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 […]

Canadian Rockies – A gorgeous change of plans

Peyto Lake and the Misaya River Valley

Sometimes you don’t get the trip that you planned, but you get one that you need. Our trip to the Canadian Rockies started out a little rocky. Our plan was this: The PD and I would fly to Calgary, drive out to Kootenay National Park and leave our rental car at the Floe Lake Trailhead, […]

Sequoia National Park – Where my love of the outdoors began

My first trip to Sequoia National Park - Age 6 in 1978 at Squatters Cabin

Sequoia National Park. The first time I visited was when I was six. From my parents’ recollection, my memory, and faded photos, it was the quiet alternative to the more popular and iconic Yosemite National Park. Is it where I earned my first patch from picking up trash along the trail, ate my first s’mores, and saw […]

Peak 3339 – Peak 71 – A rocky peak at the edge of the desert

View to the east from Peak 3339

Peak 3339 Elevation: 3,339′ Miles: 6.6 Trailhead Agency: McCain Valley National Wildlife Area (BLM) When scanning the list of remaining peaks I have on the San Diego 100 Peaks list, I realized there was one that wasn’t either a 2-hour drive or had double-digit mileage. As you see, I appeared to have saved the best and most […]

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 […]

Why I Hike Alone

Doesn't this guy look happy?

About 2 and a half years ago, I posted the tweet below: There's a lot of sensible talk about never hiking alone, but there's something magical about having a mountain to yourself. — 100 Peaks (@100peaks) October 27, 2012 I should have probably called this post Why I (Typically) Hike Alone. Don’t get me wrong, I […]

5 Tips on Getting Children Interested in the Outdoors

Sophia, playing atop Ghost Mountain

This was originally a blog post that I wrote for the Sport Chalet Outdoor Community blog in 2012. It appears that they have taken it down, so I am reposting it here, with some minor edits. All content is written by me. I’ve added some pictures from over the years to illustrate the point that it […]

Arroyo Seco Trail Camp – A short backpacking trip in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Sophie Selfie on the Arroyo Seco Trail

Arroyo Seco Trail Camp 3 Miles Round Trip Picnic Tables No Fires While scouting out for a short backpacking trip, Arroyo Seco came to mind. I’ve been keeping my eye on it, since Sophia was too young for backpacking when we left San Diego, but she is a seasoned backpacker now. However, the information online […]