Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hiking to the Tree

The tree above has loomed large in my life over the last few years. It was the ninth hike that I took here in SoCal of so many years ago to Cahuenga Peak and I didn't event know HOW to pronounce Cahuenga, such a newbie I was.  It is also a tree that you can see from most freeways as you go around LA, look up and there it is on the solitary West shoulder of the ridge that leads to the Hollywood Sign.

Life has been getting in the way of me getting outdoors but with the schedule clear and the temps low for SoCal, I had no excuses other than my own apathy to get back on the trail.

Of course, looking at the vertical climb awaiting me to Cahuenga Peak, part of me wanted to turn back to the couch. Its 900+ feet over about a mile and half and while not terrible, it certainly is for someone like me whose hiking muscles have atrophied into a slightly thicker consistency than pudding.

On I trundled though gentle reader taking many a rest break on the rough and tumble trail.

Seriously though, I don't remember the trail being so worn down and steep from the last time I hiked this puppy. I think this is partly due to how popular the trail has become. I certainly saw a lot of hikers and dogs on the trail which can contribute to a trail's erosion.

As you hike higher up the trail, the beauty of LA surrounds you. The infamous Hollywoodland Dam:

LA in all of its smoggy goodness.

and the rest of the mountains that surround this town (its not just beaches and swimming pools), this hike gets you above it all in a hurry.

As the weather turns cooler, I am going to be turning up the heat on hitting the trails. I have a trip to Hawaii coming up that will great in checking out some trails on the other-other coast. I hiked almost 52 weeks during one year and was completely burned out. I haven't hiked in 2 months and felt lazy. I thinking about landing somewhere in the middle and cutting some dust!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

EWH Reviews- Revant Lenses

I have had my pair of Oakley sunglasses for awhile and have always dug them and have used them on my outdoor adventures. As much as I love the standard lenses that come with the shades, I have always wanted to try out new and different lenses for different situations. Or, as my grandpappy used to say, different strokes-lenses for different folks-frames.

Revant is a company that makes replacement lenses for Oakleys and other brands and I wanted to try out a pair and they were nice enough to send me their HC3 lenses. These lenses are designed to provide optimal polarization and clarity, all good things for people getting out and about in Southern California!

The HC3 is the premium lens Revant offers and after I spent 20 minutes searching through YouTube videos about how to replace my lenses, I finally mashed the lenses into their frame and gave them a whirl.

The best part? Revant makes these lenses for substantially cheaper than the replacement lenses you can buy from Oakley. So how did they do?

I took them out to my recent hike in Baldwin Hills and they performed great!

(look at that reflection!)

The optics were clear and there were no fogging issues (always a concern with hiking and sunglasses). The lenses were so sharp that you can take really cool pics with them!

(that is the sun in the clouds BTW)

Color me super impressed with these lenses! The fact that you can get lenses superior from the "off the shelf" offerings and at a better price, I think you should definitely check them out. I can't wait to see their other offerings!

If you want more info, check out the lenses here: http://www.revantoptics.com/elite-hc3

The Oakley shades were provided by Revant for review purposes. I get no benefit whether you buy Oakley products or shop at Revant, its life, make your own decisions. I try to review things as honestly as possible but it is the internet, take everything with a grain of salt, thanks.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Desperation Hiking- Baldwin Hills Edition

It must be no secret, oh those few people who still read this blog that I have not been going on many adventures lately. Granted, my life has been busier recently, I am getting married, work has been intense and it is Summertime here in SoCal which means its hot out for almost any hike and when the only benefit you are receiving is sweating, well that is not much of a benefit.

If I am being honest with myself, I also have lacked the drive to take my hiking out of neutral and put it into even first gear. There are several short hikes around LA but even those have not tempted me.

However work and life finally got to me. I HAD to go hiking, even if it was at Baldwin Hills State Park, which, well, has some issues.

At the end of the day however, it WAS worth it to go. Even with hundreds of people working out, doing the 282 steps, etc. there were still moments of peace on the trail and as you can hopefully make out from the pictures that the park does give you pretty views.

It got me out and about and I dare say that I am now in 1st gear again hiking-wise. There have been some hikes I have been itching to do around the Southland including Baldy and a hike in the Antelope Valley. I also want to hit up Monrovia again in the Fall and several other trails are springing to mind. Now I WANT to go on hikes so thank you Baldwin Hills, thank you for getting me going.

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