Friday, April 25, 2014

Holy Jim Trail

Well, I've pretty much shared this story with some of my friends already, so if you have heard it before, aren't you lucky! Last Sunday night, after eating a very large Easter lunch, complete with Paula Deen's Strawberry cake and cookies that looked like they could be in bakery, I decided to get my husband to take us all on a little nature walk. I needed the exercise but get bored to tears walking the neighborhood, and the boys just want to play on the playground anyway, so I needed some adventure.

We used my hiking in Orange County hiking book that I checked out from the library, and saw a trail marked easy was just 10 or so miles away, and it included a 30 foot waterfall at the end. Perfect for boys who need to basically be bribed to do anything other that watching TV or getting into various non-toys. We can see a water fall! Maybe you guys can splash in the water! Etc.

The road to get there was just past the suburbs. It was exactly where the suburbs end in Orange County, and the Saddleback mountain range starts, complete with nurseries, windy roads, and the dirt road that had no street sign with the name on it, which is where we were supposed to turn. I just couldn't believe it, I mean there were people sitting on top of an old decrepit tractor taking pictures, and bikers giving us the eye. But my husband trusted his GPS and is way braver than I am, and turned down the dirt road.

You guys, I've been on some dirt roads, ok, to get to a house! But this went on for miles, there were giant lifted trucks leaving us in their dust, I kept feeling like we were fishtailing...how am I supposed to know how gravel feels under tires?? What is this? Anyway, we kept plowing through, me anxiously holding on to my pink dog, and white knuckling the handle bar above my window, reminding my husband to go slower. We finally made it to where we assumed was the parking lot for the trail.

Which turned out to be just the starting point of the actual unmaintained dirt road. Since it was already close to sunset, we decided to cut our losses, and turned around for civilization. But, I was determined to try it again, which is what we did yesterday. We made it back to the really bumpy road and kind of decided that we didn't want to get stuck, but this is an SUV right, and hopefully not just a glorified station wagon. But as we made our way through the longest two miles of my life, we realized how yuppy and not exactly the usual clientele for this type of excursion. Even a rather older gentleman seemed a little doubtful of our ability to make it to the hiking trail, as he blazed off in his 4x4. Thanks for making me feel a little worse about this!

The kid's heads were bouncing back and forth between the ears of their padded headrests, and they were so over this ride through crevices and never ending holes and hills, but we finally made it to the trail head. First things first were a few more discouragements about our stroller (which I didn't hear) and news of a mountain lion sighting down the road. Well, we packed our stroller and started the hike up past the cabins, and were already feeling pretty accoplished until we got to the actual trailhead. How many trail heads are there?? Turns out number one on the hike's agenda was to render our stroller futile because there were boulders in the middle of the two foot path, then next was a 2x4 plank for a bridge. So we ditched the stroller, and decided to just walk for a few minutes.

Timmy only slipped three times, and Troy is not the lightest thing to carry, in addition to me holding on to my rat dog for dear life, my diaper bag and cooler lunch box. We're so outdoorsy!! I felt as ridiculous as I probably looked to all teenagers in their woodsy, singleton lives, confused as to why this isn't easy. We turned around after about ten minutes in the actual trail because it would be better with hiking back packs, no dog or a picnic lunch and a gallon of water sloshing around.

We stopped at the bottom and I sat down on a rock to enjoy my sandwich until we got too creeped out by the thought of a bear or something smelling my ham and just walked back to the car. The ride back was just as treacherous except for the pack of wild horses on the road.

We'll be back Holy Jim, we'll be back! But in the meantime, our car does look pretty tough covered in ten pounds of dirt. Until next time, you can find us at the drive-through car-wash!

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