Despite yesterday's hiking disaster, or maybe because of it, I still wanted to hike in the open space, forest, park at the top of the hill from where we are staying. Instead of walking up to the entrance, J offered to drive, so off we went to the top of the hill. Parking was plentiful and shady, so we felt good about this hike. So much so that, well, we foolishly went without water.
Why was that foolish when we were hiking / walking / meandering in an urban park? I mean, how lost / dehydrated / in trouble could one get when one is never alone?
Turns out, lost not so much, dehydrated most definitely.
The path we took turned out to be not the one I was actually interested in hiking, but exactly the one that J expected to hike. That sentence sums up pretty much most of the activities we do, actually. Actually. Actually. Actually appears to be the word I'm going to overuse in this post.
The trail dumped us in an expensive residential neighborhood with many signs telling us to walk along the side of the road, and stay on the sidewalk, and fines will happen if we walk in the middle of the street. Given the zero cars that passed us, I can only assume the giant asphalt walkway was reserved for said homes' owners, and not the peons who walked the public space they lived adjacent to.
Our trail and road progress was steadily down. While down can be great, if you're doing a loop, every step down is eventually followed by a step up, and that's exactly what we had on the way back. Up.
Up and up and up. And just for good measure, a bonus up at the end, so that we could go down to the start of the trail.
I thought the hike was great. It was hot. We REALLY should have brought water. We should have looked at the map longer before starting. We shoulda woulda coulda. The hike was 90 minutes of movement in the hills and through a lovely, if pompous, neighborhood.
The difficult part of the hike was at the end when we were on a very sunny, very exposed trail. It was then that I realized the trail was exposed because all of the oak trees on this side of the canyon were dead. Not only the oaks, but all of the trees. Looking around, the entire canyon was decimated on the one side, with the residential side, the opposite side, still green and lush.
Drought? Insect infestation? Fungal? Human action? I don't know the cause of the localized devastation, except that it wasn't fire. It was still somewhat heartbreaking to see. Seems many parts of the hills around this area are like this, though.
So, yay for movement, boo for dying woods. This canyon would be lovely if alive.