One thing I got asked a lot is, “Why?” Why am I going to start living out of my car? What inspired this dream, and what are my reasons for doing it?
To be honest, that is one of the hardest questions I can possibly answer. In the years and, more specifically, the months that have been leading up to this, I actually never stopped to ask myself that very question. Every time I am asked, I find myself thinking that I don’t even have an answer to give. To be completely honest, I have no idea why. I have no idea what to expect from this new lifestyle. I can discuss all of the various things that I have thought about, but not a one of those truly explains my drive to go ahead and move forward with this insane idea.
Perhaps here I can lay down several thoughts about myself–who I am and what I am all about–along with several thoughts about the future that lies ahead. The physical preparations for the future will barely be mentioned (that is for a future post), but this will touch on my psychological preparations to some vague degree. Continue reading Thoughts about leaving
It is now mid-way through December, and the new year is approaching faster than ever. In strangely New Year fashion, I’m finding myself reflecting on the last year and contemplating the future. The last year has been among the most challenging and most rewarding years of my life. It has been a year of saying goodbye to past life and beginning a whole new life. A lot of awesome adventure was had throughout the year, some of which I have posted about on this blog, and others that I have excluded for one reason or another. Though it may seem, looking at my posting here, that I haven’t quite been fulfilling the adventures the last few months now, I have instead shifted focus onto planning and preparing for what is all too likely to be the greatest adventure of my life coming upon me.
Location: Vista, CA Difficulty: Easy Hike Statistics: 1.5 to 2 miles round trip; negligible elevation change Conditions: Day, clear sky, 72 degrees, mixed shade Trail Hours: Sunrise to Sunset Trailhead: Brengle Terrace Park ; Wildwood Park ; Several additional points along path provide access in and out
GPX Track: Google Drive (Note: Accuracy Not Guaranteed; track maps Brengle Terrace Park to Wildwood Park and back, including some alternate routings)
A friend invited me to go on an adventure they were planning along Old Highway 80. I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into, but decided to jump right in and see what happened.
We started the day by driving out to the Desert View Tower just into Imperial County. On the drive in, once off of Interstate 8, the area became instantly interesting, with balanced rocks, rocks with bunny faces attached to them, and even a self-described UFO recovery and repair station. The tower itself, marked by signs of a historic landmark, was at the end of the road. We joked a little about the conditions that the tower could be closed under on any given day, such as heat over 120F and dust storms, but were happy to be there on a day it was open.
Admission fees were paid inside of the tower itself, where we met the many dogs and the caretaker of the tower. It was awesome to get such great, friendly service all the way out here, and we spent some time climbing to the top of the tower to take in the views.
Location: Indian Flats Campground, Caliente Wilderness area in Cleveland National Forest, near Warner Springs, CA; Combs Peak in Anza Borrego Desert State Park Difficulty: Strenuous (Could be done in sections of Moderate to Difficult) Hike Statistics: 27.2 miles, over 16,000ft of cumulative elevation change (over 8,000ft gain) Conditions: Cold to Cool, Mixed Shade (40s-80) Requirements: Adventure Pass if parked in Cleveland National Forest area, except Indian Flats which is a separate Fee Area; no requirements if parked in Anza Borrego Desert State Park section Trailhead: Indian Flats Campground; 33.329945, -116.640359 Cleveland National Forest near Warner Springs, CA connection to Pacific Crest Trail near Caliente Wilderness area; 33.381567, -116.595134 Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Last Valley Road and Pacific Crest Trail junction near Combs Peak
Location: “Big” Black Mountain, Cleveland National Forest, near Ramona, CA Difficulty: Strenuous (technically possible to make easier) Hike Statistics: 14.5 miles, over 8,000ft of cumulative elevation change (over 4000ft gain) Conditions: Comfortable, Mixed Shade (60s-80s per forecasts) Requirements: May need Adventure Pass, deepending on parking location Trailhead: 33.140460, -116.850113 ; on Pamo Road in Cleveland National Forest
Sierra Club 100 Peaks List: Black #1, #44
GPX Track: Google Drive (Note: Accuracy Not Guaranteed; Only includes hike described below)
Location: El Cajon Mountain, El Capitan Open Space Preserve, Lakeside, CA Difficulty: Strenuous (Moderate to Difficult hikes technically possible) Hike Statistics: 11.87 miles, over 10,500ft of cumulative elevation change (over 5200ft gain) Conditions: Pre-dawn start. Temps ranging upper 60s at the start to 100 on return. Very sparse shade on return. Preserve Hours: 7am to roughly sunset (closing time is posted). Some parking space along road for earlier starting times (recommended in hot conditions). Preserve is closed the entire month of August due to extreme heat. Trailhead: 32.912545, -116.884734 ; off of Wildcat Canyon Road, across from Oak Oasis Open Space Preserve
Sierra Club 100 Peaks List: El Cajon, #89
GPX Track: Google Drive (Note: Accuracy Not Guaranteed; Only includes hike described below, does not include additional trail options)
I have often talked to some people, posting on Facebook and in discussion, about how I survive hiking in hot weather. From small, local San Diego hikes to the Grand Canyon where I faced temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, to one day on a Pacific Crest Trail section hike where temperatures were over 110 degrees Fahrenheit with no shade in sight for many miles. Through all of this, I’ve picked up a lot of techniques, which I have practiced and modified, and continue to practice and modify. As this knowledge is useful, I am writing this post to describe some of what I have learned.
Location: Foster Point, Mt Laguna, CA Difficulty: Easy Hike Statistics: 1.4-1.5 miles round trip; about 200ft elevation change Conditions: Night, high 50s to low 60s; Clear sky, bright moon Requirements: National Forest Adventure Pass (Cleveland National Forest) ; Required on car to park in the area Trailhead: 32.889452, -116.441021 GPX Track: Google Drive (Note: Accuracy Not Guaranteed; Only includes attempted drawing of route via satellite images and was not actually taken from a GPS device in any way)
Location: Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve, Valley Center, CA Difficulty: Easy to Difficult Hike Statistics: 9.2 miles, 7320.54ft elevation change (3658.69ft gain) Conditions: 90s to 100s, Mixed shade/no shade Preserve Hours: Friday – Monday, 8am to Sunset. Preserved closed Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Closed entire month of August due to extreme heat. Trailhead: 33.216444, -116.934028 GPX Track: Google Drive (Note: Accuracy Not Guaranteed ; Only includes hike described below, does not include additional trail options seen in image below)