Laguna Meadow – A late winter family outing

Enjoying a view of Big Laguna

  Back in February, it was a gorgeous winter day. There was a chill in the air, but spring was on its way. I carved a day out on the calendar away from Burger Bench. I wanted to take my family on a gentle hike so we could enjoy our time together without gasping our […]

The Thrill of Discovery

It was as beautiful as I thought it would be

Lately, my blog posts have been few and far between. As many of you know, I have been a little busy with a hamburger restaurant in Escondido. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been taking some time out and enjoying the outdoors. Just not as much as I’d like. In my spare time, I’ve been doing […]

Granite Springs Trail Camp – Cuyamaca moon

East Mesa highpoint, almost to Granite Springs Trail Camp

Summer had just come to an end, but it sure didn’t feel like it. It was sweltering in the lowlands and in the past I’d headed to the hills to get some relief. Since my daughter had a day off on Monday, we decided to go backpacking. We had already backpacked to Arroyo Seco in […]

Not Every Adventure Needs to be Epic

Sunshine Mountain from the trailhead

On TV, YouTube, and social media, we constantly see images of people trekking over hundreds of miles, scaling ice walls, sailing across oceans, living out of their vans, and traversing crevasse-ridden glaciers. Then there’s the rest of us. Leading normal lives, yearning to taste even a little bit of what these sponsored athletes are doing. […]

Big Black Mountain – SD Peak #70 – My first section hike

The summit of Big Black Mountain comes into view

Big Black Mountain Elevation: 4,051′ Miles: 14.2 Trail head Agency: Cleveland National Forest Section hiking: hiking a trail one section at a time, without continuity and not necessarily in sequence with the other sections. While section hiking usually refers to a method of completing longer trails, like the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail, this time I was […]

Cemetery Hill – SD Peak #69 – A Short Backpacking Trip Bathed in Sunset Light

Our tent on Cemetery Hill

Cemetery Hill Elevation: 3,459′ Total Mileage: 3.6 Trailhead Map Agency: Cleveland National Forest I had gotten settled back into San Diego. It had been a couple of months since the Muir Taco trip to the Sierra. I had only gotten out for some short hikes around my house. I’ve been curious about a place in Cleveland […]

Volcan Mountain – SD Peak #68 – Golden hills with a great view

Almost to the top of Volan Mountain

Volcan Mountain Elevation: 5,719′ Total Mileage: ~5 Trailhead Map Agency: Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve We headed out to Volcan Mountain a day after my hike with Sophia to Barnett Ranch Preserve. The PD and I decided to get some trail time in as training for our upcoming backpacking trips. I also had just moved back home to […]

Square Top – San Diego Peak #67 – Celebrating Brian’s 100th Peak

Square Top, looming above us

Square TopElevation: 4,649′ Distance: 8.4 miles Trailhead Agency: Anza Borrego Desert State Park When I got invited to this hike, I felt privileged. I have been following Brian’s progress on San Diego Peaks for several years on Google+, but I really didn’t know him. His frequent summits all around San Diego County left me homesick for […]

Camping in Cleveland National Forest – A rarely visited area

Camping in Cleveland National Forest

Combining other errands with camping in Cleveland National Forest turned out to be a pretty good idea. Since we had things to do on Friday and then Saturday morning, we got a late start, heading east through Ramona, reaching the trailhead at around 5:30. The PD and I had hiked in this area before, so […]

Sunshine Mountain – SD Peak #62 redo – Too many ticks

Getting close to Sunshine Mountain

I was excited. I was going down to San Diego. We had a party to go to in Coronado and I had an opportunity to go hiking anywhere in San Diego. However, one peak stuck out in my mind: Sunshine Mountain. My first hike to Sunshine Mountain led me to post later on twitter: There's […]