Category Archives: Photography

Return to Mishe Mokwa

By Heather

Our visit to Mishe Mokwa was not intended.

We woke up early and drove a long, long way to our intended destination: La Jolla Canyon in Point Mugu State Park.

Sure wish I had checked this first.

That’s right. The trail has been closed for years and parts of the trail are entirely washed out. Too bad, because it sounds like it was once a delightful hike. Also, who’s been paying attention? Not me.

Fortunately, the Mishe Mokwa Trail is just down the road and I was a hike I knew Darren would enjoy in both scenery and length (on the shorter side).

It was a gorgeous day with all the right things: not too hot, not too cold, not too many people.



Afterward, we hit Neptune’s Net and had breakfast on the patio, believing the whole time that it just looked like the place in “Point Break” but was not the actual place

It was the actual place. So, I guess we have to go back.



2017 Hike for Heroes

american flag on mt baldy summitBy Heather

As much as I enjoy hiking solo, I always feel a twinge of sadness when I see photos of groups of hikers on their trips, having a great time and making memories together.

So, when SoCal Hiker announced the SoCal Hiker Team for the 2017 Hike for Heroes to Mt. Baldy, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and do this thing. Plus, it’s for a great cause,  supporting The Heroes Project, an organization that helps wounded vets redefine their limits after an injury.

My cousin Jessie, an Army nurse, decided to come along, too, so my introverted self didn’t have to face swarms of strangers unassisted. Phew! I’m a baby, yes.

The cause moved me in particular because hiking has taught me an unbelievable amount about myself. I had no idea that a shred of anything I do now existed in me before.

Thinking of those vets having that same realization, especially after once thinking their life might be over… it makes me tear up. It’s a great feeling to realize what you can do despite whatever obstacles you think might be in your way. It is quite literally life changing.

It got even better a few days after the hike – in a thank you email from the Heroes Project, I learned that as a direct result of the Hike for Heroes, USMC Sgt. Kirstie Ennis will climb Mt. Carstensz Pyramid and USMC Cpl. Carlos Torres will climb Mt. Ojos del Salado. Aw, yeah, I am so excited for them! Follow The Heroes Project on Instagram to keep track of Kirstie and Carlos!

I can’t wait to do this again next year, and I’m pumped to try and raise even more money next time!

echo mountain hiking

Sam Merrill Trail to Echo Mountain

By Heather

The last time I saw my friend Eric, we realized we had similar hiking styles – go fast, few breaks, little talking. When he said he would be visiting recently, I naturally suggested we go hiking and he agreed.

Echo Mountain seemed perfect – not too long, not too short and some fun historical sights at the end of the trail. Continue reading

mt. whitney summit

How to Get to the Summit of Mt. Whitney

By Heather

Part of what I love about my hiking adventures is all the planning I get to do. Many people may love to wing it, but I don’t. Not every moment must be planned, but I like having a general idea of what I’m getting into and, most importantly, I like a plan that ensures success.

Mt. Whitney differed in one big way from all of the other hikes I plan for: It’s the highest I’ve ever gone to date.

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Our Tent Is a Little Emptier Now

It feels strange remembering a dog on a camping blog. I know this isn’t the sort of thing you come here.

But it would be equally strange to let Nabby’s passing go unmentioned on this blog. Whenever I told someone that “We’re campers,” in my mind, “we” always included our dogs.

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nabby corgi "barker ranch" "death valley"

Nabby the Camping Corgi, 2001-2015

By Heather

On Thanksgiving, our beloved Nabby became very sick and we had no choice but to let her go. She was exactly 14 years and 5 months old.

Nabby was named after my favorite hockey player, retired San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov. Although I chose her name before I ever met her, it suited her perfectly. She was just… Nabby.

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mt. whitney summit

Mt. Whitney via the Mt. Whitney Trail

By Heather

Oh, did you think we were dead?

After roughly a year of planning, making lists, thinking, dreaming, panicking, training, more planning… our Whitney Adventure has come and gone. I’ve put off writing about it because aside from my day job having been so crushingly busy and exhausting that I haven’t wanted to do much of anything (other than hike), I don’t know how to put the whole experience into words that would be the poetry it all deserves.

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mt. baden-powell summit

Mt. Whitney Training: Mt. Baden-Powell via Vincent Gap

By Heather

“Look at me,” I yelled as I we embarked on our hike on Saturday, “I’m Cheryl Strayed!”

That’s because the trail from Vincent Gap to the summit of Mt. Baden-Powell is also a section of the Pacific Crest Trail, not because I was ill-prepared for the trek or anything. Continue reading