30 May 2011

Goat Whiskers Trail (again)

Date: 26 May 2011
Click to enlarge elevation profile
Who Hiked: Me
Route: Goat Whiskers Trail -Water Tank Road - TransCatalina Trail
Time: 0920 - 1315
Weather: sunny with some clouds, 60s to 70s, breezy

Distance: 6.9 miles (measured on GPS)
Elevation range: 0 ft - 1284 ft

This hike offers some lovely views of the West End of Catalina, both of the ocean and the near-side coves and of interior valleys. There are some lovely oak groves that attract resident and migrant birds. On clear days, you get great looks at the mainland and San Clemente Island. The ascents and descents are fairly steep, but not unusually so for Catalina trails.

I hiked some parts of this route previously. You can read about them here and here.

23 May 2011

WWII Sunday

Elevation Profile of Road to Camp Cactus

Date: 22 May 2011
Who hiked:  Me, Hubby, Things 1 and 2, SuperC
Where:  Camp Cactus
When: 1255 - 1420
Weather:  overcast at first, turning mostly sunny; temps in 70s
Distance: 2.9 miles (measured on GPS)
Elevation Range: 480 - 780 ft
See end of post for a zoomed-out view of location.

Today the family plus a 10-year old friend (SuperC) took a short hike to Camp Cactus. We had first seen these buildings during our Bullrush Canyon hike. We didn't know anything about the site then; later I learned that it had been a radar facility during World War II.

18 May 2011

Rain? Really?

I know I won't get any sympathy from my midwestern and eastern family and friends, but I'm ready to be done with rain.

It has rained here three out of the last four days...

And I want to go hiking.

But rain on on Catalina = mud on Catalina.  Really thick, slippery mud.  Making hiking treacherous and certainly a lot less fun.

I'm hoping to hike tomorrow to Cape Canyon Reservoir...  keep your fingers crossed for a sunny afternoon to dry out the roads and trails!

11 May 2011

Bolsa Chica #3

Where: Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach
When: 11 May 2011, ~1010 to ~ 1145
Who:  me, Dr. Centrocercus, Mrs. Centrocercus, Dr. Quiscalus

I was so pleased to see some old friends this week: my PhD advisor (Dr. Centrocercus), his wife (Mrs. Centrocercus), and a friend/colleague from grad school (Dr. Quiscalus).  They are in town to go on a birdwatching cruise from Long Beach to Vancouver.

All are birdwatchers (an understatement for the two Drs...) and we had a morning together, so I decided to take them to Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

06 May 2011

West End Catalina Fire

Those of you in SoCal have probably heard about the recent fire on the west end of Catalina.

I wrote an article for The Catalina Islander about the fire. What I submitted is below.  I've inserted some of my pictures in the text -- some of these ran in the paper as well.

Fire Pushed Back from Banning House Lodge
6 May 2011
by Lori Nelson

A fire broke out on the hillside below the Banning House Lodge near Catalina Harbor in the afternoon on May 2. By the next morning, the fire had scorched 117 acres, narrowly missing the 101-year-old Banning House Lodge.

West End Tour

Date:  5 May 2011
Click to enlarge elevation profile
Who hiked:  Me
Where:  Boushay Road - Silver Peak - Trans-Catalina Trail
When: 0915-1440
Weather:  sunny, clear, lt breeze; temps in low/mid 70s

Distance:  9.3 miles (measured on GPS)
Elevation range: 59 ft (trailhead) - 1708 ft (Silver Peak)

Visitors to the island can access the trailhead by getting a shoreboat to and from Emerald Bay.  There is a campground at Parsons Landing, which is about a mile from Emerald Bay. Check out my "how to get around" post here.  Click here for camping information.

The fun part of today:  new GPS (Garmin GPSmap 60CSx).  The map of the hike is generated using that data.  I am also fiddling with an altitude profile -- look for that in the coming days.

I drove from the house out the West End Road (an adventure in itself) toward Emerald Bay.  The goal was to hike up the Boushay Trail, pick up Silver Peak Trail, drop down toward Starlight Beach, and come back via Parsons Landing on the Trans-Catalina Trail (TCT).  A quick look at trail maps indicated it should be around nine miles.

02 May 2011

Calcite Mine Hike

Date:  24 April 2011
Who hiked:  Me, Hubby, Things 1 and 2
Where:  Calcite Mine, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
When: 1130-1400
Distance:  4.2 miles (from "101 Hikes in Southern California")
Weather:  sunny, clear, windy; temps in low/mid 80s

Do you like sand in your lunch?  Turns out, neither do we.