I was looking for places in urban, and not so urban, areas that I could reach by bus, and maybe with the help of my bike as well, if there was some place safe to lock my bike while I hiked, and I could still get home by bus.
I never did use the books partly because my work schedule would get in the way of doing anything, and partly because other things came up.
Last April I joined the OC Hiking Club, finally determined to get my ass out there, and hike more.
A week later I had my seizure at work, and so for the rest of the summer, and fall, in between a battery of tests, I stuck mostly to my bike riding, commuting part way to/from work.
I took part in an urban night stroll along the Hicks Canyon Trail, in Irvine, and a Pier to Pier, night stroll from Newport Beach Pier, to Balboa Pier, and back.
The club is the largest such club in the county, open to people of all ages, and hiking experience, and prides itself in also providing "education, empowerment, encouragement, inspiration and healing to at-risk youth through mentorship in the outdoors."
Membership is free, and the variety of hikes, contests, informational resources, and chances to meet friendly new people, are plentiful on manry related subjects from hiking safety, to nature photography tips, and much more.
You can even get your hands dirty, and feel good doing so, as a volunteer (More on that in an upcoming post!)!
There is an online MIle Marker Newsletter, and archives of OC Register articles by Club President Suki Reed.
The Club is on Facebook, and also on the Meet-Up Website for purposes of connecting people with the latest info on the many hikes throughout the week, and this allows for a community message board, and the sharing of hike photos.
The Hicks Trail was an easy, & interesting, multi-purpose route, w/a dirt, & paved Bike Trail option to choose from, with the paved trail connecting with numerous others along the way.
For anyone w/Pooches there are numerous trees, & other options for leaving, & "reading" of "Community P-mail" if ya get my drift. ;-D
The trail had lighting, spread out along the trail, & especially the tunnel portions, but bring a flashlight, & is well traveled by other users.
I'd love to return to walk along it during the day as that's a more camera friendly time. ;-D
It is easily reachable by bus by connecting with OCTA #79 bus to & From Irvine Blvd. & Culver Dr.
The trail begins up the street from the west side of the Albertsons, and makes for a nice 4 mile round trip.
I arrived at the Pier hike a half hour early, and took a stroll along the pier.
I'd never been here after dark, and the last time Ruby's Diner was still at the end of the pier!
Ah, well, at least there's one at the end of Balboa Pier. ;-D
This 4 mile round trip was a nice cool evening stroll along the beach chatting with new acquaintances, and in one direction, for some of us, playing footsie with the incoming tide. ;-D
We walked along the sandy beach, right up against the surf, with the only light to see by was natural, or our flashlights, as the surf pounded nearby, and we steadfastly kept it from getting under foot, was a fun way to get some exercise.
The historic Newport Beach Dory Fleet maintains a permanent fresh seafood market, and while its focus is more Sport Fishing than Commercial, these days, the 110 year old busines still flourishes, and they have a very nice website as well.
As far as the trail is concern, you can walk the beach, or the multi-use trail, south to Balboa, or north to the Santa Ana River, and back, beginning at the Labyrinth...Just put one foot in front of the other, and there's no way you can get lost. ;-D
The residents, and business owners, are nice and friendly/
Don't let that lady, there, fool ya...she was just playing hard to get!
I mean who can resist my stunning good looks, humor, and charm? ;-D
The Pier, and beach area, including Balboa Island (Accessable by a short, cheap, boat ride, are easily reachable, well into the evening, by bus, by connecting with the OCTA #47, or #71.