Friday Evening Hike on Blue Ridge

Friday afternoon we took to the mountains as the desert is still up in the 90’s and 100’s.IMG_0810 IMG_0811IMG_0815

Jodie really rocked the hike today. She was upfront most of the time. Yeah.

Jodie really rocked the hike today. She was upfront most of the time. Yeah.


IMG_0817The weather was a little cooler up in Wrightwood so we decided to try the Blue Ridge Trail from the Inspiration Point parking lot.

Taking a break.

                       Taking a break.

This was a 6 mile hike that we presumed would not be too difficult.  WE were in for a BIG surprise. This hike had an elevation gain of 1,550 ft.  We completed the hike in 2 hours and 40 minutes  with a few short breaks and our pace was about 29 minutes a mile.  There were some long steep climbs.  Patty Flores, my sister decided she was ready to come back from her break and this hike gave her a glimpse of what she has been missing.  She toughed it out, got it done and never complained.  I have missed hiking with her so I was glad to have her along.  Jodie and her daughter, Angelica and Mark joined us as well.

“What to Wear”

Sunday afternoon I spent some time with my Tia Juana, she and I  embroidered my initials on my clothes and my secondary backpack.  My smaller backpack will be used to travel on the plane and carry a few essentials and  in case I want to send my large one ahead to the next Alburgue.  Take a look at the beautiful job we did (Juana did almost all of them). Click on picture to get a closer look.  I choose the location and the thread colors. I read that on occasion people take your clothes while they are drying on the clothesline. I will be taking two long sleeve shirts, one short sleeve and one sleeveless shirt and two pair of pants that double as shorts.  That is it.

My clothes for my 15 day camino through Spain.

My clothes for my 15 day camino through Spain.

I also spent the rest of the afternoon with my mother.  She shared her vacation photos from her trip to Spain in 2002 and suggested many beautiful sites for us to possibly see.  She also let me borrow her book on Spain which contains lots of photos, food and history that we can peruse before we leave.

Book on Spain

Book on Spain

Six weeks until we leave. Starting to feel the excitement building.

Vincent Gap to Baden Powell to Islip Saddle

The Three Amigos

The Three Amigos

Angelica, Mark and I walked almost 12 miles in about 6 hours today.  What a workout we had along with a great time.  We finally found a trail name for Mark, “Little Jimmy Springs”.

San Gabriel Dam in the distance.

San Gabriel Dam in the distance.

We were able to see the San Gabriel Dam from one of the peaks. It was pretty cool.  We also saw a group of kids who were walking from Vincent Gap to the Bridge to Nowhere which is in the San Gabriel Mtns.

Again we saw some amazing scenery as well as a lot of burned trees from one of the fires.

Isn' this beautiful?

Isn’t this picture perfect beautiful?

There were quite a few people taking advantage of the great weather as well as a few trail runners who are in training for a 100 mile run through the mountains.

Big Horn Mine Trail

July 12, 2013 we head back to Wrightwood. There are quite a few trails that span the Wrightwood area. We decided to take the Big Horn Mine Trail.  The trail head said the trail was 4.5 miles.  The hike was beautiful but only 2 miles.  As we arrive at the end of the trail we see the Big Horn Mine.  It is hard to imagine how they might have built this structure into the side of the mountain.  We took the time to explore this magnificent piece of history.

Big Horn Mine

Big Horn Mine

More MIne Trail Photo

More MIne Trail Photo

Once we were done exploring we headed back down the trail but decided that a 4 mile hike would just not be enough.  After all we are in training for our Spain trip and so we went back to another trail head and walked another 2 miles and saw a totally different landscape just a few 100 feet from our original trail.  The trails and meadows were just beautiful.

Vincent Gap Meadow

Vincent Gap Meadow

I decided to take my backpack on this trip as I continue to prepare for carrying it for 200 miles.

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Vincent Gap to Baden Powell

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Today Angelica, Mark and I hiked another local mountain trail in Wrightwood. Again making the best of the day we started our climb a little after 6 am.  Early is the best time to hike in this heatwave we are experiencing here in So Cal. We started with a temperature of about 69 degrees and finished at about 10:30 am with the temperature at about 82 degrees.

 

 

The temperature in Spain today was 100 so our heatwave is a great way for us to get acclimated to temperatures we may experience while hiking the Camino.

You can see the sun peeking through the trees as we start our ascent of 2,500 ft in 4 miles.

You can see the sun peeking through the trees as   we start our ascent of 2,500 ft in 4 miles.

This trail was pretty much all up hill for 4 miles with 40 switchbacks, nice trails and great views.  The elevation gain was 2,500 ft in 4 miles.  If you are not familiar with elevation gain that is pretty steep. We took about 8 rest stops to catch our breath and let our heart rate drop back to normal.  My average heart rate at rest is about 75, today it reached as high as 160 at one point with an average of  118.

We reached the top in about two hours which is pretty great as this hike is rated as strenuous.  The views were spectacular as you could stand on Limber Spine and see both sides of the mountain.

Limber Spine

Limber Spine

We take a break, have a snack, enjoy the views and great weather and make a plan to come back next week to take the same trail, but next week we will continue another 7.2 miles to Islip Saddle.  We will have to leave a car at either end of this hike as we are not ready to hike 22 miles round trip.

At the top and still smiling.

At the top and still smiling.

Well hydrated and rested we head back down the hill which takes us about 1 1/2 hours and head over to Grizzly Cafe in Wrightwood for a nice meal and more discussions about our trip to Spain.

4th of July Hike from Grassy Hollow to Vincent Gap via PCT

My cousin Nilda and cousin Anna were in town for the funeral of my Mom’s oldest sister, Tia Fela, earlier in the week. It was an opportunity to see the familia under less than perfect circumstances.  We will miss her as she had a sense of humor and was not shy about speaking her mind. It was nice to spend time with her at the end of her life.

 

Angelica and Mark in the back, Anna to my right, Andi and Nilda in front

Angelica and Mark in the back, Anna to my right, Andi and Nilda in front

We decided to take a day to enjoy nature, get out of the heat of the desert and spend some time together under the best of circumstances. Six of us decided to get up early and take to the local mountains in Wrightwood via the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).  I may have mentioned the PCT runs from Deep Creek in Hesperia all the way through Wrightwood and beyond.

 

The girls trekking through the forest.   My new poles in upper left had corner.

The girls trekking through the forest.
My new poles in upper left had corner.

 


I decided to put on my almost completely filled “Camino” backpack that weighed 17 pounds to date.  I was in for a big surprise.  Angelica and I had previously completed this hike with a light backpack.

IMG_0751Although it was a bit difficult in places it no way compared to hiking with a 17 pound backpack.  Needless to say I was trailing behind anytime we had a climb.  This hike was about 7.5 miles with an elevation gain of about 1,000 ft. We completed this hike in 3 hrs and 22 minutes which include a quick snack break and many gasping for air breaks.

The weather cooperated and a great time was had by all.

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