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NateKat · July 2012

July 2012

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2012.

San Bernardino Peak was number 5 on the list of training hikes for Mt. Whitney.

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Since the round trip distance is over 16 miles, we decided to do it as weekend backpacking trip. We got a relatively late start on Saturday, but only had to hike 6 miles to our campsite at Limber Pines.  The trail was well maintained with a nice manageable slope, although we had 3200 feet to climb.  The first half of the trail was soft dirt shaded by large trees, the second half was lined with boulders and manzanita.

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After 5.5 hours we made it to the empty campground and chose the most remote site off the trail and overlooking the valley (Inland Empire).  As the sunset behind Mt. Baldy, we climbed up on the boulders and enjoyed a dessert of freeze dried chocolate cheesecake!

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Sadly the city lights below washed out most of the stars, so we took photos of our glowing tent.

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The next morning we prepared for the 2.1 mile hike to the peak (and the hike down) with a mocha made with filtered mountain water.

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The hike to the peak was easy in the cool morning we even stopped to take some photos on the way up.

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San Bernardino Peak is at 10,650 feet and has an incredible views of mountains we’ve bagged and planned to summit this summer.

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Since we reached the summit of San Bernardino Peak pretty early in the morning and we were feeling good, we looked east to East San Bernardino Peak. The East Peak is actually slightly higher (10,690′) and is also on the “100 peaks” list… and it was only a mile away with a couple hundred feet of gain. So we checked our water and headed to East San Bernardino.

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After bagging both peaks we headed back to camp, enjoyed a hot lunch, and hiked back to the car completing 14.5 miles for the day. This was one of our favorite hikes so far because the views were beautiful, the trail was well maintained with a gentle grade, and we had perfect weather.

 

Two years ago we took a day trip to Santa Cruz island in Channel Islands National Park with Nathan’s parents and loved it. The steep cliffs jutting into the blue ocean with sea caves and arches were stunning. We decided we’d have to make a couple more trips to the park to camp, see visit the other islands, and kayak. So in June Katharine organized a big group trip with about 20 of our coworkers, friends and Nathan’s parents for a kayaking trip around the Santa Cruz Island.  The trip started at the Ventura Harbor to take the boat to the island. We were escorted on the way by common dolphins playing in our boat’s wake.

Common Dolphin

After a few minutes on the island we were suited up in sun bleached life jackets, bright yellow helmets and slathered with sun screen.

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We got a quick lesson in paddling, steering, and how to navigate caves without being crushed against the rocks.

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Before we knew it we were paddling out past the breakers testing our new paddling skills.

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Benefits of Tandem Kayaks… letting your partner do the work

Unfortunately the swell was too high, keeping us out of the adventurous caves.  Instead we paddled close to a blow hole where during low tide you can actually paddle through.

This was my first time using the GoPro on the water.  I learned a couple things.  First, make sure the camera is straight on your helmet.  Second move your head slowly. Lastly the water tight housing also blocks sound thus the need for dramatic music.  I hope you don’t get sea sick watching the video, enjoy!

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We did get to go into a large archway that was made from the unstable rock falling into the ocean.  Some of us were a little uneasy knowing that at anytime boulders could come crashing down.

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We then paddled across the open ocean rising and falling with the large waves.  It was thrilling to watch our friends in front of us disappear behind the massive waves then reappear as we sank into a valley of water.

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After 3 hours of kayaking we rode the surf in and turned in our life jackets for hiking shoes.

Scorpion Anchorage, Santa Cruz Island

The 2 mile round-trip hike has some amazing views of the island’s coast.

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After a long day of kayaking and hiking we headed back home with more dolphins jumping in our wake.

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It was a fun adventure with friends and we are already talking about going back to kayak the caves! Plus do a camping trip… and visit Anacapa Island. It’s surprising that so few people in Southern California know about this National Park because it’s so close and has so much to offer!