Showing posts with label Angeles National Forest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Angeles National Forest. Show all posts

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Our hike along the Sierra Alta Trail

Sierra Alta Trail, Aug. 25, 2010
Three years ago today we hiked the Sierra Alta Trail in the Angeles National Forest!

The trail was about 6800 feet above sea level so nicely overlooked some canyons yet was shrouded by higher mountain peaks.

The trail was surrounded by greenery and very comfortable in temperature, a nice respite from the sandy, hot desert where we lived!

You got your own trekking pole for this hike. It was a brief enough trail that I let you walk it by yourself. You had a blast, though I had to keep telling you to wait up as you wanted to run ahead out of my sight!

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Remember peakbagging Throop Peak?

Pointing at the highest point
of Mount Throop.
Three years ago today, we peakbagged Throop Peak in the Angeles National Forest, California. Mount Throop peaks out at 9,138 feet, and it was our highest peak to date!

I hauled you up the mountain on my back in the child carrier. The trail was about two miles long one way, and when I'd stop to make sure I didn't lose my breath (There's less oxygen at that high of an elevation.), you'd tap me on the shoulder and say, "Go, Dad - Why are you stopping?" :)

When we neared the peak, you asked to be let out of the carrier, and you walked the last 100 feet with me! We found a rock at the the top of the peak that had been painted by someone else who had peakbagged it.

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Our hike along Monte Cristo Creek

Four years ago today we went hiking in the mountainous Angeles National Forest on the Monte Cristo Creek Trail. Temperatures were in the high 90s in the desert where we lived, so I thought the mountains would be a bit cooler.

It was cooler, and we were helped in that the trail paralleled a creek. Still, the terrain was at a low enough elevation that it still was desert, so we didn't walk too far before having to turn around.

We parked at a campground near the trailhead, and I remember that when you saw the ash from a campfire ring you got all excited and wanted to play in it (see picture at left). I stopped you just in time by giving you a snack of dehydrated ice cream!

Unfortuantely, the area we hiked no longer looks like it did then. Later that summer, a horrible forest fire swept through the area and burned up the campground and surrounding woodlands.

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our expedition!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Your love for Smokey the Bear

Just finished editing a children's book called "The Best Bear Hug Ever" and that got me thinking about how much you liked Smokey the Bear as a preschooler!

You first learned about Smokey the Bear when we hiked the Angeles National Forest in California. We went to a fire lookout tower, and the "prize" for children who make it to the fire tower was a Smokey the Bear comic book and button.

You couldn't read, of course, so I told you the life story of Smokey the Bear. You were so concerned that Smokey might not escape the forest fire and were so relieved when the rangers rescued him and nursed him back to health.

You asked me to tell you the story over and over! You also wanted to know if one day we could go see Smokey the Bear's grave in New Mexico (One time when we did drive through New Mexico, though, I got you a Smokey the Bear stuffie.)!

We haven't yet gone to the forest where Smokey lived, but perhaps one day soon we will.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Our hike into the Devil's Punchbowl

Outside the nature center at
Devil's Punchbowl, April 29, 2009.
Four years ago today we hiked the Devil's Punchbowl in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest. As you were only a couple of years old, I carried you on my back as we walked down into the punchbowl and then back up it.

Snow melt flowing from the higher San Gabriel Mountains - standing about 8,000 feet above sea level - cut the deep canyon that is the punchbowl. Uplift and pinching from nearby fault lines turned the sediment layers up to 80 degrees on their sides. It's truly a fantastic place!

When we got all done with the hike and had a snack, you played with my trekking pole in a pine grove near the nature center. After seeing the trees' fallen cones, you got a little confused and started calling them "pineapple trees"!

Then we went into the small nature center there, where they have live animals caught in the park, usually poisonous snakes. You were super fascinated by that and in the weeks ahead kept asking to go back to see them again!

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Recall hiking Coarsegold Canyon?

Two years ago today we hiked Coarsegold Canyon in the Angeles National Forest and found a 12-million year-old fossil!

All those millions of years ago, that part of California was a lush delta flowing into the Pacific Ocean. Then a volcano blew, burying the area in ash. The fossil we found (and I still have it!) is of a leaf that was covered in that ash, called volcanic tuff.

You helped me dig through some of the white chalky tuff and then took a break to enjoy some freeze-dried ice cream I brought. See the picture on this page!

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our expedition!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Your picture graces covers of two books!

I'm proud to say, Kieran, that your picture graces the bookshelves of many homes and bookstores across the North American continent and even overseas. As you may know, I write (as well as edit) books for a living, and inspired by our many great hikes we took before you began going to school, I wrote a couple of hiking books about our journeys. Both of those books, Hikes with Tykes: A Practical Guide to Day Hiking with Kids and Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities, include a picture of you on the cover.

The photo on Hikes with Tykes: A Practical Guide to Day Hiking with Kids was taken in the Angeles National Forest on the Manzanita Trail, just off of State Hwy. 2. It's a neat area, the site of an old faultline. You can see wher the faultline used to ran because one side of the trail is red, the location of old clay deposits only a few tens of thousands of years old, while the the other side of the trail is white, the location of old granite that is at least 70 million years old!

The photo on Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities was taken when you were four years old at Vasquez Rocks in Southern California. You used to call it the "Kirk Rocks" because the "Star Trek" episode in which Captain Kirk fought the Gorn was filmed there. In fact, "Gorn Rock" is behind you in the photo.

I mention this because earlier this week Seattle Backpackers Magazine ran a nice review of Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities, and I was remined how you played such an important role in helping me create those books - mainly by giving me the experiences to write them. I've dedicated both boths to you as well!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The first time you ever had hot chocolate

Dec. 28, 2010: Kieran and Dad
prepare to take the sled for a ride down
an incline on the Pacific Crest Trail.
As researching material for my upcoming hiking books (which includes a section on winter hiking), I recalled a time we'd gone up into the Angeles National Forest so you could play in the snow - something we rarely got to see or do when in Southern California's desert (Though you'll soon be playing a lot in the snow now that you're in Minnesota/Wisconsin).

I premade hot cocoa/chocolate for us to keep warm when up there and put it in the equivalent of a Thermos bottle. We didn't open it until back in the Jeep Patriot for the ride down the mountain. By then, you were a little chilled, so I changed you into warm, dry clothes.

And then I offered you a cup of hot chocolate. You took a sip, and your face absolutely lit up! You drank it quickly and asked for more. Though only 3 years old, you were so careful not to spill it lest you no longer have any to drink!

I think you enjoyed three whole cupfuls that drive down the mountain. And then, tuckered out from a day of playing in the snow, the warmth of the Jeep's heater, and all of the hot chocolate in your belly, you slipped off into the most peaceful-looking sleep I'd ever seen you enjoy.

OK, answers to yesterday's "Caillou" trivia:
1. Grandma
2. Gilbert
3. Brunette (black or dark brown, though the books showed her with red hair)
4. Rosie
5. Rexy (his blue T-rex dinosaur)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Your photo is online again, Kieran!

A picture of you appeared online today, Kieran - a pic of you on the cover of my first book "Hikes with Tykes: A Practical Guide to Day Hiking with Kids" in an article about that book for a Canadian magazine. The book cover photo is of you all ready to go on a hike at the head of the Manzanita Trail high in the San Gabriel Mountains of the Angeles National Forest. The trail starts at the location of an old fault line that's no longer active. On one side of the fault line is red, sedimentary soil (like what you're standing on), and on the other side is white granitic rock that is tens of millions of year old. It made for a great pic, especially with your terrific smile!

All of the anecdotes in the interview are about you. I'm specifically describing a hike you and I took through the redwoods in northern California (the diaper stuff) and one we took alongside Lake Piru (the bug crossing the road stuff). Photo albums of both hikes on on my Facebook page.

I remember well the telephone interview for this article. Jane and I had just spent the day before in Anaheim and were heading to Palmdale on the Pearblossom Highway. We were to pick you up that night for the weekend, and she was so excited to meet you for the first time! The sun shined brilliantly in the blue sky with the San Gabriels to our left ... the very same mountain range where this picture of you had been taken. The future held so much promise. It is a day I never will forget.