Pushing yourself to new heights
Words and Photos by Karrie Comfort Staff Writer
“Yeah, Mt. Baldy is the highest peak in California” my boss said.
The more things I learned about this spontaneous coworker hiking trip, the more nervous I got. First, I heard that people have been hurt on this trail, and now it was some record breaking mountain?
About 3 miles into the hike, sweating in the sweltering heat, and questioning my own sanity I decided that I would not be doing this again.
There were still 3 more miles to the peak, and about 4 more miles back downhill. The crushing despair was almost too much to handle.
But despite the horror of the heat and the length and the difficulty of the trail, hiking with my coworkers was an incredible experience. There were beautiful views and a few good conversations, all of which obviously happened on the downhill portion of our hike.
However, this was not first hike. It was just the first one I had taken that made me question my level of fitness.
As someone who primarily lifts weights in a cool and air-conditioned gym environment, Mt. Baldy and other more recent hiking experiences have been wake up calls for me to get back into nature and hit a few trails for fitness sake.
I mean, I hate cardio as much as the next guy, but it is just as relevant to one’s health and fitness as strength is. I assume it will prove equally important during any apocalyptic episode.
So break out your adventure hat and hit the trails with me. Here are a few of my personal favorites to keep you fit and ferocious.
One of the first places you should definitely go is known as the Dominguez Gap Wetlands Project. This small 2 mile loop surrounds a small patch of wetland nature.
It may not seem like a major getaway, but it’s a great place to clear your mind and go for a little jog. There are always little critters around to look at and it’s pretty close to campus.
Another fairly close hike is another wetland walk in Orange County much closer to a beach: the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. This trail is slightly more populated, but not annoyingly so.
Expect to see a few lizards and a host of interesting birds flying all around. What’s great about this trail is that a quick 5 minute walk across PCH and ta-da: you are at Bolsa Chica State Beach. What’s not to love?
Lastly, and most recently for me, Peter’s Canyon in Orange. This hike has multiple routes measured as easy intermediate or hard, so you can gradually work your way up to. I, unfortunately, took the hard path and nearly passed out, but I think my boyfriend would have stopped me from falling off the cliff if I did.
Though I nearly passed out, it is super rewarding to see how far I have come, from clawing my way up the hills with a death grip to running them like a champ.
So go out and hike your way to health and do a little bit of adventuring this weekend.