I love hiking! So, when my daughter told me she was going to challenge herself to 52 hikes in 2017, one for each week of the year, I just had to join in the fun! It's such great inspiration to get out there regularly and do something I love and get fit!
We started while she was home on winter break. Our first hike was a nearby trail that is short and steep. It's such great training that I decided to try to do this trail once a month. It's called Monserate Mountain Preserve and it's in northern San Diego county. The views are amazing! You can see the ocean on a clear day. There are beautiful hills all around. There's a box at the top with notebooks for hikers to write their names, notes, etc.
My second hike was very short but I counted it anyway. It was a small hill in Tucson that overlooks the city in almost every direction.
Hike three was with hubby. The destination was a waterfall in San Diego county! That's pretty amazing to see in Southern California after years of drought! It was beautiful!
I was sick for the fourth week but managed to do a short hike in the hills above our little town. Our dog, Salsa, came along too. The surrounding mountains were covered in snow! Beautiful!
Hike five was at Monserate again. Hubby went with me this time and we made it a little longer by taking a different way back from the top. That added another mile or so. There were stairs in a section of the east/back side.
Hike six was to Eagle Rock. It was longer than the previous hikes in my challenge. And, it was oh so beautiful! Here's the eagle shaped rock at the turn around spot. The rocks are huge!
The landscape was just starting to turn green from all the rain we were getting.
Part of the trail meandered through beautiful, old oak trees.
Other parts of the trail went across open grassland. It was beautiful! Much of the trail was part of the famous Pacific Crest Trail. That was exciting to hike on that!
Hike seven was in Tucson! We started out just before sunset and finished with our headlamps in the dark. Fun! Here's a cool silhouette of hubby.
Hike eight was back to Monserate and the flowers were really starting to pop!
I got a pic of a bee enjoying one of the flowers...
Hike nine was to the beautiful Santa Rosa Plateau. There are vernal pools there and they are very full this year! Yay for the much needed rain! There are walkways over the water. It's fun to look into the water and see fairy shrimp, tadpoles, tiny frogs, and an occasional little snake.
We saw a chocolate lily that day! We've heard they're rare but we do see them now and then.
On the way to the preserve, we stopped to see a local poppy field in full bloom! Gorgeous!
Hike 10 was on Mount Palomar. It's an area we've been curious about but had never hiked. We were surprised to find a little pond up there, small streams, and even deer!
Hike 11 was back in Tucson with my daughter. We decided to try Pima Canyon Trail. We were stunned by the beauty! There were SO many flowers and it was GORGEOUS! Pictures don't come close!
Hike 12 was also in Tucson. We hiked to Seven Falls by Sebino Canyon. We hiked eight and a half miles that day. And, I did it in my brand new boots! It was awesome! No pics of the falls though. The falls area was filled with hundreds of people. That doesn't make for great photos. There was added interest that day as we saw a woman injured on the trail on our way up. On the way down we saw that the rescuers had reached her and her family. We saw search and rescuer people on their way up all along as we headed down. Here are two that were going up on horses. The injured woman was later airlifted in a Black Hawk helicopter! It was a good reminder to be very careful. And, that if you ever get hurt on the trail that help arrives slowly and might cost a LOT! I hope she was ok!
I wish photos could come close to how stunning the landscape was with all the flowers. It was amazing!
Hike 13 was an evening hike back up Monserate. There were even more gorgeous flowers this time. Here's one of them...
Hike 14 was in Anza Borrego to Maidenhair Falls. It's a hike we've wanted to do for a long time. It was hot that day but gorgeous and the hike was a ton of fun! There was a lot of way finding and climbing around, over, and under giant boulders to some desert oasis' with palm trees and lots of greenery, and ending at a 20' waterfall. Ahhh!...Refreshing!
Unfortunately, I twisted my ankle pretty badly on the way down. I eventually made it to the car but had to rest it for a couple of weeks before I was able to try another hike. Luckily, I was one hike ahead in my challenge. That gave me time to let it heal without getting behind.
Last weekend, I went for my first hike after resting my ankle. It felt SO good to hike again! However, it started to hurt a bit after about 20 minutes. So, even though I wanted to keep going, I forced myself to turn around. I didn't want to go backward on my progress. I'm glad I did that because it's feeling better and better.
I'm so excited about this challenge and fully intend to succeed. It's such a great incentive to get out there more often. And, hiking is a great way to exercise. Nature is so good for the soul too! I'm excited to see all the places this challenge will take us!