Last week we hiked the long trail at Calero Park. I carried in binoculars and my little camera while Paul hauled our snacks, water, first aid kit, etc.
We went back to Calero again today and did a shorter trail, only 6.2 miles (!). I carried my own pack again, only today I grabbed the rock pick, gloves, my phone (for the camera), and a pocket knife. Paul loaded me up with a couple gatorades too.
At first the extra weight from the bottles felt odd, but I got used to it right away. One thing I did differently today was I wore a wider straw hat, last week was a baseball cap, and I put on a tank top under my regular t-shirt. Once the fog burned off and it was hotter I took off the t-shirt and relied on sunscreen and the brim of my hat to shade my shoulders. I missed some spots with the sunscreen and I'm bright red and burned in a couple spots. It was a much better day though and I never felt over-hot.
We got a late start this morning. We had wanted to leave the house pretty early but Millie was coming by to pick up end posts for her home vineyard and I wanted to douse ours while it was overcast and cool. I ended up watering until 9:30, we got on the trail an hour later.
Go figure, the day I don't bring the binoculars, we spot a bobcat on the lower trail. We were up above on the connecting trail and stopped to watch her for several minutes. There are signs of cats all over, and we've spotted one other bobcat at the park before, but this was the first time we got a good long look. We thought she might try to sneak up and attack a wild turkey that was nearby but she trotted past along a well worn path to a grove of trees.
Before I forget - diet is an important part of training and hiking. Last week we had a proper breakfast before heading off on our trek. This morning however... leftover potato chips from yesterdays pouring event, and spinach dip on crackers. Let it be known that we both noted the poor choice of calories as we ascended the first hill. We were both huffing and puffing and felt like slugs.
We made good time up and over the hill, and chose to do the loop clockwise. Our first stop was at the pond and I took a picture when we got there. The reason I took the picture was to remind myself to mention the bull frogs. They were making the most absurd noises; it was comical. They actually sounded like pigs grunting and since there are wild pigs in the area I wondered if they were opposite the pond from us and we just couldn't see them. But then they frogs started to splosh and splash in and out of the water. Once the sounds started to repeat it was clear that's what it was.
I took a second picture at the same spot of Paul, I was trying to get the hills in the background to show where we had just come from. Upper left actually...
The reason I grabbed the pick for this trail was in case we found any good crystals. This trail is known for quartz deposits and I've found some great rocks before that are loaded with quartz bands and crystals.
Paul has a rule about me and rocks. If I'm going to pick them up and keep them, I have to haul them out. My pockets came home with just a few little pieces today, all really great, and at least two that Paul picked up (I should have made him carry those!).
The last picture is of a boulder I spotted off the trail about 10 feet - way too big to carry home, but full of crystals and quartz. It's awesome. I didn't think the picture would come out, I actually thought it might be blurry, but it seems to have come out just fine.
We spotted two deer today, tons of butterflies and a hillside loaded with tiny pink flowers.
Trail time to day was just over three hours, and even though we had a poor choice of breakfast calories, we did pretty good.