Hiking / Nature

Moving Daze


BackboneJon and I just moved up about an hour north to our new home for the spring, in the hills above Malibu, California. We decided to go for a hike today to orient ourselves and enjoy the gorgeous weather. We packed a really nice lunch, and jumped in my car and took off… only to realize when we arrived at the trailhead to begin our hike that we had 1/2 a liter of water between us. Not enough for two adults to hike the 4 miles we had planned, and an embarrassing situation for two park rangers to find themselves in. We took off for a walk anyway, deciding to go only as far as we felt like, then turn around.


Yep, yesterday was moving day. We will be working as naturalists for an environmental education program here in the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area. Its a very nice place, but up till today I had a hard time really defining it because as nature parks go, State and National, I tend to think of them being a bit more removed from cities. The NPS employee we talked to today used the perfect term, “urban interface.” We drove down the road a ways to the trailhead we had in mind to hike a section of the Backbone Trail, and yeah, only half a bottle of water.


Jon in the OakThe trail was beautiful, and indicative of the confluence of nature and humanity that will become a part of our daily lives for the spring season. We enjoyed the beautiful coastal chaparral and oak woodland habitat, with Jon pausing to climb a particularly nice old coast live oak that bordered the trail. Unfortunately, in keeping with our theme of forgetting essential elements, we also failed to bring along our camera, so the hike went largely undocumented, aside from a few cell phone snapshots.


The Backbone Trail covers just under 65 miles of mostly ridge line from east to west across the coastal mountain range. The awesome oak I climbed looked out towards the Pacific with a view of the Channel Islands just visible through the low clouds. It wasn’t an entirely sunny day, albeit nice, but having the proper camera would have made all the difference. By the time we decided to turn around, our conversation turned to the reoccurring topic of getting in shape. We are not out of shape been any means, but Leigh is constantly underestimating her fitness level, and she proved that after we broke into a short run.


Leigh on BackboneJon actually got me to run today. An activity that I’m fond of saying that I “don’t do unless I’m being chased” so it was a surprise to us both when I decided to go for it. We kept it relatively slow and light, but trail running was actually pretty invigorating, and felt better than trying to run along a flat, paved surface like a road or sidewalk. I told him that we should start doing that more often when we go for a hike. Perhaps it was the lack of things weighing us down, like water bottles and cameras that freed us up to do so. All in all a fun and impulsive day, and a good start to our season here in the Santa Monica Mountains.


Next time we go for a run, I am definitely bringing a camera…


 Shut up.

Drop us a line

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s