Pacific Southwest Hike

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Kitty and I went for a hike out at the end of Pico Canyon Road near Valencia on Saturday.  Hydra and I drove out that way a bit a couple of weeks ago, but took a turn before coming to the parkland at the end of the road, which is the site of the remnants of Mentryville, CA.

What a wonderful surprise.  We hiked a live oak sheltered trail along a creek bed in drizzly weather that threatened but never quite morphed into full fledged rain.   We traced deer track along and back and forth across the trail and actually saw a pair of deer at one point.

Our shoes got muddy, but it was worth it to feel like we were transported to the Pacific Northwest for a couple of hours.

Hydra’s Heights and Fresh Garbanzos. – Sunday 5/31/2009


So of course, the first time I decide not to accompany Hydra on his hike, he goes and scales his mountain! That’s him waving his crutch above his head after calling me on the cell phone to alert me to his feat.

Boys cannot be trusted!


Tomato and artichoke progress, just so you know.


I just heard Evan Kleiman sing the praises of fresh garbanzo beans on Good Food recently, and what should I find at my local Vallarta market?

The very thing I was looking for!


There are 1-2 beans per pod. Usually one.

They aren’t beige. They’re green!


See them in there? They’re yummy fresh or steamed and drizzled with some good olive oil. On the radio, they said that people roast them over grills.

The pods are fairly tender, but not tender enough to eat. Not bad shelling… I pressed on them till they popped open like little balloons and then took out the beans.

Beep! Beep! – Friday 5/29/2009


This roadrunner brought to you courtesy of my Nikon D80. This has been much-cropped.

Maybe because it happens so rarely, I always feel that it’s great good fortune to see a roadrunner. It might even be a good omen.


Hydra on the trail again. Good man! See the road runner at about 5 o’clock?


Elusive… He’s the V in the grass.


Baby toys where they shouldn’t be. I have this thing about lost things.


This lost feather is not as out of place.

Hydra Hits the Trail! – Thursday 5/28/2009


Look at that intrepid explorer! Just 10 days after surgery to repair that meniscus tear (Ooh! Look, ma! No spellchecker!), he’s on the trail again. They write songs about stuff like this!


Admittedly, the going was about half of our usual pace, but really really good for a guy who had a camera and a knife in his knee joint so recently! Beautiful day for it.


Around the far side of the neighborhood… Is that fire road looking a little long to anyone else?


As I was taking photos of these cactus flowers, bees kept diving into them and burying their faces in the middle. Can you see the one that took a header into this bloom?


Oleanders down by the mailboxes.


The neighbor’s coreopsis. The neighborhood is lit up with flowers these days!


We arrived home to discover ground squirrels nibbling on the tender cucumber sprouts I planted. And this container has herbs in it that I started from seed. Herb soup. Sigh. Hopefully I saved some of them.


Found about six ounces of beef in the freezer and used up the carrots, celery and some of the red potatoes making this soup. Also called in the help of Better Than Boullion to flesh out the soup, so to speak. Used fresh thyme and mint for seasoning.

Hint: When using fresh herbs that have stems in soups and stews, don’t bother nipping off all the leaves. Just put the whole sprig in the soup. The leaves will cook off and you can easily pull out the stems before serving.

Mother’s Day Hike – Sunday 5/10/2009


BikerChick takes a photo of our favorite yucca. We all took shots of this gorgeous thing!


I noticed lots of ladybugs around our house this year, too.


RockGoddess and Cabrita (little goat) scale the heights. Whoo hoo!


A whole lot of trucks were pulling into the main parking lot as we hiked above the road. They film a lot here.

I suspect that this is a set up for something to do with Saving Grace since the woman on the bed looks like she could be a Holly Hunter stand in, and the show filmed promotional spots out here.

Oh, yeah! It’s very cool to see Vasquez Rocks show up in Star Trek (2009) as the planet Vulcan. Welcome back, guys! I didn’t take any photos of the big rock this time, but here’s a post where I did.


Not the place I want to be in an earthquake.


Life really wants to be.


Cafe Vasquez is open for business. Nice shady spot. First time I’d met RockGoddess and Cabrita.


Cabrita knocks back some peanuts.


Turtle takes to the trail.

Go Turtle!

Mormon Rocks Hike – Saturday 2/28/2009


A very welcoming view. We were on our way to Adelanto to meet up with some friends and decided to make time for a hike at Mormon Rocks. We’ve been by here a number of times without thinking to allow for the time or to dress appropriately.


Closing in on the first goal.


There’s a lot more space between the rocks than you’d expect.


Hydra sets off across the ridge between the first set of rocks we visited and the next. This is probably the crest of the same type of rock that’s exposed elsewhere. The trail forms a rough crescent around the fire station below, which can be reached from the 138 just east of the 15.


Looking over Hydra’s shoulder at the formations across the 138.


I pause to enjoy the view before we head back down. Nice hour long hike on a gorgeous day.