Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sunday hike

So it was a very slow hike up to a waterfall in the Santa Monica Mountains today after breakfast. Slow is the operative word because I'm way outta shape, and I'm sure everyone passed me by, even the moms trucking along with their toddler in the backpack. That's okay. I thought my hike as being more meditative, California style.

Can you tell it's been too long since I've gone hiking? I can't get over how fragrant it was out in the chaparral and in the canyon. I think it was the smells that made me smile: I remembered how a friend advised how one can find mushrooms with certainty around the California bay tree, as he started sniffing in hungry whiffs like a bloodhound. To this day, I always find bay trees by their aroma as I pass by them, and I take a big sniff of the air, in remembrance.

I also forgot how much I missed the smell of sage.

Ceanothus, the one with the blue flowers, was still in bloom but fading. Instead, I noticed Rhus ovata just beginning to exuberantly celebrate spring with fleur laden branches. Since my pace was leisurely, I'm sure I spotted more lizards than usual on the wayside, frantically doing pushups as people passed by.

Funny how lots of women were out hiking today. Oh, yes. Forgot about the football game. A little blessing, I think. The trails were simply not so crowded today.

Something new: multitasking hikers with a cellphone strapped to one ear. Oh, well. To each his own experience. Mine was fine at my new geezer speed.