Tag Archives: Park

THAT’S NOT A STICK! THAT’S A RATTLESNAKE!

BOMMER RIDGE-OLD EMERALD AND OLD EMERALD CANYON TRAILS LOOP

LAGUNA COAST WILDERNESS

Activity: Day Hike

7 miles, 912’ elevation gain, 3.5 hour duration, rated Moderate

Date: 8-17-20

I was enjoying a lovely Summer hike in the South Coast Wilderness, which is made up of multiple County and State Parks. This is my go to area that is close to where I live and a splendid place to hike.

I was walking along looking at my phone and reviewing the course that I was taking on my Hiking APP. Yes, I know that is a good way to trip, fall, walk of a cliff, into quicksand, a bear trap, a ravine or any number of bad predicaments. Add another to that list… I look down, half paying attention and I am about to step on what looks like a stick stretched out across my path. Suddenly I realize THAT’S NOT A STICK! THAT’S A RATTLESNAKE!  I alerted some approaching mountain bikers and we watched the poisonous viper slither off into the underbrush. 

Being an Adventure Blogger I have now run into numerous venomous vipers and this was a big’n! Thank goodness I looked down when I did and that I was at least paying half attention.

I have learned from some research that Rattlesnakes maybe vicious mindless killers, but that is towards their prey, and they want nothing to do with man. They aren’t lying in wait to attack you and they don’t hunt or chase after you. What you do not want to do with any wild animal is corner or threaten it, because that is when you might find that you have more on your hands then you bargained for. Most snakebites happen when a person is going after the snake, which could include a snake handler. Also snakebites can occur when a person has accidentally stepped on it. The snake I saw was big, but actually the younger, smaller rattlesnakes are the most deadly. This might seem surprising, but the truth of the matter is the juveniles do not know how much venom to use so they use it all. The adult snake has learned to use just enough to get the job done and not waste it’s resources. 

The rattlesnake may or may not alert you to it’s presence with that famous rattle. If you hear that rattle then it is probably in a coiled, striking position. But like I said it may not even rattle. A seminar I attended said that this trait of rattling maybe getting engineered out of their bein. A snake rattling maybe attacked and killed by a farmer where if it did not rattle then they may never know that they are in the area.  The rattler gets killed, but the silent snake lives on and reproduces. That is called natural selection. It hardly seems fair, that the snake doesn’t warn you.

The first big rattlesnake I saw was in Las Vegas. I had a pretty good idea where on the trail it was after I heard screams and I could see up on the mountain where the hikers were fleeing. Even after the report from the hikers as well as tossing stones into the brush did not get the snake to rattle. Plus it blended in perfectly with the bush it was under which was basically right on the tiny trail. I did not see it until it was within striking distance and it scared the living daylights out of me, no rattle, no warning, but thankfully no strike.

If you are wondering if it might be snake season a rule of thumb to whether snakes maybe out is if you see lizards on the trail then the snakes are active as well. Snakes are cold blooded so at temperatures below 60 degrees they are slow and temperatures above 95 could kill them. They are most active in Spring and Fall and during the morning and evening. In the Summer during the heat of the day they would rather find a cool spot such as underground. So pay attention, watch where you step, where you sit, and where you put your hands. 

Back to the hike. As I have said in the past, the great thing about hiking this area is there are a lot of trails so that you can piece together the type of hike that you are up for that day. Today’s hike was moderate in length, elevation gain, and exercise. It provided great views of the surrounding terrain that included the hills and canyons of Laguna Coast Wilderness as well as Crystal Cove State Park, the mountains off in the distance and the blue tranquil Pacific down below. Great place to hike, keep an eye peeled for snakes.

Besides almost becoming a victim the other thing that stood out about this adventure was I met a young mountain biker and his Dad on a steep section of the trail. They were enjoying their day together out tackling the rolling hills of Laguna Coast Wilderness. The 10 year old boy was doing a great job. This was his last hoorah before having to buckle down and hit the books again as he began the 5th Grade. Good stuff! Good day.

Checkout the video of the Rattler that I almost stepped on.
Look how when it is not moving it resembles the nearby stick. But “That is No Stick! That’s a Rattlesnake!
“Everyone knew that you should never provoke a Rattlesnake, must less tie it in a bow. But that didn’t stop Judd. What did stop him was the rattlesnake.” – Demetri Martin

When I said that ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’ was about profound experiences in nature having a close call with a deadly rattlesnake is not exactly what I had in mind. This is just a reminder that no matter how much we love nature, it does not mean that nature is going to love us back. When you are out in the wilderness, just like navigating life, you need to be aware, and with that awareness you can enjoy your experience in nature more safely and find that balance between our busy, crazy, hurry up existence and offset that with the beauty and adventure of nature. For more adventure and profound experiences join me right here by leaving a LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE. For more spots to choose from please check out the menu above for many more outings throughout the West. Each is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. Why not pick up some top quality Adventure Wear with the PBTA logo at SHOP APPAREL?

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

BOMMER RIDGE, BIG BEND and LAGUNA RIDGE Loop Trail

LAGUNA COAST WILDERNESS PARK 

Activity: Day Hike

9.5 Miles, 1,900’ elevation gain, 5 hour duration, rated Hard

8-6-20

This trek through Laguna Coast Wilderness Park starts in a neighborhood in Laguna Beach. As you climb up you get a $Million$ Dollar View, but where this hike differs from previously hiking in this area is where it dips down a mountain bike trail towards Laguna Canyon Road. (Be advised that Laguna Coast Wilderness as of June 2021 has made some new designations deeming certain trails as Mountain Bike Trails and certain trails as Hiking Trails so you might have to revise your hike somewhat.)

Part of the trail was definitely made with serious mountain bikers in mind as I spied built up ramping for high speed hairpin turns. I interviewed a Mountain Biker at the bottom of the hill on Laguna Canyon Road. I tried to get video of him as I could hear him coming down as I stepped off the trail, but he was too speedy. I mentioned, “that looks like a pretty challenging route, with rough spots, rocks, drop offs ducking branches, and even spots where a rider gets launched. He said “yeah”, with a smirking grin. I noticed he had a chest mounted camera. I confessed,  “whenever I’m on steep hard pack and dust, and attempt to brake I seem to slide and then I’m in trouble.” He replied, “I  try not to brake and just concentrate on the line.”  I’m thinking to myself, wow I don’t want to be going that fast. He obviously was an accomplished rider.  

Heading up from Laguna Canyon Road on Big Bend Trail, you know it’s hard when your heels don’t touch.  Usually when there is this sort of a gain in altitude all at once they put in switch backs… Not Big Bend. Even though it is an all at once climb and seemingly straight up I would rather take that challenge head on then be coming down that steep dusty trail and be slipping and sliding.

My personal tracker revealed that I had travel more miles then that 8 miles that my app noted.  My personal miles were at 9.5 miles.  Whether it is 8 miles or over 9 miles this journey had many good attributes to it. Very scenic with breath taking views of the Pacific and Laguna Beach, great exercise both in effort as well in length of journey.

“When we walk like we are rushing we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth… Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Another fun outing in nature the sky, the water, the hills, cactus and wildflowers, walking, hiking, just enjoying the day. It is all about ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’ taking off that heavy pack of work work work, rush here and rush there, cleaning and chores, care for the kids and all of the everyday things that are needed to exist. Those are just some of the things that are a must, but you need to find a balance… to bring you back towards center. Profound experiences in nature can do bring that much needed balance. So every once in a while take off that heavy work back and trade it for a lighter day back. Stay with me for the next adventure. You can do that by these simple efforts: FOLLOW, LIKE, SHARE and COMMENT. The menu above is a guide to many more places that PBTA travels to. Check them out- maybe you will want to add them to your To Do List along with grocery shopping, dental appointments, mowing the lawn, and cleaning out the garage. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. SHOP APPAREL is an excellent source for Adventure Wear and sports that ever important mantra to help keep things in check.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Mentally Sensitive Trail Loop

ALISO AND WOODS CANYONS REGIONAL PARK

LAGUNA BEACH

Activity: Day Hike

4.5 miles, 880’ elevation change, >2 hour duration, rated Hard

Date: 7-29-20

I thought this was sort of an interesting name for the trail and wondered how it came to be named “Mentally Sensitive Trail.” Could it be that it was a steep trail and you need to be prepared and in the proper frame of mind?  Could it be a thought such as “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure”, where the goal of this blog is to be out enjoying nature in a rather robust and adventurous activity seeking to find a balance between the crazy work a day world of hurry up, deadlines and performance with a more zen like feeling from nature.

It turns out that the Park Rangers back in the late 80’s and early 90’s were trying a more positive message instead of No Overnight Camping, No Biking, No Hiking… No, no, no! They attempted a more politically correct feel with “Environmentally Sensitive Area” hoping people would get the hint and would stay out of protect nesting grounds for instance.  Well the “Outlaw” mountain bikers went anyway not being able to help themselves when they saw the challenge of this steep descent dropping into the canyon below. The bikers, according to the ranger, scratched off the “Enviro” part of the sign leaving only “mentally Sensitive” and the name stuck. It has since become an official trail, and that being said, be on the lookout for mountain bikers on the narrow hairpin switch backs. 

I did the trail counter clockwise.  If I do it again I will switch. The trail starts out at a park which provides a bathroom. The way down the trail is rough, steep, with as I said, hairpin turns. The trail has some rocks and drops. It is single track, hard pack with a dusting of dirt making is slippery and somewhat treacherous. My trek back up was more open with sweeping turns and not as rough of a trail. The trail end empties to a place I am very familiar with from my mountain biking, Aliso Woods. 

One hiker greeted me in German. I answered in German that I didn’t speak German. He was impressed saying that many people don’t even recognize his speech as German. What he said to me is you have to be strong to do this hike. He is right. 

A woman warned me of a rattlesnake on the trail. It must have been a good size as she said she believed it had just ate a gopher, and thus was fat and lazy which is far better that aggressive and dangerous. Well, it is still dangerous, but mostly if you are intentionally disturbing it, but accidentally stepping on it I am sure would unfortunately end with the same result. The poisonous and deadly viper was gone when I went by. 

I enjoyed the hike as it had many fun elements to it.  It is a pretty area, and because of the steep terrain I suppose could be “Mentally Sensitive” while ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure.‘

PBTA YouTube Channel
I have a therapist. Her name is nature.

Thanks for joining me on this “Mentally Sensitive“ trek ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. To stay connected with PBTA for more fun outings please FOLLOW, LIKE, COMMENT, and SHARE. If you click on the menu above you will see more areas that PBTA ventures to on your behalf. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. Go to SHOP APPAREL for your adventure wear wants and needs.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Castaways Park Loop

NEWPORT BEACH

Activity: Day Hike, Scenic Views

2.5 miles, elevation change 30’, 1 hour duration, rated Easy

A nice little hike with some scenic views of Newport Harbor. I started this hike with my friend Adam. I think in all the hikes that I have done with Adam he has finished like only a couple. First of all, he is really not a hiker, I have to say. Secondly, he is easily distracted with long stops for photos, and to smell the roses, so to speak. Heaven forbid if he should run into tourists. He quickly becomes a tour guide and will spend an exorbitant amount of time filling them in on all the ‘Must Do’s’ in the area. “Have you been to Pirates Cove?” If he sees anyone taking pictures his first question is would you like me to get a picture of both of you? At that point they should just run, because otherwise the one quick pic becomes a complete photo shoot and he is posing the entire family. So I just shake my head and continue on the hike. That Adam is a real character, to say the least.

But I digress, back to the Castaways Park Loop Hike. We started the hike in the parking area almost under the bridge on PCH then headed towards Back Bay along the little sandy beach with the bluff above. The hike then goes up the steep bluff. Once on top there are sweet views of Newport Harbor and the Back Bay. There is a pedestrian byway along the back of expensive homes and the bluff which leads to Castaways Park.

The park has some grassy areas, and then some fantastic tributes to the US Marines. There is signage regarding the foliage and also information on the history of the park and area. From there I just wound down the hill and made my way back to the car in the lot near the bridge, because of course I lost Adam along that sandy beach at the very beginning, lol.

Newport Beach Harbor leading toward the Back Bay with famed Fashion Island in the distance.

Thanks for joining Adam and I while ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’, well… we were pursuing that balance together for at least a good five minutes, before Adam stopped to examine something or other, lol. Stay in touch with us by these simple moves: COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW. If you go up to the menu you will get some great ideas for your own chance for that balance that we speak so fondly of between the busy, hectic, craziness of our everyday lives to a more stress free, harmonious existence through adventures in nature. The locations you see in the menu are all separate websites and thus need to be FOLLOWED independently. Please pick up a top quality, high performance PBTA hat or a shirt, that will help support this website, at SHOP APPAREL .

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

MOUNTAIN BIKING CRYSTAL COVE

CRYSTAL COVE STATE PARK

NEWPORT COAST

Activity: Mountain Biking

This blog is mostly about hiking, there is not a lot of backpacking in Orange County, but there is a lot of mountain biking, so this post is about that. There is some great mountain biking in the OC and Crystal Cove is a super spot with about 24 miles or so of trails that range from beginner to expert.

Crystal Cove State Park is the county’s largest open space with 2,400 acres of wilderness and beach. It is available from 6 AM to Dusk.

Crystal Cove is basically a coastal canyon with splendid views from up top, as well as from the ridges. Phenomenal visions of the magical blue Pacific and sweet views of Catalina Island reward those ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure.’ On a clear day San Clemente Island juts out of the ocean as a pleasant surprise since you don’t always see it.

The Park’s vegetation is mostly coastal chaparral some of which is pretty dense other spots are dry and rugged. In the bottom of the deep canyon is a wonderful grove of oak to provide some nice shade to an otherwise pretty sunny place.

There are big broad double track fire road paths that gain and loose elevation almost like you were on a programmed piece of gym equipment, but you are out enjoying the environment for a natural workout. Mountain bikers will get a good thigh burn climbing, and on the long descending stretches will really blast off, but be cognizant of the many hikers.

There are not as many single track trails, but they are fun and will leave you with a grin from ear to ear, as you weave like a snake, (by the way, keep an eye peeled for rattlesnakes), through the chaparral. When you’re doing all of this weaving just make sure you lean to the inside especially when there is a patch of cactus to the outside.

Crystal Cove State Park has a good community of nature lovers. Other mountain bikers are happy to provide trail information. Hikers are generous to step off the trail and let a biker by. Hikers and bikers alike greet each other with a friendly smile and a wave.

The other day I was winding along single track and a more advanced rider caught me from behind. I felt the need to push it since he was right on my 6, but he made sure to let me know to take my time, be safe, and that it’s all good.

Crystal Cove is a fabulous place to feel like you are out in nature and provides a little taste of wilderness, especially when you are down in the canyon portion with hills all around. If you think about it- that is pretty special when you are pretty much smack dab in the thriving metropolis of Newport and Laguna Beach.

That being said, the weekends can get pretty busy as this is a popular spot and with the pandemic it seems that hiking and biking are now one of the favorite activities instead of crowded gyms.

A cool thing about this area is that you can easily connect it to other nearby wilderness parks such as Laguna Coast Wilderness, Boomer Canyon, and Irvine Open Space which would then give you a net work of more than 50 miles of trail.

Thanks for joining my sailing and mountain biking buddy Steve and I on our mountain biking adventures at Crystal Cove, fun times to be sure! What a place to spend a couple hours, and as often as possible. I did not talk about individual trails, but if you go back and look at ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure- Orange County Hiking“ and review posts that concern Crystal Cove you will find pictures and stories regarding individual routes: No Name Ridge/Mach One/Boomer Ridge is one such trek, No Name Ridge/No Dogs/Moro Canyon/W. Cut Across/Rattlesnake/Red Tail/Boomer Ridge is another, No Name Ridge/Ticketron/Deer Canyon/Red Tail Ridge/Boomer Ridge Loop is a variation with some other trails mixed in. You can see the whole idea is there are a lot of different trails at Crystal Cove so you can mix and match trails depending on the difficulty you are seeking as well as how long you would like to ride. Keep in mind they are from a hiking prospective, but most of the hiking trails are also mountain biking trails. Conversely some of the popular single track mountain biking sections you will find hikers on them.

Hey do you like the logo performance gear in my picture? Need a technical sports shirt, hat, or face gator? Then virtually bike on over to SHOP APPAREL.

‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ seeks shelter from this crazy world of ours and some peace by experiencing soulful spots all over the West. Checkout the menu above for a compass pointing to Adventure. If you enjoyed this post then please LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW, and SHARE.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Salt Creek Trail Western Route

LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIFORNIA

Activity: Day Hike

Date: October 28, 2019

Distance 6.1 miles, 705’ elevation change, duration 2+ hours, rated Easy

We left from the Salt Creek Beach Park pay parking lot near the Laguna Niguel Ritz Carlton, which by the way- I think is a magnificent hotel, and the location perched on top of a cliff with the sparking blue pacific, tide pools, and a golden beach which boasts blue-green waters like you generally don’t see in California. The view is simply breathtaking, the location is unmatched.

We took the road that is just to the North of the Ritz Carlton property which runs beside a charming green belt little park like area until you reach the beach. We turned north and along this path is were you will join the Salt Creek Trail, which is part of OC Parks.

As I said, Salt Creek is really a marvelous beach with a nice little break and the water is so crystal clear that the colors are really different from most SoCal beaches. It is a splendid spot to spend the day. But we were here for a hike to not only take in the sights, but to stretch our legs, breath some fresh air, and enjoy.

This trail is used by walkers, bikers, and joggers. It’s main purpose would be for local residents to gain access to the nature of the little canyon, which it runs through, but also the beach. It runs past the Monarch Beach Resort and it’s golf resort, which adds to the beauty of the locale with it’s green links, reedy marsh area and exquisite landscaping. This outing is what I would refer to as a urban hike. I am all about wilderness, but in order to be ready for wilderness hikes and backpacking adventure you have to work your way up and this is a great way to do it, especially with views like those of Salt Creek.

Once I completed my trek up the Salt Creek Trail and back down I of course needed to spend some time out on that beautiful beach so I hiked along Monarch Beach, Salt Creek Beach, and Dana Strand Beach.

Views of Monarch Beach
Move the body, still the mind.

Always good to go for a walk and the starting point and the ending point awwwwesommmee… Thanks for joining us for this outing, lots more to come so come on COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW. Checkout the menu above for the many different places that ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ explores. They are all separate sites and thus need to be followed individually. Why not get a hat or a shirt at SHOP APPAREL? Until next time.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park

Near Foothill Ranch, California

This park, not unlike others of this sort in Southern California, has oak tree wooded canyons, rolling hills of grassland, and steep slopes covered with coastal chaparral, and it is a great place to hike. What is different is Red Rock Canyon, as you meander through that portion of the park you will be transported to Arizona, Nevada, or Utah- a little bit of canyon lands.

There are quite a few trails and the park is a multi use area for hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders, so you will be sharing the trail.

The park has quite a few mountain lion warnings signs posted as well as on their website and for good reason. In January 2020 a small boy was out in front of a group of adults and a mountain lion grabbed him by the neck. The lion released him when the father threw his backpack at him. The top carnivore exchanged the toddler for the pack and took the backpack up into a tree.

Over a decade and a half ago a mountain biker was killed while stooped over working on his bike. Later that day two women were attacked by the same animal. The cougar had one of them by the head as her friend fought the lion in a deadly game of keep away, foiling the attempt by the predator to drag the woman into the brush. While Orange County Sheriff Deputies were hunting the killer, it turns out that surveillance from an overhead support helicopter, using infrared, spotted the mountain lion on an embankment above the officers hunting them.

Mountain lions are beautiful animals and in most cases you will never know that they are there, but should you encounter one make yourself as large as possible, wave your arms, and shout, throw things at it, let it know you are not prey, and fight back with all you got. Always report any sighting to a Ranger as soon as possible. Mountain lions are ambush killers, will take you from behind and if they get the back of your neck… So use caution, travel in groups, and I carry a big knife. Probably won’t do me any good, but I imagine one having me by the back of the neck and me trying to stab it in the face while trying not to stab myself. Any attack on humans is extremely rare. In most cases they want nothing to do with you. You are not it’s food, and besides they have to pick their battles, an injury to such an animal will keep it from doing it’s job, eating.

We parked at the top of the park off of Santiago Canyon Road and entered at Gate #10. That put us on Whiting Spur Road and which took us to Four Corners, aptly named because from there you have four paths from which to choose. We explored Water Tank Road and then took Mustard Road, which is rated Difficult, to Red Rock Canyon Trail. As I mentioned, this sandstone rock canyon is unusual for this area and was fun to explore. Afterwards we split up as my friend Adam, who is not much of a hiker, took his time continuing downhill taking Borrego Trail not wanting to tackle the climb back out. The plan was I would meet him later in the day at the bottom of the park.

I went on to explore Cattle Pond Loop, just a short side excursion, and then up to Vista Lookout the highest point in the park at 1,500’ for a view of the entire area. Then retraced my steeps, but instead of staying on Mustard Road the entire journey I took Billy Goat Trail, another Difficult route. Billy Goat was a great hike, you know it is a hard trail when you heels aren’t touching as you head up. The trail was up and down and all around with a some switchbacks thrown in for good measure. There was one steep section of trail I was climbing and thankfully I was climbing into the sun or I might not have seen the silhouette of a large spider web with a half dollar sized spider in the middle about face height. After playing darts tossing rocks at it so that I could clear the web, I forged ahead and completed my exploration of this wonderful Park, Whiting Ranch Wilderness.

Thanks for joining Adam and I on this hiking adventure. We enjoyed Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and need to go back and do some more ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. For more adventures please COMMENT, FOLLOW, LIKE, and SHARE. For your adventure pleasure please checkout the menu as ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ travels to many different areas and be aware that each site in independent and thus needs to be FOLLOWED individually. I would appreciate it if you checkout SHOP APPAREL, a great place for adventure wardrobe and a place where you can help support PBTA.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, ’Pursing Balance Through Adventure’

Crystal Cove State Park

No Name Ridge/Ticketron/Deer Canyon/Red Tail Ridge/Bommer Ridge Loop

South Coast Wilderness

Near Newport Beach

Activity: Day Hike

Date: October 2019

Distance: 3.7 miles, 583’ elevation change, 90 minute duration, rated Easy

Crystal Cove is my Goto hike. It is in close proximity to my home, it boasts stupendous blue Pacific and Catalina Island views, pleasant coastal canyons, rambling hills, oak tree groves infused with fairy-tale light, and a good amount of elevation change.

I have hiked all of the trails in Crystal Cove State Park and mountain biked on a bunch of them as well. The cool thing is with all the trails in this park you can really mix and match what you are up for that day. You can decide on how steep, how long, how much time, if you want to see the top, if you want to see the bottom, which has a great beach, the middle portion has a coastal canyon, wide trails or hardly a trail, and parts of the park are more remote than others. There are some very fun mountain bike runs, and there are some pretty hard ones as well.

Then if that is not exciting enough at the top of the park, which is where I usually launch from, is right where three different portions of the South Coast Wilderness come together: Crystal Cove State Park, City of Irvine Open Space Preserve, and Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. So lots of choices.

The hike that I did was just what I was feeling for that Fall day. Not too long, not too short, not difficult, but there is one steep section that will get your heart pumping, scenic, and part of it is more remote. It goes from wide open broad fire road to single track with brush that is sometimes over groan, but most of the time the park keeps everything pretty ship shape. There is a smooth rock area that has a little opening which is fun to poke your head in. Something a little unusual. There are two spots in the park that can be camped at and Deer Canyon, which my hike took me past, is one of them. This could be a good place for a first time backpacking overnighted.

Crystal Cove State Park is a good playground for those who want to stretch their legs, get some fresh air in their lungs, and shake off the world for a little bit, and of course train for other outings. In other words it is a good spot to be ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’.

Hiking is the answer. Who cares what the question is.

When you cannot get into the backcountry, to the fir trees, to the mountains, to the lonely desert, you still need to get somewhere, and local hikes that are still fun, enjoyable, with open space, and nature fit the bill. Besides if you aren’t doing smaller training hikes then those epic adventures are going to be rough. Thanks for joining me on such as hike at Crystal Cove State Park while ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure. Now you should COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE, and FOLLOW. If you need hiking-adventure-workout-casual ware then I got just the place for you: SHOP APPAREL which is also how you can support this blog.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Little Sycamore Canyon/Serrano Ridge/West Canyon Loop

LAGUNA COAST WILDERNESS PARK

ALISO VIEJO, CALIFORNIA

Activity: Day Hike

Date: 9-25-19

Distance: 4.2 miles, 665’ elevation change, 2 hour duration, rated Moderate.

I have hiked in this area multiple times and it is a super place to hike. The only problem I have with it is the park borders busy freeways and roadways. As a Wilderness lover, a peace and quiet lover, a tranquil and natural lover- the further I get away from the noise of the outside world the better. So this particular hike was an attempt to improve upon an earlier hike I posted. That earlier outing I loved the interior portions of the hike, but was disappointed in the parts that had vehicles visible or even within earshot. The route of this hike covered more of the good parts of the previous hike and less of what I did not enjoy. It was a little shorter, and being where this park is located, did as I have stated, have sights and sounds that were not conducive to my ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ zen like moments I was craving, however it was an improvement so with that goal in mind it was a success. Once again the interior was really nice.

There is a $3 Parking fee and a nice Visitor Center to checkout. Great hike.

“When life gets you down, tell it to go take a hike.” -Roger Jenkins
Pursuing Balance Through Adventure 

I would like to thank you very much for following me as together we are ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. As I write this post we are in the mist of a world wide crises, the Corona Virus Crisis. The news coverage brings home fear, stress, apprehension, sadness, but it also bring thoughts of thankfulness for the medical community and first responders that are on the front line of this war on a germ. The strange thing is to get through this we need to stand as a community, as together we must all be more vigilant about sanitation and hygiene , but on the other hand we must stand alone with social distancing so as not to propagate this danger further. So what can we do besides prepare with sanitary chemicals, stock up, (not hoard), on essentials like food, medicine, toilet paper (I think everyone as gone a bit overboard on that as I have not seen a store yet that is not sold out and the entire paper isle bare), this seems to be the era of instead of Y2K, YTP lol. We can do our social distancing, we have all given up on going out to eat, or the gym, or the movies, sporting events from youth all the way through to professional. At this time we have closed all institutions of learning for online education, and places of faith for online church, or just praying on our own. So in a matter of a little more than a week the whole world has turned upside down. I don’t know about you, but I am certainly feeling the stress worrying about my family, my friends, my world… The stock market has in a short amount of time lost so much of what took so long to gain. Stress, apprehension, fear, sadness seems to be the new norm. The opposite of what I try to promote with ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ . If you follow my different PBTA blogs you know that I like to quote an Adventurer, Naturalist, Poet, or other lover of nature, and adventure under the PBTA logo slide, but today I have posted a Roger Jenkins PBTA orginal that I take to heart “When life gets you down, tell it to go take a hike.” Doctors are saying that we need exercise to keep our immune system up, that sunlight provides not only vitamin D, but I saw one place that said that the Corona Virus is killed by it, (not sure if that was from a reputable source or not, but certainly a little vitamin D is good for us.), so I say, if you are not on ‘Shelter in Place‘ or ‘Lockdown‘ of course, that going for a hike can do a body good, is good for the psyche, and has always been good for the soul.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Barbara’s Lake Loop

Dilley’s Preserve, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Activity: Day Hike

Date: July 10, 2019

Distance: 3 miles, 350′ elevation change, 1 hour duration, rated Easy

Dilley’s Preserve is named after an advocate for green belts and natural land set aside for the enjoyment of it’s residents.  This particular hike in Laguna Coast Wilderness I have to say is not my favorite.  It is cool to see a natural lake in a dry arid environment, after all Southern California is basically a desert on the beach, but it is not quite the soul searching place that I am seeking while “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure”.  It’s not that it doesn’t have nice trails, rolling hills, and nature because it does, but it also has a busy roadway that if it is not in view, is in earshot, except when you are down in the canyon area and the sound of the bees pollinating the flowers just about drowns out the traffic noise.

The hike is easy and starts out relatively flat until you get past the lake then you get the elevation change pretty quickly.  You are now moving away from the freeway, but you at once can see that the entire property boarders neighborhoods.  So in my view this is nice for the people in the nearby neighborhoods to have an area to stretch their legs, but there are better hikes in the Laguna Coast Wilderness.

This row of pictures show some of the various paths, some you need to watch your footing.

"Jobs fill your pockets but adventures fill your soul."
“Jobs fill your pockets but adventures fill your soul.”

Barbara's Lake Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ attempts to inspire your adventurous passions for nature and so that you can find balance in your life.  Join me next time for more adventure as we all seek balance.  Please COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, & SHARE, and hey check out the new ‘Pursuing Balance Thru Adventure’ apparel by clicking on Shop Apparel.

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure