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Early Morning Barefoot Wander Over Barham Ridge

May 9, 2012

With a busy day looming, I headed out just after 6 am to Irvine Park (which conveniently opens at 6 am). This seemed like a good morning to do the loop route over Barham Ridge, down Mountain Goat Trail to Santiago Oaks Regional Park, and then back past the Villa Park dam along the road below the Holy Sepulcher Cemetery.

The trails and California native plants are strikingly lit at this at time of day . . . and the good smells of greeny damp mule fat and slowly warming red dust make my nose as happy as my shoeless toes trotting through patches of rolled river rock and soothing sand.

For the first time in months, I was able to run and run with no aches, pains, strains, twinges or cringes. Besides that, here’s some more reasons I was one thankful trail traveler this morning:

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Willow catkins glow in the early low light.

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Thick-leafed yerba santa shows its sawtoothed edges.

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Yerba Santa perfumes the trails near the mouth of Weir Canyon.

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Dear wishbone flower: I wish . . .

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. . . for more steep and rocky and empty trails.

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Mariposa lilies love the ridges too.

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Native mule deer in non-native mustard: I’m an intruder also, but feel blessed to be able to enjoy such a morning.

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