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 […]

Felicita Creek – Being present in the outdoors

Bernardo Mountain from the bridge

The other day, my daughter and I were walking our dog in the canyon near our home, like we do several times a day. It was hot, so we wanted to get our dog back inside as soon as possible. However, my daughter wanted to get some water, go back outside, and play in the […]

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, […]

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. […]

Have I lost my mountain mojo?

The PD on challenging day on the way to Mount Whitney in 2010

About 9 months ago, I read the following paragraph in a blog about summiting spectacular peaks in the Canadian Rockies. I had been reading this blog for several years and his posts about the peaks he climbs in challenging winter conditions are truly inspirational. Many are climbs the likes of which I will never attempt. […]

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 […]

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 […]