Hiking Duck Pass Trail – Back on Track

Saturday morning I hit the trail early as we were heading back home before 11 am. My friend Marilyn from Hesperia had suggested this trail near Lake Mary. Gary was not up for hiking two days in a row so I headed out on my own. I was a little nervous as I had heard there were bears in the area but I went anyway. I had the opportunity to meet the The Bear Whisperer the day before so I felt a little less nervous.

IMG_3051The morning was cool and quiet. I headed up the less traveled trail at a starting elevation of 9,120 ft.. The first half hour is always the toughest because of the elevation.  The view of this pond was my first reward after a little over a mile.IMG_3034

I continue walking and taking my time.  I like to use my Map My Fitness app on my phone to keep track of my progress.  The first mile was about 1/2 hour.  It’s nice to be walking at my own speed and taking the quick breaks that I need to catch my breath and let my heart rate settle a bit. My next reward is Arrowhead Lake which is just up the trail a bit. I have seen only a fisherman on his way back to the trailhead.IMG_3036

Next is Skelton Lake and it is so worth the hike to see such a beautiful lake.  I wish I had someone to share it with. The trail is leveling out a bit so my time is improving and I have adjusted to the elevation.  I am now at an elevation of 9,915 ft. Below is a view of a small creek I had to cross. Such a beautiful hike so far.IMG_3039I am making good time and end up at Barney Lake about 8:10 am. I am feeling really good and elevation is not bothering me at all.  I figured this was a great place to turn around.  I took a quick break and some pictures. The trip down went really well.  I felt so good I even jogged a bit.  I made it back to the trailhead in 2 hours and 20 minutes with another 6.3 miles under my hiking shoes.  Not too bad.

            Barney Lake

Barney Lake – 10 203 ft

There is so much time to think when you are out in the wilderness alone.  Family, life, work, hiking Mt. Whitney, etc.  This hike is just what I needed to get back on track for my hike to Mt. Whitney. I have been mentally struggling with this hike for some time.  I now feel ready to accomplish this goal I have set for myself.  I just have to remember to hike my hike. Take the time it takes.

Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.Vince Lombardi

Hiking with Gary

I had an opportunity to be in Mammoth Lakes this weekend for a short trip. Friday I set my alarm so I could go for a short walk before my day started. The weather was really nice and a nice change from the heatwave in Hesperia. I took a nice 5 mile walk up and down Lake Mary Rd. It was all up hill and scenery was just amazing.  I made great time and the elevation didn’t seem to bother me.


Late in the afternoon we took a tram to Devil’s Postpile as Gary had never been to Mammoth and I wanted share this beautiful area with him.  We hiked 1/2 mile to the amazing monument.  If you have never been, it’s an interesting rock formation that continues to change over the years. We then made our way another 2.5 miles across the valley to Rainbow Falls.  Gary led the way the entire hike.  We have only hiked together 3 times, but you would think he does it all the time.  He makes it look so easy.  The falls were beautiful.IMG_3023

This area suffered a major fire in 1992.  You can still see the burn area recovering slowly. There are sections of the forest where the trees are slowly growing back.IMG_3007

Gary is out of his element but still enjoying the views.  It was nice to share my love of the outdoors with him.


A Break From Hiking

imageMy weekend started with a visit to see Anthony, Sol and Juliet. We went to have lunch near the Padres Stadium before Sol and Anthony went off to work.  I spent all afternoon with Juliet. Such is the wonderful life of a grandma.

Friday evening I drive to visit my cousin Nilda in San Clemente for the rest of the weekend. Early Saturday morning we took a nice 5 mile walk on the beach. What a difference in elevation walking at sea level in 70 degree weather. We even had a light rain while having breakfast near the beach.

imageWe headed over San Juan Capistrano to  see the town since I had never been there. We ended up in a butterfly sanctuary followed by a movie “The Chef” which was great, if you’re a foodie it’s a must see. Funny and for the entire family.  A little bit of everything for everyone including some latin music and yummy food scenes.image

Next is an early dinner at one of Nilda’s favorite Mexican hole in the wall places in SJC. Authentic Mexican food, I had taquitos and Mexican bread to go for tomorrow’s breakfast.  Nilda had tacos. The portions are huge. imageAfter dinner we are off to a beautiful mass at the Mission Basilica. A beautiful church in SJC.  The sermon was amazing, about wheat and weeds.  What a great day we had and that was just Saturday. The day was full of good times with Nilda.  She is such a pleasure to be around.