super bad joke, but it's almost as if these jokers where getting ready for a war or something.

As we we where hiking out we missed a turn in the trail and ended up in a deeply cut and overgrown stream bed. With an overabundance of confidence in my own navigation skills, and with the others not knowing me well enough to temper my ambitions, I won the argument that the stream would lead us back to the parking lot. It did, sort of. We had to cross some pretty rough terrain and add a few miles to our trip to get back to the cars. There was definitely some cut up legs and cursing going around on the hike out.

I'm surprised I managed to get my first official date shortly thereafter. She picked the restaurant, though.

Inspired by Glenn's post, I decided that I would go out and find an unexplored canyon of my own today. But then I realized two things - I had a ton of work to do and since I am still short on running miles for the month, my (slight?) obsessive-compulsiveness kicked in and I decided it would be more prudent to stay local.

So I went out for a 10 mile run.



This is my normal 10 mile route which takes me on a big loop from my house, down to PCH, around the Bolsa Chica Wetlands, and then back home. I've run this many times, so I didn't get the specific dose of adventure I was hoping for. But I never get sick of looking at the Pacific, so it was still a great run.

This one's for Kovas. Looking north along Bolsa Chica beach towards Palos Verde.

As I was running down the empty beach path, it occurred to me that it's Memorial Day weekend. So within a matter of hours this path will not be empty, and I'll have to share it until Labor Day. Not that that's a bad thing. But it's also pretty easy to get comfortable with the off season around here.

Tommorow the parking lot to the right will be filled with RV's and the path filled with Bikes and Skateboards.

At some point over the weekend I'll go find my own canyon. Though I am still a little short on bike miles for the month, I need to keep in mind that the "esoteric" needs to trump the "process" sometimes. Without adventure, I'm missing out on the journey. Keep a balance, and you'll keep it fresh.

That said, I don't have a solution for my fear of snakes yet. And the canyon, wherever it may be, is probably filled with them. I'll worry about that when I get there.

5 comments:

Kovas Palubinskas said...

I was thinking the other day that, come Xmas, it will be 23 years since I last visited CA - amazing how time flies! Thanks for sharing your memory and thanks for the photos, they really bring back memories of my idyllic youth. I always think back fondly to those sweet spots between seasons, when the beach was ours and the crowds had not yet arrived. Great post.

Christine Jensen said...

Ah, I miss the Pacific Ocean. I grew up in Northern Cali, about an hour and a half from access to the beach, but we would go at least once a year....Now I have to content myself with the stinky, brine fly infested Salt Lake....not quite the same thing...but it is salty.

Now for snakes...you are pretty safe as long as it doesn't rattle...ask my boys...they love to play with the garder snakes that infest our back yard ;)

Glenn Jones said...

Thanks for the shout Patrick! yeah. Soon all the flatlanders will take all the parking spots andmake life miserable (ha ha!). I moved to OC from Whittier in the early 80's to go to UCI. I lived on the Newport Peninsula and used to cringe at the thought of the weeks after Memorial Day. No parking anywhere!

BTW - if you're looking for some wilderness-y trails - my Trail Running group has a decent resource here . Have a safe and fun weekend!

skierz said...

the miles will come, don't stress yourself! finding your own canyon sounds like a great idea, I think I might get on that boat! Have I missed the boat on the T-shirts? Say Barbie, they look great!(missed hte first offer obsessing over run/bike/swim) hope the weekend is going awesome!

lindsay said...

sounds like a fun adventure - especially since you all made it out unscathed. seems like a cool place to explore. hope you are able to feed the adventurous appetite soon.

ps - got the shirt (a few days ago) - THANKS! :)

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