Tag Archives: Southern California

Buck Gully Trail


Activity: Day Hike

4.5 miles, 450’ elevation change, duration 2 hours, rated Easy

Date: 7-23-20

This is a nice little trail in the Corona Del Mar community. Single track with a little creek running through it with plush green vegetation and much of the hike is shaded. It is quite delightful and a hidden gem for those in the area.

Near the end of the trail is a fork. My app said to take the trail to the right. There is a trail, but it doesn’t go far nor does it go anywhere. If you go to the left it takes you up to San Joaquin Hills Rd which is another trailhead.

I retraced my tracks down from the San Joaquin Hills trailhead. Halfway back to the start of the trail is Bobcat Trail. I took Bobcat Trail which goes back up to that same San Joaquin Hills Rd. There is a vista there looking out towards the Pacific which also affords nice views of Newport Harbor. It added a couple miles on to my trip, doubled the elevation, and added another hour of trail time. All good things in my book.

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure YouTube Channel
Be one, like a reflection, be sure to balance yourself.  

Thank for joining me on this lovely little hike in Corona Del Mar. They did a pretty good job of giving you the feel of nature. As is usually the case in SoCal, once you climb up out of the canyon to the ridge then you see all the humanity, but at the same time some nice views. It is all about finding some balance between the two and in your life. To continue along this journey of ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’: FOLLOW, LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE. The above menu can be your transporter into this world of nature and adventure each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. If you need some snazzy adventure wear checkout SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Castaways Park Loop


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

San Juan Capistrano Recreational Trail System


6.5 miles, 1,105’ elevation change, 3 hour duration, rated Hard

August 21, 2020

This hike is part of the San Juan Capistrano Recreational Trail System.  The area has a lot of up and down hills above some very nice homes.  It is a good workout with views of the Pacific, Dana Point Harbor and Doheny Beach.  

In the later part of the Summer the hills are brown and there are few wild flowers, but some.  This is particular hike is what I would describe as eclectic.  You really have a little bit of everything thrown together, most of the trail is double track or fire road, some portions are single track, but on this particular hike there is some asphalt and even some sidewalk hiking in a neighborhood and along a busy street.  

I call this type of hike an urban hike.  The reason isn’t that you aren’t hiking in some wilderness type of hills because you are, but I call it an urban hike because seldom are you out of view of the urban sprawl.  The houses down below are exceptional, however when I go out into nature I want to get away from that.  Delgado Canyon Trail was the only section going up a ravine that you don’t have views of houses and cars, that section of course was my favorite.  My next favorite section was Patriot Trail and seeing the Stars and Stripes flying high on a proper flag pole.  

I appreciate that this hike was a loop because it is alway more fun to be discovering new places, but now that I have done that and seen multiple different trails in the San Juan Capistrano Recreational Trail System I don’t need to go all the way down into the neighborhood below, and would rather do some out and back and stay a little more into nature.  

This is a good place for the residences of San Juan Capistrano and area to get some hiking in.   

Patriot Trail
Delgado Canyon
I added Harbor View Trail onto my hike, it added a little over 1/2 mile and a little additional elevation change.

“Hiking is the best workout! You can hike for three hours and not even realize you’re working out, and hiking alone lets me have some time to myself.” – Jamie Luner

Thanks for joining me as I hiked up and down hills in San Juan Capistrano, not quite the nature experience that I thrive on, but still pretty nice hike, and great training for my up coming Summit attempt at Mount Langley. I am really excited to be climbing to a much higher altitude than I have in the past, so this hike today with the temperature in the 80’s with good up and down elevation change is just what I need to prepare, and was a great test for my line of Adventure wear. My PBTA Logo Cap kept the sun off my face. My PBTA Logo Neck/Face Gaiter kept my neck from burning and it doubled as a Covid-19 Mask when passing fellow hikers on tight trails. And my PBTA Logo High Performance Moisture Wicking Tee kept me comfortable and not wringing wet. Get yours today at SHOP APPAREL.Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ travels to a lot of great places in the West. Checkout the menu above for some ideas. Each is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED separately. They are categorized for the most part by area. Please take a moment and COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE, and FOLLOW.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Crystal Cove State Park


Activity: Hiking

Distance 8.5 miles, approximately 1,300’ elevation change, duration 4 hours, rated Moderate

Date: 12/16/19


Wow, that is a crazy long name for a hike. I should just call it every trail on the East side of the park. Crystal Cove is a great place to hike with 2400 acres of undeveloped land and more than 15 miles of trails that encompasses every level. As I have done in this hike, you can really mix and match different trails to how long, how far, how hard of a hike that you desire. As a matter of a fact if you want a shorter version of this hike see another of my posts on Crystal Cove State Park. This is a great destination on it’s own, but it is one of the closest really good hikes near me and a great place to train for adventures elsewhere.

No Name Ridge Road and No Dogs Road are big broad trails with nice views from the top and on the way down from the baseball field and little park above, where you will find of plenty of free parking. As you make your way down this trail, which takes you to the bottom of the State Park, you will enjoy wonderful views of the deep blue Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island on the horizon. On a clear day, like I had on this hike, San Clemente Island will be visible as well. Once you are at the bottom of the park you wrap around and hook up with Moro Canyon Road. This is the middle and lowest portion of the canyon, where you will find some spots with a little shade. Be prepared that the majority of the park has very little shade, and bring sufficient water for your day. From Moro Canyon Rd you will take the West Cut Across to access Rattlesnake Trail, which will give you more of a nature feel as you transition from the big broad roads to more of a path and portions will be a little on the steep side. Pay attention as there are some cool rock formations about 3/4 of the way off to the left which will be marked with a little sign. Rattlesnake empties to Red Tail Road and on to Boomer Ridge Road that will take you back to the start of the hike.

Very fun hike.

“Hiking is like Chicken Soup for your Soul.” -Roger Jenkins
Pursuing Balance Through Adventure 

Hike, hike, hike… it’s good for you. So that you can continue to be “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure“ with me please take the time to FOLLOW, COMMENT, LIKE, and SHARE. Check the menu above for so many splendid places you can set yourself free in. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. Help yourself to a shirt or cap like mine at SHOP APPAREL.

See you out on the trail,

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Back Bay Hike



Activity: Day Hike

Date: 11-1-19

Distance 5.25 miles, 60’ elevation gain, 2.5 hours, rated Easy

Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve Loop is actually over a 10 mile hike. I hiked half of the loop on this day and I hiked the other side of the bay about 6 weeks earlier. It was a very pleasant outing and a nice way to appreciate nature. The sky, the bay, the marsh, the birds… very enjoyable and a good way to get some miles in and bask in the sunshine.

I started at the Trailhead that you see on the map I have enclosed in this posting. The roadway is shared by vehicles in one direction, and bikers, joggers, and walkers in each direction. Heading in a northerly direction along the bay it is not long before you come across Big Canyon Trail, which is a nature walk within a hike. Along the Big Canyon pathway you will have plenty of educational signage to learn about the bay, the vegetation, birds, as well as the the watershed.

The later part of the hike you will gain some elevation as you head up to Vista Point, which is about the top of the bay and the top of the loop. I retraced my way back enjoying a nice afternoon and a lovely couple of hours of so.

Two blackbirds harass a large bird of prey. Two against one but he is much bigger, not sure if it is such a good idea.
“Slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.”

Thanks for joining me on this little jaunt at Newport Beach’s Back Bay, the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve is for the birds, literally. If you are a birder than you will love this place as thousands of birds migrate through this reserve. If you aren’t you will enjoy the exercise, the gentle breeze, the bay and the day. Please COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE, and FOLLOW. Also checkout the menu above as there are many places to explore that will get your adventure juices flowing. Please note that they are all separate sites and thus must be followed independently.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Salt Creek Trail Western Route


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

Practicing Social Distancing @ Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Huntington Beach, California

Activity: Day Hike While Practicing Social Distancing

Date: March 31, 2021


Bolsa Chica Wetlands is one of the closest hikes to where I live. It is an easy hike and the Ecological Reserve is starting to bloom during the first few days of Spring. But this Spring is unlike any other- people are gripped in fear, filled with the anxiety of not knowing what lies ahead. Headlines are full of bad news- sickness and death and the numbers keep mounting. Workers and students are cooped up at home on command to shelter in place by order of the Governor. But if we practice Social Distancing we are allowed to go out locally and hike specifically.

Hiking and walking are so good for you both physically as well as mentally, and since everyone is under a great deal of stress at this time it is even more important to get out breath some fresh air, stretch the legs, and enjoy nature. We need to stay fit, and it is imperative that we strengthen our immune system. It might be more difficult at this moment in time because all of the gyms are closed. All of the schools are shuttered-so no PE, all of the sports are shut down- so no training, no games, no release. I preach and practice ‘Social Distancing’ and we can all say, “Corona Virus Take a Hike”.

Here is how we were attempting to practice Social Distancing. I hiked with my friend Adam. We both drove separately, we stayed 6 feet apart-which really made close dancing difficult, we stepped off the trail to let other go by, and we had fun with it. There were a good amount of people out hiking, but not so many that Social Distancing couldn’t be practiced effectively.

Some people had masks on. Which has inspired me to have a ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ Face Gator made available to lovers of PBTA so we may continue to hike, love nature and while staying as safe as possible in this time of virus and peril.

There were people of all age groups, Mom’s with their kids giving them a break (and I am sure the Mom as well), retirees, couples, solo hikers, people with dogs, newly released prisoners, and families. We spoke to people, whom were all pretty chatty about their personal experience in this New Norm through which we are all going.

A newly laid off man, bartender by trade, was kind enough to take us along with a fit young woman, exploring parts of the Preserve and informing us of the history. This whole area was once an Native American Village and he spoke about artifacts and an archaeological dig he had seen while a boy. He reviewed with us different plants and explained how Native Americans utilized them.

During WWII this area was a massive bunker we saw old gun mounts and he showed us entrances into the series of bunkers that are below ground. He pushed back brush, revealing an air vent to the chamber and explained as a kid he had explored deep into the underground compound. It was pretty fascinating indeed-until a lot of bees came buzzing out of the vent which caused Adam to scream like a little girl as he escaped, plowing into me like a New England Patriots Running Back slicing thru the Defensive Line of the Buffalo Bills, thereby dashing my strict quarantine policy and most probably infecting me w/a disease that will strike my precious, creative, life from this unfair, cold, dark world. If I am soon worm food, feel free to turn Adam into mulch.

We were all enjoying the beautiful California day of this open space, with the blue Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island in view, the birds, the bees, and the blooms…practicing Social Distancing at Bolsa Chica Wetlands.

Related Posts:

Fun and zany video Demonstrating Social Distancing at Bolsa Chica Wetlands.
Bolsa Chica Wetlands Birds and Blooms
Life is always better when I hike.

Thanks for joining Adam and I as we practice Social Distancing at our most local hike during the time of Corona Virus while ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. More and more national and state parks are being closed because people are not utilizing Social Distancing. I am having PBTA Masks made to keep myself and other safer during this scary time. Don’t forget to COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, and SHARE. Even if we are being curtailed from the National and State Parks we can free our souls through projecting ourselves to these places by reading about them and planning for our next adventure.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure