Hiking Black Star Canyon

Martin-hikingThis morning we decided we wanted to do something different, a hike, so we drove to Cleveland National Forest at the end of Silverado Canyon, one of our favorite routes when riding our scooters. We were surprised to find the trail head there closed to the public because of dry brush and fire danger. (You may see my Sept 13, 2014 posting about a major fire in that area of Silverado Canyon.)  Disappointed and wondering where else we could go, we spoke to a woman cyclist and told her of our dilemma. She told us of another hiking trail in nearby Black Star Canyon. We’ve lived in this area of Southern California since 1977, but had never been to that particular canyon. Before long we were on our hike there. It was wonderful. Above you can see my husband, Martin, thoroughly enjoying the surroundings. Mountain-Lion-WarningWe saw the above Mountain Lion warning as we started up the trail, but we’re used to seeing such signage in the more open and uninhabited areas of California. There were quite a few hikers on the trail, plus mountain bikers, so chances were slim that we would encounter a mountain lion. Plus there were two of us, an added safety benefit. Jan-hikingHere I’m enjoying a bit of shade and a drink of water. We had started out later than planned, and it was getting quite warm. We hiked inland for just over an hour, but it took less time to hike back because it was mostly downhill. We were glad we had taken plenty of water with us, had applied sun screen, and were wearing wide brimmed hats!Black-Star-Canyon-TrailI want to share one more photo with you, so you can see just how dry the brush is on the both sides of the trail.  Black Star Canyon was truly a find, and we plan to go back again soon, but next time we’ll start out earlier in the day and go a little farther up the trail.

A Local Treasure in Dana Point

The Dana Point Headlands Conservation Area

The Dana Point Headlands Interpretive Center

You may have read that our south facing beaches here in California have had enormous waves the past week or so. The authorities are asking us to stay away, because several people have been injured while surfing or swimming. This morning our curiosity got the better of us and we decided to have a look. We drove to Dana Point and had lunch at Smokey’s House of BBQ on Pacific Coast Highway. We are familiar with Smokey’s because our San Clemente Scooter Club often meets there for dinner.
After lunch, we went to the Dana Point Marina, where we drove up the very steep Cove Road, and then spotted Green Lantern. This was a road we had never noticed before, even though for many years we kept a sail boat in the Dana Point Marina.

We turned on to the street to see where it led. It was then that we spotted the sign announcing The Dana Point Headlands Conservation Area. We parked and went in to the Interpretive Center. We were welcomed by two docents who showed us around and told us the building had been there for four years, which was quite a surprise to us. They also told us about the hiking trails that were part of the conservation area. After looking at the exhibits, we headed out on the trail.

Martin walking

Here you can see my husband, Martin, walking the sandy trail, with the beautiful Pacific in the distance. The trails were easy to follow, and very well tended.

 

ocean view 2      panoramic view

 

 

 

 

The view was absolutely breathtaking. We hiked for a little over thirty minutes and then turned back. We had not planned on a hike, so were not carrying water, or sun screen. We were so happy to have found this wonderful treasure, so close to home. We plan to return soon, carrying the proper supplies, and hike farther next time. Oh, by the way, we never did get to see the waves up close. That is probably a good thing as the lifeguards are busy enough, without us adding to their work.