Monday, June 08, 2009


Paul wants to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (GC), stay overnight, then hike out. I think he's nuts, but have agreed to sign up on this adventure. We've been gymming more frequently than before and got outside this last Sunday for a long hike.
We parked at the main entrance to Calero, an area we have hiked many many times before and decided to do the new back side. The Canada de Oro is a section of new property they recently acquired and we've only been over there a couple of times so far.
The weather has been relatively cool, a plus, and we got an early start (I thought). We got on the trail at 10:10 and had our first stop at 11. Paul said the suggestions for hiking the GC are to hike 50 minutes, stop for 10 minutes to rest and take in water. So we practiced that. Great advice actually.
Our first stop was a nice section of trail, not too steep a climb and mostly in the shade. I wasn't thirsty enough to drink as much water as I should have, and I made up for that on the way back.
We got to the trail marker for our descent down the backside and I took a couple of pictures from there. The down part was pretty steep in some sections and I thought for sure one of us might lose our footing. Incidentally, I've been trying various shoe styles for hiking and I always go back to my tennies - they are lightweight, they let me wiggle my toes and grip if I have to, and the tread is malleable but decent. Just sayin'. Boots don't work for my feet, I want them to, but they end up giving me more pain than support.
We walked through an abandoned walnut orchard, you could tell by the grid pattern of the trees...Paul teased me a bit about that when I did my typical, "are you sure?" routine. Yes, Stefania, trees in nature don't line up nice and neat like that... Are you sure?
At the bottom of the hike, we found ourselves at the other entrance to the park, a staging area for horses and trailers. They have a real bathroom there, not portables. We sat down at one of the picnic sites, ate trail mix and boiled eggs, slammed some more water and rested. We got back on the trail and had a nice stroll til we got back to the base of the hill and then I looked up.
From where we stood you could see the trail at the top of the hill. Brutal and it's getting to the hotter part of the day, and we're mostly exposed on this side. It was hot, dusty, and uphill, a lot uphill. Most of the pictures of Paul are the view I had, with him a good twenty feet up ahead while I tried not to die of heat exhaustion! I got a cramp in my left butt cheek that slowed me down, but I pressed onward and upward.
One of the pictures looking down has a scraggly tree in the center of the frame and the trail is right next to it, that shows a little bit of the climb in altitude if you can picture it. That was at the halfway point switchback. When we finally made the crest and turn to head back down we stopped again for water and stretching. There were three swallow tail butterflies flirting about when we got there. Very pretty.
Over the course of the hike we came across a family of wild turkeys and offspring, a young flicker just starting to show color in his tail, a whole bunch of people on horseback, two deer, tadpoles, a lizard, and buzzards.
We got off the trail at 2:20 and had a quick picnic lunch of stuff I threw into an ice chest before heading out. We stopped at the market before getting home and picked up a couple rib eyes, potatoes, and asparagus. I made a tomato and raw onion salad for a side dish and we gobbled it all down while the Giants game was on...couldn't tell you what time we both passed out, but it was early.

Paul calculated the mileage we hiked and it was just around nine miles!

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