Tuesday, November 27, 2012

1000 Hikes 1000 Days - The Santa Barbara Independent

I was just made aware that the Santa Barbara Independent Newspaper ran an article about me earlier this month.  Take a look...

I am heading out to climb the highest peaks in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.  I will be leaving tomorrow and will not be returning until Saturday December 8th.  Please check back December 9th where I will begin updating this hiking experience...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 739: Rocky Peak Park - Rocky Peak Trail

Rocky Peak Trailhead
Day #739 * Hike #898 * New Track #709
Saturday November 24, 2012
Rocky Peak Park - Rocky Peak Trail - Simi Valley, CA
My Tripometer: 1  Hour * 2.25 Miles * +550 Feet
 Hike #897: Ayden practicing with the Comets at Corriganville

Ayden ran about 4k today.  I joined him for the warmup run and then wandered around taking pictures with my New Camera!!!  Ugh, technology is so amazing yet so frustrating!  I'm one of those hard headed people who refuses to be taught anything.  Thus, I learn as I go and I cannot figure out how to convert the GPS map to this blog....

***The Rocky Peak Trail....
After an hour stay at Corriganville, Ayden and I ate at the Old Susanna Cafe.  This was now my third visit to the cafe and I must say that my impression has improved from the first review, which I wrote very negatively.  After an early lunch, we proceeded up Santa Susanna Pass and parked at Rocky Peak to begin our hike...

 Ayden does cartwheels up the trail

 King of the Mountain!

 Awesome Rock Formations
Reminded me of being in the Alabama Hills outside Mt. Whitney...


 Better Views!


 Ayden inside the cave

 I'm inside the cave :)

 The Hummingbird Trail Junction

This trail heads to the west back toward Kuehner Rd in Simi, however we continued up the Rocky Peak Trail.  There are multiple off tracks to explore but we remained on the main route which is easy to find.  Just keep going up the most likely way and you'll be fine...

 When Ayden reached this point, he said we're done!

The trail goes on forever!  This is confirmed based on the GPS map that pinged up on my computer.  I wish I could share it here but I haven't figured that out yet.  I am so bummed about it - you have no idea!

There were many people hiking and biking out here.  This is a very popular trail and now I see why.  I can literally come up here every day for a month and I would not be able to trek every possible route.

At this point, we ventured down a conspicuous single track route to climb some rocks.  Many other adventurists were doing this in different spots.  Check out our secret hideout...

 A view of the valley - Topanga Canyon and San Fernando...

Ayden's Chill Out Spot

We wandered around and found an alternate way back to the main trail.  I really wish I had more time out here but Ayden was beat from the practice.

**So look, I am going out of town for 10 days!!!  I likely will not update my hikes until December 10th...  Assuming all goes as planned, I'll be climbing the highest peaks in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida.  Lol, these should all be very easy.  I will be taking to the outdoors every single day on this trip.  Nothing should be extremely difficult but at least we'll be trekking along new places.

Hopefully one of these days I'll pick up a sponsor, <~wink, wink, and then the real challenge will begin.  That said, it really is quite challenging to hike every single day without a break.  It's very time consuming and my legs are normally in a lot of pain.  --I need more elevation gain to keep this legit.  I don't think I'll be finding much of that in Florida.  So, when I get back, Mt. Baldy anyone??? 

Day 738: Sunset Plaza and Hollywood!

A man jump ropes at the Equinox while Jess and I eat Gelato

Day #738 * Hike #895 * New Track #707
Friday November 23, 2012
Sunset Plaza - Hollywood, CA

My Tripometer: 2.5 Hours * 2.25 Miles * +275 Feet

 We ate some nachos at Poquito Mas

La Cienega and Sunset in Hollywood.

We were on our way back from the equipment store lugging two heavy packs of pans on the bike.  The ride was awful!  Jess sat between one of the bags and me.  My ballsh were squished and the ride was very painful!  I was not looking forward to the long ride home later so we chilled out on Sunset for awhile.

We've been to Poquito Mas before on Ventura Blvd and the food here is legit for sure!  I was hoping to have a beer with my nachos but for some reason, no alcohol served at this location :(

After our appetizer, Jess and I marched across the street to a parking lot.  I was enticed by the possible hiking opportunities and views here.  However, the hillside was obstructed by trees and buildings and the camera did not capture a good return.  We then took to the streets...

 Entering the Sunset Plaza area...

 Ohhh - Ahhh - Pretty :)

 We enjoyed margaritas at this Mexican lounge - very nice

Eating gelato on Santa's Sleigh...

**Afterward we hiked up into the hills, along the road.  A good idea to walk off some of the liquid intake before the long ride home.  After twenty minutes or so of wandering, we grouped back to the bike and went for a ride.

We rode up into the Hollywood Hills, but this wasn't easy given our situation on the bike.  When we finally came back down, I was ready for another drink and convinced Jess to go on another hike...

Day #738 * Hike #896 * New Track #708
Friday November 23, 2012
Hollywood - Hollywood, CA

My Tripometer: 3 Hours * 2.5 Miles * +0 Feet

 VIP Parking!

 Walking along a new portion of the Hollywood Strip...



 Made our way back over to the Kodak Theatre

 There was no Cash Game Show out here today

Hey, wonder if Vino visited the Vino Bar...

I approached a street hot dog vendor and asked if the hot dogs were a dollar.  She said, "a dollar", so I said, "I'll take one with everything on it".  Jess snapped a picture with her phone and I need to bribe her to forward that pic to this blog.  Anyhow, I hadn't had one of these street hot dogs since Rosarito....

Before Ayden was born, Jess and I left at midnight from Thousand Oaks to drive all the way down to Mexico for the weekend.  This trip had many memorable experiences however I will only share the hot dog story for this post.

We partied at some random club on our final night and with only $5.00 left in my pocket, we left the club.  It was 1:00am, we were slightly sauced and hungry.  I spent $2.00 for 2 hot dogs; one for me and one for jess.  Those dogs were so good that I gave up my final $3.00 for three more hot dogs!  Umm!!!  With a fully tummy, we began our drive all the way back to Thousand Oaks.  Just barely, we had enough gas in the tank.  Man, those days were so crazy...

Anyhow, back to the present in Hollywood, I gave the gal a dollar bill.  She said $4.00.  Unfortunately, I literally only had $1.00 in cash.  I live in the plastic credit card world and I very rarely carry any cash.  I pulled some change out of my pocket and negotiated my Four Dollar Hot Dog for a Buck fourty-eight.

She was Mad, but what can you do.  She said "ATM", I responded, no hablo ingles.  ***I hate foreign ATM Machines (I bet you thought I was going somewhere else with that...)  At Mt. Sac last month, the parking attendant said $3.00 but I only hade $2.28 in change.  He would not accept this!  So, I had to drive five miles back to the gas station to use the ATM.  I eventually paid the guy in all pennies because this was stupid!!!

My total bill, $2.50 ATM Charge plus an additional $4.50 ATM Charge not to mention the $2.50 in gas that I spent going back and fourth.  Thus, the total price for the $3.00 parking was $12.50.  At least Ayden still got to his meet on time that day and yes I feel slightly bad that the girl does not know English well and I cheated her out of a couple bucks, yet, at least she still got a sale.  The hot dogs on the street of Hollywood look like they've been around for awhile.  Normally, those street hot dogs are only good outside of a club.  Ugh, I'm too old for this.  I need to go on a real hike away from all this commotion...

To conclude our hike today, we went up and down many random streets.  We found a couple of bars and quenched my thirst before finally saddling back on the bike.  I rode home Fast!  Jess was cold, my balsh were smooshed and zoom zoom, under an hour to VTA from Hollywood.  Good Night...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 734 - 738: Korea Town - Harvard Heights

Try riding 100 miles like this...

Day #734 & 735 * Hike #890 & 891 * Duplicate Tracks
Monday & Tuesday  November 19 & 20, 2012
Arroyo Verde Park - Ventura, CA

Monday was 1 1/2 figure eights plus warm up and cool down.  This was less difficult than last week but I ran the 3k distance just two days after my race.  My legs had no relief from my run off Mt. Lee on Sunday, yet I managed to complete the 3k run in 16:22.  That's 40 seconds faster than my racing time!  Granted, there was 100 feet less in elevation gain in this run and the track condition wasn't sloppy.

Tuesday was similar to last Tuesday's run.  We ran for about 20 minutes.  The goal was to keep it easy but somehow I separated from the pack with Chris, the 8-year-old star sensation.  Hey, this kid can run a mile in about 5:30 and in my entire life, I've never clocked anywhere close to that.  At first, the jog was no big deal but as Chris broke away from the other runners who appreciated the day off, he increased his speed.  I'm not sure how he does it.  His little legs are moving so fast.  I tried to hang with him by taking long strides but I could not keep up that way.  Thus, I had to pump my knees and really move.  In the final stretch, I nearly gave up but since I was neck and neck with him, I showed him what a longer stride could do.  Yes, I beat him!  I kept it real for him, as a coach, I allowed him to stay side by side till the end so he could give it all he got.  I'm just glad he didn't put me away sooner because if this were a race, I would never have seen him at the finish line...

Day #736 & 737 * Hike #892 & 893 * Duplicate Tracks
Wednesday & Thursday  November 21 & 22, 2012
Kimball Park - Ventura, CA

Wednesday I ran around the park a couple of times without my watch.  However, I did bring Sammi.  After about 3/4's of a mile into it I decided to keep it easy.  I have sever shin splints.  Actually, I thing there's more going on with my legs but without medical insurance, guess I'll never really know.  For real though, it hurts bad and especially my right leg, it's way tender...

Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving.  There was no cross country practice today but we all had instructions from the head coach.  Ayden's goal was to run four 400 meter runs.  Some of the team was suppose to meet up at the park, but I only saw a few of them.  They were already running thus I ran with Ayden separately.  Unfortunately, that did not go too well.  Jess and Alyssa were playing soccer and after one 400 meter run, Ayden walked back to the soccer fields.

Despite the pain in my legs, I completed the four 400's.  I would run one, then walk one...  Here are my not so impressive times:
  • 1.39.14
  • 1.15.90
  • 1.28.44
  • 1.20.31
**If this were an actual mile straight through, my time would have been 5.43.79.  Hey, I just set a PR!! --In all, I accumulated 3.5 miles on Turkey Day.  I'll admit that I was jealous watching several groups of dudes playing football.  I had a chance to get in a game this year but I passed up on it.  With the Vacation coming up and the TV Show, man, --  Ugh, I gained so much weight this weekend and I didn't really eat that much.  It sucks being 38.  What's it going to be like when I'm 50?  My body is not meant for this ware and tear...

Day #738 * Hike #894 * New Track #706
Friday  November 23, 2012
Harvard Heights -  Michael Adams District - Los Angles, CA

Korea Town
My Tripometer: 1.5 Hours * 1.5 Miles * +25 Feet

We were somewhere by Culver City.  We exited the 10 Freeway at Western, which is just one exit before Crenshaw.  I believe the graffiti ridden sign said Michael Adams District.  I'm not sure if I recalled this correctly but about a mile from here we did enter the Harvard Heights area.

Jess and I were on a mission to purchase some restaurant equipment.  The topping bowls here were 75% cheaper than what we would pay for them in Ventura.  The only problem was, how are we going to bring all of these back on the motorcycle?

We walked around the neighborhood lugging the heavy pans.  We found a Uhaul and we purchased some bungee cords.  I then convinced Jess to continue walking into Korea Town to call this a hike.  She took some pics of the streets with her phone, but those will probably never make this blog...

Although this blogpost is over, the night out with the pans was far from over....

Day 733: Mt. Lee - Hollywood Sign = Sunset Ranch

Sunset near the Hollywood Sign

Day #733 * Hike #889 * New Track #705
Sunday November 18, 2012
Hike to the Hollywood Sign - Hollywood, CA
Sunset Ranch - Mt. Lee _ Beechwood Drive

My Tripometer: 1.5 Hours * 3.75 Miles * +750 Feet

 We'll be hiking to the Hollywood Sign Today...

From the 101 Freeway in Hollywood, take the Gower/Beechwood Drive exit and head north all the way up Beechwood Drive until you reach the dirt parking area.  Last time we were here we tried our luck on horseback.  Then, the rain turned into hail and we were turned back before reaching the sign.  We hiked a mile or so on that day but today our goal was to reach the sign with no Horsie Interference...


 We are close, but it's almost sundown

 Do Not Enter - Possibly the quick way up to the top?

The sign mentions hazardous chemicals.  Due to the sun fading, Jess decided to pass this switchback and run down the main road.  Oy!  I wish I had been the Line Leader, but Jess sent me back to the car to fetch water and every time I closed in on her and the kids, they sped away so I decided to take pictures...

 A single track trail off the main road

Hmm, I believe this would have done the trick.  It appears this trail leads up to the ridge above, which crosses over to the Hollywood Sign.  Instead, Jess continued down the main road.  The Griffith Park Observatory came in view and we were closing in on it - Wrong Way!  I wish I had read Sky Hiker's blogpost of Mount Lee, but this was a spur of the moment hike before dusk...

 We cut up here off the main road...

 It brought us here and then we took a new dirt road

 Hollywood Reservoir rests below...

 Today's Final Destination - A Water Tower!

There is a narrow ridge trail that appears to head lower and then back up the next hill where the Hollywood Sign was.  I remember Sky Hiker calling it Mt. Lee.  I'm going to need to confirm the correct way to the sign and then revisit the area when there is more day light.

Great Views!!!

So we didn't accomplish the sign but we raced back in the dark completing a New Track.  With so many distractions in my life like work, family, etc., it seems that most of my journeys fall short of target.  That being said, I've hiked all around the Hollywood sign from this trail to the Bronson Canyon Trail and Bat Caves.  One day, I will summit Mt. Lee and I can only imagine how great it will feel.  As Bobby Brown once said, Every Little Step I Take.  --I don't think he was talking about hiking though -- New Track #705 is complete and in the books...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 733: Fashion District - Santee Alley - Million Dollar Theater - Grand Central Market - Toy District - Jewelery District - Old Bank District - Historic Core District - Gallery Row

Welcome to Los Angeles

Day #733 * Hike #888 * New Track #704
Sunday November 18, 2012
Fashion District - Santee Alley - Los Angeles, CA

Million Dollar Theater - Grand Central Market
Toy District - Jewlrey District - Old Bank District
Historic Core District - Gallery Row
My Tripometer: 3 Hours * 4.5 Miles * +50 Feet

 Get Ready for a long day of walking the streets of LA

Well, it's actually quite difficult.  For this hike, you can pick any parking lot in the area.  It's located to the southeast of the 101 and 110 Freeway interchange.  This was my first time down here and it was crazy.  As a point of reference, you can google map:

Million Dollar Theater
307 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 

 Grand Central Market

We parked off 4th Street, right near the market.  We grabbed some Chinese food and paid 25 cents to use the restroom.  This was truly an interesting place to visit.  Good deals on fruit; wonder if they come from Oxnard?

 Alyssa gave a homeless man some food

 Entering the Toy District

 Jess dodges the paparazzi

 Where are we now?

 ...Still in the Toy District

There were many cheap shops out here.  Pretty much, everything is junk but we found a few souvenirs for the kids, and a Cleveland Browns plastic Chinese player in a helmet for me.  :)

 Los Angeles

 The Fashion District

 Big Bras on Santee Alley

Three Hours Later, back to the car...

My pictures don't really captivate the experience we had.  There are street vendors selling hot dogs, herds of people lining up in stores to claim their $20 blankets, chaos everywhere and a broad range of ethnicity's.  Overall, the District area was a complete surprise to me and it's a must visit.  Bring cash, buy something strange and call it a hike, because your feet will be sore if you hike the entire area like we did!



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