Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Last Beach Hike

Time: 2:00 pm
Date: September 26
Place: West Ridge, Lynx and Cholla Trails

Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to meet at Alta Laguna Park with water and sturdy shoes. Directions follow:
Take Laguna Canyon Road southwest to Forest Avenue/Third Street. Take Third Street up the short, very steep hill. At the stop sign, turn left onto Park Avenue. Follow Park Avenue uphill to its end at Alta Laguna Boulevard. Turn left (north) onto Alta Laguna Boulevard and go 0.2 mile to the parking area at Alta Laguna Park The trail begins at the northwest corner of the parking area. There will be a 3$ fee for parking. Dave is coming so this is an invite your family trek. See you there!

You do not have to eat this message.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hummus for Margaret

This is not an exact recipe for hummus, but it is easy and works for our family. Feel free to add any ingredient that you like or leave something out. ( I would keep the beans, though)

Place in the bowl of a food processor:
2 cans of garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Process until smooth, add olive oil in a stream (about 1/4 cup) until desired consistency is reached.

Add ins: chopped sun dried tomatoes
marinated artichoke hearts (I use the marinating liquid in place of the olive oil)
roasted red pepper
any herbs
Keep refrigerated. It's great on pitas, crackers, veggies, sandwiches, or if you're John Patrick, a spoon. Good luck!

Friday, September 11, 2009

My Heart is Heavy

-At Ground Zero

Today, as I was reading reports and remembrances of 9/11/2001 on the National Public Radio web site, my heart was so full that the expression "a heavy heart" became very real to me. I was filled with sadness as I remembered the tremendous loss of so many lives, the suffering of their families, and the continued struggles, both physical and emotional, of the people who helped. It was, in a way, a day when a generation lost it's sense of innocence. I shudder that my family was on a vacation in New York City just a few short months before the airplanes were flown into the Twin Towers. This summer while I was in Washington D.C. I realized, while standing at the top of Arlington National Cemetery, how very close the Pentagon is to the Capitol and where I was standing. And now our daughter lives in Pennsylvania, not far from Shankesville, where the fourth plane crashed, in an heroic act to save our nations Capitol.

And yet, along with the sorrow, there is hope and faith in my heart. A hope that people will learn to live together in peace, despite their different beliefs, and treat others with civility and compassion. I also have faith, that this country will continue to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. A place where we care about the welfare of people, whether near or far, and do what we can to help them. Declaring this day as a day of service is a wonderful way to honor those who lost their lives eight years ago. More important to me though, is that we hold this day sacred to the memories of those who died, those that survived, and those who continue to serve and fight and die to keep another attack like this from happening again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkWc_EKLs4E

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Little Sycamore Canyon

Today's hike was a bit of a surprise. The parking lot of the original hike starting point was closed today for repairs and the lady at the park information center informed me that I could park at a lot up the road a bit and walk down. The little bit turned out to be 1 mile, and as it was already hot (96), I did not want to add 2 more miles to the hike walking next to the highway! (call me lazy) As I drove up a little more looking for a place to turn around, there was the entrance for the Nix Center at Little Sycamore Canyon. I called Martine and she was just about to come upon the park and was able to make a quick turn into the entrance.

This is a very pretty spot and a part of the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. I'm sure that the trail we hiked for #3 was just along the crest of the hill in front of us. There is a very nice visitors center and several real restrooms. Our favorite part is pictured above... adirondack chairs in the shade, looking out over the very nicely restored wilderness area.

Along the trail were new areas of extensive native plantings. I am starting to take a liking to the native plants and their drought tolerant attributes. I shocked myself a little when, after enjoying the scenery of the wild flowers and bushes, we came to a vista of huge green lawn areas and they looked so out of place and thirsty.
While this was not a hike with the most splendid view (at the top of the hill we were standing under Edison electricity towers) we did have a very nice view of Irvine and the surrounding area.
There were a few hazards to watch for...places were not marked very well, several of the trails we thought we wanted to travel for our loop were closed, and as you can see, I had to stop Martine from committing misdemeanors along the way.

This hike was also educational. We were able to see Lake Barbara. According to the sign, Lake Barbara is the only natural lake in Orange County. Who knew!!! It is very pretty and quiet. For those who wish to see it, you will be happy to know it is at the beginning of the hike, before any hills are reached. It would be a very nice place for anyone to visit and enjoy.

Finding Lake Barbara is a reminder of why these hikes are becoming addictive. There are beautiful places tucked away among all of the hustle and growth of Orange County. What a blessing that people decided to protect and preserve these spots for us to enjoy, and be able to see a small slice of what California once was.

There is just one more beach hike left in the book, it is also the hardest beach hike and 5.3 miles long. So stretch out those muscles Trail Ticklers and come join us!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hike #5

If you can make it to the Laurel Canyon hike you are a true tickler!!!! It is located on the 133, south of the intersection with El Toro Road. The entrance is on the west side of the street and is called the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. There is a $3 parking fee. Let me know if you can come!!!