Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I think I've spent enough time stopping to smell the roses this winter and spring. Now it's crunch time, 30 days to go. I finally mailed off my Canada entry and PCT permit this afternoon. Yes, I'm late as usual, but hopefully not too late. My smog test is done and I have my license plate stickers coming in the mail. I became a member at Cosco last week and now must begin the food purchase. I started packing up my room a bit this evening which brought an assortment of strange feelings I wasn't expecting to experience. I came across old letters, notes, newspaper articles, pictures, papers where I had written goals and "to do" lists. Many goals and dreams accomplished, many not. Old song lyrics, good and bad. Directions written down on old envelopes of places when I first moved to LA and knew nothing about the city. Anyways, enough of that.

There is still a lot to do. Taxes are due on the 15th. I've got to put my belongings in storage, pay bills, help my current roommate find a new tenant to move into the apartment. Make last minute gear purchases, organize resupply. Print resumes, finish work. Oh yeah, and get ready to hike a trail.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Hillside woodland star? (above)
Bur-chervil (above)
View towards Griffith Park and the Pacific (above)
San Gabriel front range (above)

Indian pink (above)
Chia (above)
Silverpuffs? (above)

Mt. Thom and downtown LA (above)
Today was a fantastic day for a hike. Great visibility and blindingly bright sunshine. I came across some new specimens today, which is always exciting. It also was a "Jesus hike" on this glorious Palm Sunday...

California Poppy

California's state flower.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Migration Has Begun...

My buddy Pete took this picture today just south of Anza Borrego. It's a water cache for thru hikers. Pete said a northbounder had just passed through and left a note...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Yellow pincushion (above)
Hiked about 45 minutes after work today...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Idlehour Trail

Indian paintbrush (above)
Baby blue eyes (above)
Mount Wilson (above)
A strange looking and colored Miner's lettuce (above)
Elegant rock cress (above)
Mt. Lowe, Marham, and San Gabriel Peak (above)

Larspur (above)
Lots of water could be heard splashing in the canyon below... (above)
Mournful duskywing? (above)

Western wallflower (above)
Idlehour campground (above)
Sweet cicely (above)
Once leaving Henninger Flats, I left behind the noise and the crowds and came to the Idlehour trail. For me, this is when the hike really began. It is a gem of a trail, especially since the Station Fire has destroyed most of the area. Here I was able to experience the San Gabriels like I remembered, before the fires. For the rest of the afternoon, until I returned to the flats, I saw not a single person. The trail was in practically pristine shape, shaded, and offered great views of the mountains, abundant wildflowers, and trees. Lunch next to the waterfall was not a bad way to spend part of the afternoon...

Henninger Flats

Liverworts (above)
Deerweed (above)
Rose clover (above)

Inside the visitor's center at Henninger Flats (above)
I took a hike up to Henninger Flats and then to the Idlehour campground yesterday. The skies were overcast, the temperatures moderate. What I planned on being just a morning hike to the flats, turned into another all day event. I had food, plenty of water, and nothing to do, so I thought, "Why not?" The hike up to Henninger Flats was a rather nice workout, all uphill. The fire road is practically a two lane highway, leaving plenty of room for hikers and mountain bikers.
Am I the only one who has always found visitor's centers depressing? Even as a kid, I always got and still get a strange feeling in these buildings. It's not just the dead stuffed animals nailed into the walls, I think it has something to do with the exhibits that seem to have been arranged 40 years ago and then left to collect dust. Who needs universal health care when we can have interactive visitor's centers with flat screen TV's, computers, live animals, actors and tour guides!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Front range of the San Gabriel's. The snow is all gone for now.
Oh snap! Nothing gets the adrenaline pumping like a rattler encounter...

Hummingbird and canterbury bells (above)
Short fruited filaree (above)
Miniature lupine (above)

Mustard evening primrose (above)
It was hot up in the Verdugos today. My hike started with an encounter with an injured mountain biker. A couple of hikers had already called 911 to help the man when I arrived on the scene. His bike was wrecked, he had blood all over his face and had broken his wrist. I had a first aid kit but there was little I could do with what I had. I gave the man a bottle of water, but he seemed out of it. The paramedics arrived shortly afterwards. He was in good hands so I started my hike.
Lots of wildflowers lined the fire road. The highlight was crossing paths with the rattlesnake. What's crazy was that I was lost in a daydream about rattlesnakes when I saw him. The snake seemed dazed as well, just lying there straight as a pole, soaking in the warmth of the sun. After taking a few pictures, he finally decided to slither back into the grass, not once warning me with his rattle. Also, the butterflies have arrived and were flying about. Lots of lizards scurrying around too. I started to wonder how much lizards contribute to the erosion of mountains. As small as they are, whenever they run away, they dart up the mountainside creating tiny rock falls. It's almost a constant sound on the trail. Tiny rocks falling from up above through the plants onto the fire road.