The Owens Valley in early September . . . pre-trip, I wondered if Big Pine (went there last weekend for some California Native Plant Society activities) and surrounding environs would be too hot for shoe-less fun.
While I would not have wanted to stroll down Highway 395 in the middle of the day, by getting up early and/or going to higher elevations I was able to get in some wonderful hikes (no running . . . but that was fine . . . hiking has its own slow charm barefoot).
Here’s some images of my toes on the move:
And now for some images from this week’s local wanderings:
Like this coyote I’ve run into the last few mornings crossing Santiago Creek at sunrise, I also seem to be a creature of habit.
While the hills around Irvine Park are his home, and he needs to make his daily rounds to find food and water, I suppose I could live without my 2-3-times-a-week adventures on these trails . . . but I would surely, quickly, succumb to what Richard Louv calls “Native Deficit Disorder.”
So, like coyote, I roam these hills looking for sustenance. Here’s a few photos of what feeds my soul as my soles delight in feeling God’s splendid creation:
Happy (more coyote and fewer dog) Trails!
Our county fair ended last weekend, but not before I snuck over for a quick afternoon of agricultural nostalgia, including a new attraction: turkey racing. I was glad to see they had not imprisoned the running birds in any kind of “high performance” or “protective” footwear.
This print has a special meaning to me; I was able to hike a short loop trail near the 1875 eviction site in Temecula, where People who had lived with the land for thousands of years were rounded up and removed, since they could not prove via paper deeds that they had a claim to the land. Here are a few more images from there:
While in Temecula, I also was able to hike a short ways up the Dripping Springs trail just south of town on Hwy. 79. Not much water, but excellent views out over the valley, and a fluffy velvet ant (really a wingless wasp) in my foot vicinity. Yeah, yeah, I know these critters are nicknamed “cowkillers” for their excruciating sting. But that’s why I hike with my eyes open . . . and I haven’t stepped on a stinging critter yet . . .
Moving from Temecula back to the Orange County foothills . . . there are fine oaks here too, and good folks who enjoy hiking out to see them, like this group in Baker Canyon last week on an Irvine Ranch Conservancy sunset hike.
Back to my more familiar trails . . . I’ve had some good runs in my Santiago Oaks-Barham Ridge-Irvine Park network lately. The summer dust is soft, and the rocks are kind this time of year (for some reason, right after rains the rocks seem much more angular). This morning I saw a multi-pointed buck (no photo, just a breath of admiration), and tiny lizard babies out in force.
As always, I try to pick up whatever trash I find . . . except when it presents itself in cozy situations such as this:
Those excruciatingly delicate multi-colored leaves are poison oak, so I had to leave this nasty plastic crap under the oak where some excruciatingly idiotic person tossed it. I keep meaning to purchase (and hike with) and telescoping trash picker . . . just for situations like this.
So it’s back to teaching on Monday . . . what an adventure-filled summer. I had to bail on my 50k race, but still have hopes that one of these days, my body will tell me “let’s go” and I can enjoy an ultra run. In the meantime: I am running 60-90 minutes (up and down hills) easily, shoelessly. That’s a lot to be thankful for . . .
During this morning’s run up and down Barham Ridge (between Irvine Park and Santiago Oaks Regional Park), my mind was doing its usual wandering, and a word floated into my consciousness: “velfie.” I thought about it, came up with a formal-ish definition, and jotted down my ideas when I got home.
Definition: (Noun.) A video selfie. A video of any length that is taken by the subject of the video. It is a mix of first person and third person point of view, accomplished by extending the camera away from the body (either via arm or hand-held tripod). The camera may also be attached to to the body (or piece of sports equipment such as bicycle or surfboard) to make an “action velfie.” Whether it is allowable to extend the third person viewpoint by setting the camera on the ground or in a tree is currently a velfie gray area.Numbers attached to the word velfie indicate how many other people were involved in the production; a pure “velfie 1″ will involve only the subject of the video for ALL aspects of filming and editing (including music).
When I had a chance to google it, I discovered I had NOT invented this word. Oh well . . . I had fun imagining myself as a neologist for a few brief shining moments.
I’m getting hooked on making these velfie critters . . . as long as they’re about barefoot running. Here is a link to my shortest velfie (shot last Thanksgiving season after a rare local rain): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xAnWFAV4KQ
My YouTube channel has more: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVy21IXp-3Mo3lQPAJ4g4mg
Happy trails . . . May all your velfies be barefoot ones!
We recently spent a few days camping along Rock Creek in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. The Little Lakes Valley trail was drier than I’ve seen in the past, but there was still a beautiful wildflower display. Who needs hiking boots?
Here’s my “YouTube tribute”:
And some more photos from a blessed time in the mountains:
I went for a “quick run” this morning that turned into a fun video session . . . inspired by a recent iMovie tutorial by a family friend, I spent waaaay too much time today editing the short clips into some semblance of order.
Check out my newest festival of horse manure: http://youtu.be/p3pAMXzmTbA