Monday, May 27th was Memorial Day and day one of my new workout regime. For the last few months I’d been walking a ton (hello FitBit), hiking once a week and a zumba class here and there, but no real work outs. It felt like it was time. So Monday I started a bonafide workout regime including lifting weights and the Couch to 5K jogging plan.
I did both Monday, which would you think would be enough. And then I hiked Valencia, a 3.7-mile round-trip hike with a 1275-foot climb (not much, but more than the other flat “hikes” I’d been doing lately). The next day my muscles were not happy with me, but that’s okay. I knew they’d recover.
Valencia is one of the peak trails in Montana de Oro. The trail begins directly across the street from the Bluff Trail (featured here a bunch). 2+ miles one way, mostly gradually up. It’s less travelled than the Bluff trail, so you have more chance of running into wild life.
We didn’t see any of the following. Except for the poison oak. We saw a lot of poison oak. And while we didn’t see a rattle snake, we did see a garter snake (photo to come.)
The trail, about a third of the way up. It temporarily opens wide and then quickly goes back to single-track-ish.
Everything is blooming. Monkey flower, lupin, indian paintbrush, California buckwheat and a ton of other plants I can’t identify.
My mom led the whole way (here we’re turned around so it looks like I’m in front, but you know who the real trail boss is).
The lovely California Buckwheat.
About halfway up, looking towards Morro Bay (aka due north). It was hazy, foggy, clear, windy, and chilly at alternate times.
The higher we went, the windier it got. It was the kind of wind that hurts your ears, so hats and hoods came in handy. Mom’s hood inspired her to re-enact the hooded monks we’d seen in MdO a couple months before. (Aside: we later found out that video was for English musician James Blake, shot entirely in the park).
Looking out towards the ocean. Steep hillside.
Here is the garter snake. Little guy. Garter snakes are pretty. He slithered away before I could get a decent shot.
Nearing the top. Still with the wildflowers.
We made it! And it was chilly and windy and we only stayed up there for five minutes or so.
And here is the James Blake video. If you watch ’til the end you’ll see the monks as well as Valencia Peak itself (right over his shoulder, on the left).
See all the photos in this flickr set