July 6th

Friday we hiked the Lake Poway Loop and Mt. Woodson.  This was just shy of 9 miles and took us about 4.5 hours.  We started off ready to have another great hike and we had let Pico off the leash and were just strolling along minding our business.  This lady came up behind us and reprimanded us for having Pico off leash.  Yes, it is the law to have leashed pets.  Yes, we were taking a chance with it and it’s a “No-No” but this lady was obnoxious!  First she tried to use the scare tactic of rattlesnakes and then fines if a ranger caught us.  When she was done with her tirade I just said “Okay have a great day!”  Then she took it to the next level and shook her head at us and said “Just be more responsible for your pet.”  So then for the next few miles I was pissed and called her all kinds of derogatory names.  Then I said a prayer for her and let it go.  Anyway, we did put Pico back on the leash since there ended up being too many people and dogs around anyway.  So aside from that it turned out to be a fabulous hike.  It was very difficult and the marine layer burned off and it got VERY hot.  Pico made it to the top of the mountain, bless his heart, and then we took turns carrying him down.  We (meaning I) look pretty wrecked in these pictures so be warned!

July 5th

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Oops looks like my pictures posted before my summary!  Oh well!

Thursday we went to North Fortuna Mountain.  Nice marine layer yet again.  We got to the trailhead at about 7:30am- little later start!  The total hike was about 3.5 hours and I can’t remember what Mr. Garmin said as far as exact mileage goes but I know it was just shy of 8 miles.  Pico again walked the whole way by himself!  I notice that he does very well when it’s cool and there’s a nice marine layer.  When it gets sunny and hot all bets are off as you will see in the remaining 2 days of hikes.

July 4th

I had a 5 day weekend for July 4th since it fell on a Wednesday this year.  YEEHAW!  I made major hiking plans and will post each day separately so I don’t confuse myself.  It was a wonderful and fabulous time.  I just love being away from people and I was sad every day when it was over as we made our way back into civilization.

July 4th we hiked the whole of Penasquitos canyon which, according to my garmin, ended up being about 12.5 miles.  Simone came with us on this one.  We started about 6:30am and it took us 5.5 hours.  Marine layer the whole time which was actually nice.  Pico walked the whole way by himself- he is amazing! Lots of poison oak- nice picture of a good sized thatch of it below.  The last picture below is a grave of the only person known to have been buried in Penasquitos valley although lots of people lived down there in the 1800’s.  We saw a coyote and shortly after that, some ambulence sirens went off and the whole hillside where we were started echoing with coyote howling.  Very eery to hear that during the day! 

 

Got a New Grill!

I’ve been grilling like a maniac on our new Grill.  Steak, hotdogs, sausage, chicken.  So nice to sit out on the patio in the sun and grill up some dogs!  It’s a little portable Uniflame- perfect size!

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Backpacking

Well I guess we are doing the backpacking thing!  We have been accumulating the gear slowly as things go on sale.  Will not buy anything full price since this crap is expensive!  I will create a new tab for our gear list so you can see what we have going on.  It’s been fun!  We have also been testing out the freeze dried meals.  Not too bad although the ingredients are definitley questionable.  I guess when you hike 15 miles and set up camp, you would eat your arm off if you were hungry enough.  I think so far our favorite is chicken teriyaki.  Chili Mac was okay but I think we need to let it soak in the hot water longer- the noodles were still a bit crunchy- LOL!  Next up I believe we have sweet and sour pork to test.  Here is a picture of the Chili Mac:

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Oops it’s sideways.  Oh well!  And here is a picture of Dennis trying out his new sleeping bag:

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We got some good hiking/backpacking boots at the REI scratch and dent sale (used gear).  Will be testing those this weekend!

More to come!

Some Yosemite Pictures

Yosemite

Yosemite was fabulous.  First time I’ve ever been there.  We stayed at a hotel in Oakhurst and then drove into the park the first two days.  We did a technology fast- meaning no phone and no computer (I still read my kindle though!)  The first day we got a late start because Dennis still had not switched his sleeping pattern over from working the graveyard shift.  I was really pissed off that first day because of our late start and also there was a crap ton of people at Yosemite!  Spring break and all.  I felt like I was at Disneyland there were so many people.  Once we got past the little piddly sites, the people thinned out and we had a nice wilderness experience.  The weather was also beautiful and sunny with a high of 60 on that day.  We ended up hiking 4 Mile Trail the first day:  http://www.yosemitehikes.com/yosemite-valley/four-mile-trail/four-mile-trail.htm.  It was a steep climb with short switch backs. We stopped to rest many times on the way up!  Pico (our chihuahua) got tired pretty quickly so we alternated putting him in his sling carrier and letting him out to hike more.  The views were amazing!  We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the way back down.  It was about 5pm by the time we were done so we headed back to Oakhurst.  We had Round Table pizza that night and it was SO good!  We earned it.

Day 2 we headed back up to the park (about an hour drive from Oakhurst) after our hearty complimentary breakfast of waffles, sausage, eggs, pastries, and coffee at the hotel.  First we went to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias:  http://www.yosemitehikes.com/southern-yosemite/mariposa-grove/mariposa-grove.htm.  It was frickin; packed with people and no parking!  We ended up hiking both the lower and upper groves.  Once we got out of the lower grove there was hardly anyone so we had a nice remote hike and were there for a few hours.  Dogs are not allowed on this trail but we took Pico on it anyway.  We passed Rangers and they didn’t say anything.  I heard lots of comments around us though from people who sounded like they weren’t sure about the dog.  The weather was very chilly with highs of 40-45 so Pico wore his sweater.  Next stop was Happy Isles but we got stuck behind an accident and sat on that little two lane highway for about 45 minutes.  Once we made it to Happy Isles it was awesome!  There was hardly anyone back there and we hiked the trails that run paralell to the Merced River:   http://www.yosemitehikes.com/yosemite-valley/happy-isles/happy-isles.htm.  Next we hit The Mist Trail that goes up to Vernal and Nevada Falls:  http://www.yosemitehikes.com/yosemite-valley/mist-trail/mist-trail.htm.  Dogs are not allowed on this trail either and since it was a more treacherous hike than the others, Pico stayed in his sling the whole time.  Dennis, Simone, and I took turns packing him.  The trail was actually closed due to rock falls about .3 miles from Vernal Falls but we skirted the gate and continued up anyway.  It was late in the day and we did not go all the way up to Nevada Falls.  After the Mist Trail, we called it a day since we had put in about 6 hours of hiking and we were pooped!  We went back to Oakhurst and had dinner at Todd’s BBQ, which we had been looking forward to all day.  The reviews on Trip Advisor were all very good but we ended up not liking the place at all.  The service was snotty and the food was mediocre at best. 

On Day 3 I had a hike I wanted to try that was located in Oakhurst so we didn’t drive up to Yosemite that last day.  Lewis Creek Trail is located just 7 miles out of Oakhurst: http://www.yosemitehikes.com/not-yosemite/lewis-creek/lewis-creek.htm.   If you take the left fork in the trail, it will take you to Red Rock Falls.  The right fork in the trail takes you to Corlieu Falls.  We did both and were out there for about 3.5 hours. This was a beautiful hike and we saw only a couple people the entire time.  LOVED it.  Simone twisted her ankle on the way back in from Red Rock Falls.  She just sat down in the middle of the trail all of a sudden.  She has bad ankles and twists them at the drop of a hat.  She was able to shake it off and continue but her ankle was swollen later that day.  Pico hiked this whole trail himself because the terrain was more rolling and forgiving. We went back to Round Table Pizza for dinner since it was so good and we didn’t want to try anything new since Todd’s BBQ didn’t work out so well. 

I will post some pictures when I get them downloaded.  It was a wonderful time!