Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Post Storm Hiking in Crystal Cove State Park

This Blog/Blog Post/Melissa Adylia Gutierrez/Controlled Burn Fitness does not recommend, encourage, suggest, nor support ignoring posted signs in designated hiking areas

I love
going on adventures in the rain
but last week each time I tried to head out to
one of my favorite hikes
I kept meeting

It was so frustrating
I really needed to get my body moving after being cooped up for so many days with no sunshine, hiking, nor kayaking...well, I did go kayaking on the 18th and made a good effort to hit this trail afterwards but there was so much fog and it was so drizzly
I almost missed this sign until I bumped into it.
That day, I did turn back because I know how slippery that trail is after a day of rain
I wasn't in the mood to go slip-n-sliding while it was still raining
and I couldn't see my feet because of the fog.

Mother Nature Obviously Meant Business!
The rain didn't let up for days!
Southern Californians (always worrying about a drought) had to wonder if they should have been more careful for what they wished for
when Mother Nature brought on the rain in full force this December.

Finally a day of sunshine came.  Just in time for Christmas.
I had to try to hit the trail again and hoped to do the
11 mile Moro Ridge loop
So I put on my sexiest hiking outfit of Knee High Socks, Tevas, a little skirt, a couple of tops, my backpack full of extra clothing, and water, and grabbed my trekking poles.
Right...super sexy out fit...
(wink wink)

The sun was so welcome
I felt a little guilty passing the first sign, but I vowed to myself that I would only proceed if I was able to stay on trail, maintain my footing, and avoid causing any damage to the trail.

It was so still and so beautifully silent
There was the occasional faint breeze rustling leaves and the sweet chirping of little birds
there were so many delicious moments when all I heard was the sound of my breathing.

Then I met this sign
: (
I didn't want to turn back
I was so happy to be outside, moving, with the sun on my face.
I took a moment to ponder and take these pics
I didn't want to go home
My body craves natural movement, fresh air, sweetness.
I promised to be good to the trail and the critters that live there

I moved on
and stumbled upon this
: (
I had nothing to do with creating it
the hole was there before I almost stumbled IN to it.

Here are my trekking poles to help give you perspective

Pretty big. Very Deep
I ventured on

Happy those sink holes are behind me
and everything looks pretty good from here
Happy Trails...

Actually, pretty slippy, muddy trails
Staying to the center of the trail
and enjoying the stillness and the serenity

I realized I was hearing something
that I have never heard on these trails
Could it really be the beautiful sound of running water?
Where is that sound coming from?

Wow! Right along the trail...
...moving water
more than a trickle
this water was actually really moving...

...moving soil
down the hill... another long stretch of moving water
...stronger, faster moving water...

...water strong enough to move mud and rocks
...and rocks as big as these!
...and more mud.
Time to take a left and take another trail.

Watch Out!
SHRUB slide!
Hmmm, wasn't expecting that
 guess I better turn around and head back.

This is looking back up the trail from which I came
Who would have expected the shrub slide to be right here
: /


That sure was one slippery section
as you can tell by my super-sexy Tevas covered in mud, it was mucky!

Even though I had to turn around after only 2.65 miles
(I was wearing Andrew's Garmin)
I was happy to have gotten some exercise in the great outdoors.
I could have easily, and safely kept going along the trails.
I have hiked in much worse conditions, in unexpected storms while backpacking.
However, out of respect for the trails, I decided it would be best to turn back.
I did feel slightly guilty for having gone so far
A little ashamed that I had not given Mother Nature a little more time to heal from the intense beating of 15.5 inches of rain it had been beaten with in one week.
I used the excuse that someone else had really wanted to be out there too.
There was one other set of footprints when I got on the trail.
(except for all the big kitty prints, some wild doggie prints, and bunny prints)
The human prints had to have come from a gentleman.
Large feet. Kept to the most considerate parts of the trail. Went past where I had turned left after I came across the big rock in the road.

I felt even even more guilty  when I came upon these sink holes
They hadn't been there when I started the hike
: (
I am happy that I had made the right decision to turn back

It is important to understand
that we are responsible for protecting the beauty and serenity that we crave.
Mother Nature needs to be honored and respected
not tortured and tamed for our pleasure
If all of us decided to trample along those trails on that day,
the impact would have been devastating
with the trails left scarred, vulnerable, and unappealing.

Hiking trails always puts a smile on my face
learning a lesson about respecting the signs
makes me even happier.

Happy Trails!
: )

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