Tramping? Have Mr F and I thrown away our worldly goods? Are we living out of cardboard boxes?
Before I explain, I want you to look at the next three photos (which I took last month), and tell me where I was on this planet of ours. Hey, don’t scroll down and cheat, I can see you :-)
I’m so tempted to end the post now because I’m sure you won’t guess correctly, but as I know only too well how challenging it is to keep up with blog reading, I won’t burden you with an extra post. Make sure to let me know in the comments at the end…
When I use the word tramping, I’m not referring to a homeless person, but the word New Zealanders use for hiking.
Wikipedia describes hiking as “an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain”.
- In the United States hiking refers to walking outdoors on a trail for recreational purposes.
- In the United Kingdom hiking is usually called rambling.
- Australians use the term bushwalking.
- New Zealanders use tramping.
- Multi-day hiking in the mountainous regions of India, Pakistan, Nepal, North America, South America, and Mt Kilimanjaro is called trekking.
When our friends Edith and Jolly sent an email in January inviting us to join them
hiking the The Backbone Trail in eight segments of between 5.5 and 11.5 miles in length,
starting each morning at 9 am, parking cars on both ends of the trail to avoid hiking out-and-back,
Mr F and I were delighted to join them, as we’ve hiked five to twelve miles every Saturday since December. Simply splendid synchronicity
The above photos were all taken on February 11, 2012, on the first segment of the trail less than an hour away from our home.
Be honest, didn’t you think we were in some exotic location?
You may only know Los Angeles as a city of dreadful traffic, smog, and all the Hollywood hooplah, but there’s so much more to this city, one example being the hundreds of hiking trails all within an hour of our home…
What’s the Backbone Trail?
It’s taken more than fifty years to put together the almost seventy mile Santa Monica Mountains ridgeline trail known as the Backbone Trail which ties together the individual parks from their westernmost point at Point Mugu (at the Pacific Ocean) to Will Rogers State Park.
The trail has been converted from fire roads, old animal paths that became single-track trails, with only the newest sections built to modern trail standards.
In Edith’s email describing the hike she wrote:
“ 8.1 miles will be on the Backbone Trail, but unfortunately there is no parking or vehicle access anywhere near the inland-side end of this segment and we’ll have to hike about 2 miles from Rancho Sierra Vista to join the trail.
Terrain over the course of our hike will mostly be moderate, except for a strenuous 2-mile section in the first half when we’ll gain about 700 feet in elevation.”
Seven of us braved the hike.
As the GPS reading on the left shows, we walked a total 11.73 miles.
The official website described the flora as Coastal Sage Scrub, Sycamore Savannah, Oak Woodlands. And continues:
“The dry coastal Sage Scrub community is perfectly adapted for its ocean influenced landscape. This community receives very little rainfall, so oils in the leaves help to retain moisture. It is these oils that make the community so fragrant.
Other moisture savers are grayish colors, small leaf sizes, smaller shrubs, light colors on backs of leaves. Characteristic plants for the coastal Sage Scrub community are sages, buckwheats, sagebrush, and laurel sumac.
The shaded canyon and valley floors benefits from seasonal streams and fog. Characteristic plants there will be Sycamore trees and Oaks.”
Don’t forget the photos at the top of the post were also part of this hike.
* * * *
2. Our second hike, Backbone Segment 3: Circle X Sandstone Parking Lot to Yerba Buena Road.
(Note: BB segment number #2 includes a climb of several thousand feet and over twelve miles so we’re giving ourselves extra time to get fit :-) )
We had a larger group for this hike on February 25th: twelve of us plus two happy dogs.
(As this section of the trail isn’t a State park, dogs on leash were permitted to join us.)
The official website describes the vegetation on this segment as Chaparral and meadows.
The GPS claims that the hike was just over six miles.
An [unmentionable word] let’s just say, “someone” or more likely “several someones” turned the above sign around.
We walked almost a mile out of our way before we clued in that we had walked too far from the sign, and turned around.
Even though we’ve hardly had any rain this winter, the signs of spring were everywhere.
These blue flowers were blooming all along the trail, but unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the bush…
… or the name of this plant with the delicate little pink flowers.
There are many more photos in the slide-show
My apologies to Jolly for taking so long to post this.