Thursday, November 15, 2012

SoCal Hiking Tweetup!

The Internet is a weird place right? You make all these connections through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. but when do you actually get a chance to interact with these connections other than electronically? I set out to make the electronic into flesh (Cronenberg, please don't sue!) for the very robust Southern California hiking community by trying to host a hiking meetup (or tweetup as we called it).

The first attempt at a tweetup ended up just being me, 100Peaks and TheSocalHiker. It led to perhaps one of the craziest hikes I have ever been on to Whale Peak.This time around, with the huge help of GreeneAdventures, we expanded the Tweetup to a bunch of bloggers and it was great to finally see everyone in person!

The place we chose to hike was Powder Canyon (a place I have hiked before but it was a worthy re-hike due in part to the excellent picnic facilities). We had decided to do a potluck picnic but before we could get to the amazing eats, we had to build up an appetite. No better way than hiking! 

SoCal had recently experienced rain (which always causes a freakout, local newscasters warning everyone to "wear a coat") so the views were stunning but first we had to get to them. One of the little tricks of Powder Canyon is that while short on mileage, you have to gain some elevation to get around the park. It is not the most taxing gain but each section of the loop trails requires you to hoof it.

Our group was 9 and we started off in good spirits

and also included one great beagle

which conjured up my lust again for a dog of my own. Since I have been hiking more over the last few years, every once in awhile I will daydream about having a furball with me on the trails. This daydream is crushed by the realities of my apartment's lease but a man can dream can't he? Hiking with Holly the Beagle, the Greenes dog, however made me aware that not all trails take dogs here in SoCal and that dog owners are somewhat limited where to take the pooch. I am not sure of the reasons for this dog-agation here but Powder Canyon was welcoming of the canine set so it was all good.

We did the tough part of the hike first and gained the ridgeline with amazing views.

I haven't hiked much in groups until recently so it has been a bit of a learning curve about things like pace, group etiquette, etc. For this hike, there were no worries about any of that as this was a complete gabfest. Talking about hikes we have done, hikes we should do, blogging experiences, Twitter experiences, seriously this hike went by fast because of all the jawing we were doing.

I am not going to bore you with too many hike details but suffice to say the second part of the trail was named the Black Walnut trail, which was aptly named for all the neat trees along the trail. 

(note, neither tree pictured is actually a black walnut tree)

Afterward, we had an amazing meal cooked up by well...everyone (it WAS a potluck after all). Greenes provided the awesome tri-tip, David brought some great brats, refreshing salads and munchies were provided by others and I brought the mini-cupcakes (natch). It was awesome to finally meet up with everyone and we had a grand old time together. My thoughts are already turning to the Tweetup 2013 (as long as the Mayans are incorrect :P) which will be sure to feature another epic hike and more epic BBQ! 


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