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Corrupting the next (barefoot) generation and other rambling

December 13, 2012

Post-Thanksgiving giving thanks: For glorious fall weather and a chance to hike with my granddaughters at the Elfin Forest Reserve in San Diego County.

There are three of them; you will notice two decided to do part of our wandering without their shoes . . .  which did my granny-heart good!

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I try not to be pushy, and just lead by (baref00t) example. They seem to enjoy hiking/running for a while, and then they’re ready to put their shoes back on.

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Other recent wanderings include last week’s bird-watching hike, sponsored by the Irvine Ranch Conservancy. The recent rains have re-set our Orange County wildlands to “green.”

A favorite place: the mouth of Fremont Canyon.

A favorite place: the mouth of Fremont Canyon.

The view from below Irvine Lake Dam.

The view from below (newly green) Irvine Lake Dam.

We saw 27 species of birds in just over an hour. My little camera is not the greatest for birding.

We saw 27 species of birds in just over an hour. My little camera is not the greatest for birding.

Then the fog rolled in, and the birds all hid.

Then the fog rolled in, and the birds all hid.

Toe + fungus does NOT always = toe fungus.

Toe + fungus does NOT always = toe fungus.

A few days ago, wandering around Santiago Oaks Regional Park gave me this view.

Last Saturday, wandering around Santiago Oaks Regional Park gave me this freshest of views.

Airborn and happy on the barefoot trail.

Airborn and happy on the barefoot trail–two days ago, about 45 minutes from the Quail Hill trailhead. (As always, self-portraits courtesy of the 10-second timer and my Joby Gorillapod.)

When waterskiing, glassy conditions are considered ideal. Not so with barefoot running. But still: all you need to do is step lightly and it's no problem.

When waterskiing, glassy conditions are considered ideal. Not so with barefoot running. But still: all you need to do is step lightly and it’s no problem. Bright idea: bring a trash bag and do some trail clean-up next time.

Old Saddleback across the valley.

Old Saddleback across the valley. I’ve hiked the 8-mile trail to the summit out of Holy Jim Canyon. Barefoot. (Then put on my sandals for the trek down. It’s pretty rock-a-licious over there in the Santa Ana Mountains. My motto: If it ain’t fun, put shoes on.)

One of my favorite books is Shadows of Old Saddleback–it’s full of tales of earlier times in Orange County’s wild hills. Here I pay tribute to the book: my shadow, but Old Saddleback in the background.

All this clear and warm weather–then last night’s rain–here’s hoping next spring’s wildflowers are loving it as much as I am.

Gentle-seeds: start your sprouting!

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