52 Hike Challenge
Last year, or maybe the year before, I took up hiking. Once someone told me that hiking is just walking, it seemed much more like something I could do. I live nearby to many COSCA trails, so one day I parked by a trail head and started walking. Eventually I figured out where to find the trail maps, and I bought better shoes, and added gear like hiking poles and a fanny pack that holds a first aid kit and water bottles. Hiking became a part of my routine. It was easy to hit the trails a couple times a week because I worked from home with a flexible schedule.
In October, I started a new job and now I work mostly in the office. My hiking, and fitness in general, has languished by the wayside. I missed the mental aspects of hiking as much as I missed the physical aspects, so I joined the 52 Hike Challenge for 2020. I can do one hike a week, and I am going to try to do a new trail each time.
Lang Ranch Open Space
My first hike of 2020 was on New Year's Day. I chose a trail close to home. I have hiked Autumn Ridge Trail a few times, but mostly taking the Sunrise Trail loop. This time, I mapped out Alapay Trail so that I could add a new leg to my loop. At least I thought it was new leg until I was on it and realized I had hiked it before. Starting at the Autumn Ridge trail head, Autumn Ridge Trail is mostly uphill and Alapay Trail is mostly downhill. One thing I learned hiking last year is that when you live in the midst of the Santa Monica Mountains, the first mile of every trail is uphill.
This is a view of Autumn Ridge Trail taken from Alapay Trail. You can see the tiniest glimpse of Bard Lake through the cleft in the hills.
Facing the other direction on Alapay Trail, I wondered what that even higher trail was. I think it is Meadow Vista Trail.
I took this picture to remind myself to check out Rocky Incline Trail on the map to see if I could work it into a future loop.
Over a year later, there are still remnants of the devastation of the Woolsey fire.
This grove of charred oak trees on the Albertson Motorway near the Chumash Center survived the Woolsey fire. Green leaves sprout from the blackened branches.
In Lang Ranch Open Space, I would like to do the following hikes this year.
Long Canyon Trail* - Sunrise Trail - Woodridge Connector* (loop)
Long Ridge Trail* - Meadow Vista Trail* - Rocky Incline Trail* (loop)
Oakbrook Vista Trail - Sandstone Hills Trail* - Vista Point* (out and back)