The Quest for a Healthier Lifestyle — Hiking 2.0

Today my friends and I hiked the trails through Moro Canyon in Laguna Beach and I must say, I’m so glad I discovered these trails! I don’t know how many times I’ve passed Crystal Cove State Park while driving down PCH and I’ve never known there were so many hiking trails and campgrounds tucked into this beautiful area. The AllTrails app is a miracle worker! If you’re like me and new to hiking and not quite sure where to go or not familiar with the area you will be hiking, get this app, it’s amazing! Because of it, I think I found my hiking trail soulmate.

We decided to head out early since we’re supposed to hit a record high today and we didn’t want to hike through the canyon during the hottest part of the day. This required me to peel myself out of bed at 6 A.M., which was a challenge in itself. Unfortunately, I had a little bit too much fun last night and woke up with a splitting headache…for future reference, don’t attempt to play Betrayal at House on the Hill and drink at the same time; but I’ll save the details of that awesome game for a future blog post… After sluggishly getting out of bed, getting dressed and throwing down some Excedrin, I drove down to Huntington Beach to pick up my friends and off we went!

Moro Canyon is tucked away not far from the coast and makes for some beautiful views once you get to the top. There’s a labyrinth of trails, ranging from 1 mile all the way to 9 miles, with cut-through trails along the way — just in case you can’t quite make it as far as you thought. It makes for endless possibilities for hiking — exactly what I was looking for!

Moro-Canyon Hiking Trail

The endless possibilities in Crystal Cove State Park — Our path is highlighted in red.

We chose to hike an approximate 4 mile trail; now that we’re done, we could’ve gone further, but since it was our first time, we didn’t want to overextend ourselves and end up stuck in the canyon out of breath. This time, I wanted to be the “serious hiker” so I wore my hiking boots rather than my Reeboks. FYI, when wearing high-top hiking boots, make sure you wear crew socks and NOT ankle socks! I have a nice blister on my Achilles tendon that will forever remind me of that… Ah, the lessons you learn…

There was a good amount of hill climbing at beginning of the No Name Ridge trail head, but it was a steady climb so it wasn’t so bad. It was better to get it out of the way at the beginning rather than delaying it for the end… During our hike we decided to return every weekend until we’ve hiked every possible trail. Next Saturday, we’ll be taking the same path up, but taking the East Cut-Across and through Moro Ridge. When we made our way back to the car, we had such a sense of accomplishment, it was very invigorating. I can’t wait to go again next weekend!

Eventually, I want to be able to hike to one of the primitive camp sites for a mini backpacking trip, just to see if I can do it…but that will be a couple months out.

The Quest for a Healthier Lifestyle — Hiking

A few years back, Cole and I tried our hand at hiking. We are definitely novices, but I enjoyed being outside in the fresh air and spending quality time with my husband. After a while, we stopped due to a job change for Cole that required him to work overtime on Saturdays (our hiking day) and I felt the loss of that time with him almost immediately.

When my brother and sister-in-law became our roommates a couple months ago, they started talking about a backpacking trip through Yosemite they want to take in September. They are new to SoCal, but they said if the trip goes well, it will become an annual occurrence. My brother, Paul showed me a blog of a woman who went through the back-country of Yosemite for 7 days and shared her gorgeous photos and her life-changing experience; he told me that he will be following her itinerary when they go. I looked through her blog and got jealous immediately. At the health level I’m at right now, I wouldn’t be able to make it 7 days in Yosemite with nothing but the equipment I carried on my back; my stamina would not allow it… But after reading about this woman’s journey, I wanted to figure out how I could work my way up to the level I need to be at in order to join them on this trip next year.

I decided that I need to begin with baby steps and work my way up from novice hiker to experienced and I’ve enlisted my friends to help! We started a “hiking women’s club” and have promised to go on a hike, with gradually increased difficulty, every Saturday morning. Last Saturday was our first “hike,” which ended up being a 4 mile walk on the El Dorado Nature Trail near my house. It was a good intro to hiking and we had a lot of fun. This weekend, we’re heading over to Laguna Beach for a hike that will also be 4 miles, but will climb higher in elevation and be a little bit more difficult than just a nature walk.

I realize that getting into a healthier lifestyle will bolster my hiking abilities and once I get more comfortable with hiking longer distances, I will focus more on my diet and venture out for a walk every evening.

The blog Paul showed me can be found at this link.