I’ll admit, I’m kind of forcing this post. Day after day is ticking by and I still haven’t written about my first hike, pretty much because I have no idea what to write. I know I’m not planning on making these trail evaluations, there’s plenty of those around written by people far more knowledgeable than me. So, I don’t know, I’ll just start…
Much like finding the book, it seemed meant to be that January 1st fell on a weekend, specifically a Sunday. I knew I had to jump at the chance to get my first hike done. Of course, I didn’t get any of that scheduling done (still haven’t), so it was up in the air about where we were going to go. Since I wanted to be sure to make it to the first church service of the year, I looked at places that weren’t a bad drive from there. Corriganville and the slightly more challenging Hummingbird Trail were the same distance away in Simi Valley, and not only directly across the freeway from each other, but I learned are also connected by a tunnel. I could do two hikes on my first day! But things happened, and since both kids were going with us, it was decided to just do a single, easier hike, and enjoy our day together.
We got a late start, as we always seem to do, but Chris, the kids and I made it to the park around 3 in the afternoon. It was cold. It was cloudy. It was windy. Not a fun combination, but we were hiking no matter what, damn it! I brought my book along and ended up referring to it often, pretty much the whole time. We started our trek trying to follow the tips from the book. Since I had read through the description at home, I thought I had a pretty good idea of how to navigate this very simple hike. We were heading to “Sherwood Forest”, aptly named for its appearance in 1938’s “The Adventures of Robin Hood”. After passing your standard selection of trees, and one that apparently snapped in half in the recent winds, we came across Camp Rotary.
I remembered reading about a camp in the book, so I figured we were headed the right way. Long story short, we never actually found Sherwood Forest, though I’m certain we passed by it at some point. For all my preparations in reading the book beforehand, I had forgotten to look for some of the things the author pointed out along the way. The “camp” I remembered reading about was not Camp Rotary, but a camp for Chinese laborers during railway construction in the 1900’s. I was way off.
This seemed like a good time to stop and eat, because if you take my kids hiking, they expect to be rewarded with food. We found the little picnic pavilion and took a break. My kids used this time to find themselves walking sticks, which is, of course, a must. Being that it was so cold and windy, we hurried through our food to get moving again. The trail got a bit more rustic, but was still quite easy. We came to a point where it seemed we were already almost finished, so instead of calling it quits, we took a very small detour. We hiked up a steep little hill to some boulders in hopes of a view. This was easily my favorite part. The view was lovely, overlooking the park and trails, and houses beyond. We spent some time up here. It was very peaceful, and, away from the trees, much warmer.
We made our way back down, ready to finish things off. There was a bit more to see. Some informational plaques with photos from the days of Old Westerns. The foundations of some old set buildings that were destroyed by fires in the 70’s. I have to say, I am really glad that I chose this one as my first hike. Event though it was an incredibly simple little loop, I still managed to misread (or not read at all) the suggestions guiding me through it. Luckily I had no shot at getting us lost. It was a good learning experience.
This feels like a really short post, but it was a really short hike. And to be honest, it was a week ago, so it’s entirely possible that some of the effect has worn off, which makes me sad. I do plan to get into a better posting rhythm over the next couple of hikes, and to get a better feel for what kind of writing I want to do. Seriously, I’m winging it. I’m just trying to remind myself of the real reason I’m documenting this and, no offense to any of you reading, but it’s for me. While I would love to write entries that are clever and captivating (such ambition), it’s really so I can remember each hike through words and pictures as much as possible, while time does all it can to erode it from my memory. So I’ll remember that I went the wrong way, lol, and didn’t do the full trail by the book, but that it was too cold and windy to go back and do it again. I’ll remember that what we may have lacked in trail accuracy, we made up in a little off-trail tangent with a view that gave my kids a sense of power to overlook. I’ll remember that my first hike was with my family, and how much it meant to me that they were there to share it with me, even if the little ones had to be dragged along a bit 🙂
Still, I could use some direction, so if there are tips you might have or things you might want to know that I can work into future posts, please comment and let me know!
What I learned:
- Warm pants are a necessity.
- I can read something more times than I can count on one hand, and still not see or retain what it says.
- My tiny son can’t hang. I’m guessing he’s good for maybe four or five hikes a year, at least until his legs get longer.