Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Tag: hiking

You’d Think Boys Would Know How to Hunt

This last weekend I shared a post about a hike up El Toro with My John. I mentioned he grew up at the base of that hill and had many escapades to share. Here is an abridged column he wrote that I think you’ll enjoy.

top of El Toro

“You’d think boys would know how to hunt” by John P. Gavin

Who has read the book Lord of the Flies?

When I was in school it was pretty much required reading. It was written in the 50’s by William Golding and is the story of a group of young boys marooned, without grownups, on an island somewhere.

In the book the boys quickly revert to a feral state and run about howling, fighting and wielding crudely made weapons. I remember reading it in class and thinking “what’s the big deal? That’s no different from my neighborhood”.

Not to knock Mr. Golding but the boys in my old neighborhood did not require an island without grownups in order to channel our wild side. All we needed were the orchards and forests at the edge of town – and a little imagination.

My neighborhood was bordered to the west by a small mountain that had been named El Toro by the Spaniards who discovered it (under the feet of the Chitactac Indians who were already living on it). To the north of us was a large walnut orchard that also bordered El Toro.

We virtually lived on that mountain – we knew all the big trees, open spaces and trails. One particular trail we knew of was travelled by a herd of deer that used it to get down to the orchard. They would then pass through the orchard to drink from the pond that lay beyond.

We were familiar not only with the trail, but also with the time of evening the deer would come down it. In our grubby hands this was dangerous knowledge. I still remember the summer day we sat in Dave Mead’s garage talking about what our next adventure (the word ‘mayhem’ would work equally well) would be when one of the guys blurted out “Let’s hunt the deer in the orchard!”

To us an idea like that one did not require any discussion further than working out the details.

My little brother Brian asked, “What will we hunt them with?”

Someone shouted “Spears!”

Dave’s brother Richard wondered aloud “Where do we get spears?”

My response was “We make them”.

“Out of what?” Patrick Black asked.

“Knives tied to broom handles,” I said.

Brian wanted to know “When do we get the deer – on their way down the orchard or back through it?” On their way back from the pond we decided – figuring they’d be less wary on their second trip through the walnut trees.

And so we set off to our respective homes to steal knives out of drawers and cut handles off of brooms. The plan was to meet at the edge of the orchard about the time the herd of deer would pass through on their way to the pond, and then quietly filter in among the trees so as to be in place when they made their return trip.

To this day I still remember shouting, “Get ‘em!” as the deer made their way back toward El Toro. Out jumped five running, shouting, spear wielding boys; and as the terrified deer spotted us they all bolted in unison. I launched my spear, as did the others, hoping it would fly true and hit its mark – a big deer charging past me.

I didn’t hit my target that day in the orchard. None of us did. Heck, we were little kids with kitchen knives tied to broom handles – what damage were we really going to do? I think all we accomplished was scaring the daylights out of a bunch of deer – well maybe that and the realization all we truly wanted to do was follow them around.

Hiking to the top of Inspiration Point

Yesterday I declared 2019 to be the year of the hike, and I jumped off the lily pad.

One of the best reasons to share my intentions with you is I’m then motivated to see it through. Thank you for that.

So in the spirit of putting my money where my mouth is, John and I went on a hike up Inspiration Point.

If you ever visit Santa Barbara, I highly recommend this hike.

Continue reading

Climb every Mountain, Ford every Stream….

Here it is 2019 already!

I say that every year…well, not the 2019 part but the “already” part. I’ve heard the older you get the quicker time goes, and I have to agree. 

Last year just flew by.

When I started this blog, it was with the intention of getting to 60 feeling like I had my shit together. Or as my husband says, I want to “have all my shit in one sock.”

So here we are, January 1, 2019 and in just over five months I will be hitting that 60 mark head on. I’ll admit it still freaks me out. Sixty just sounds so much older than 50 something.

Even my granddaughters commented that 60 is old!

Continue reading

Hiking Arizona – a trip to the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Lake Havasu – Part Three

Part three: Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu City sits on the Arizona side of Lake Havasu, which is part of the Colorado River. It is a fairly new city that started out as an Army Air Corp rest camp. In the late 1950’s Robert McCullough purchased land there and by the early 1960’s established Lake Havasu City.

McCullough wanted to attract visitors to the area and purchased the London Bridge for $2.5 million from the city of London when the bridge there was replaced in 1968. Stone by stone, the bridge was disassembled and shipped to Lake Havasu to be rebuilt exactly.  Continue reading

Hiking Arizona – a trip to the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Lake Havasu – Part 2

Part two: On to Sedona

The next morning I felt worse.

John asked if I wanted to go get coffee and breakfast but then, seeing the look on my face, said he’d go get coffee and bring it back to the room for me. I just wanted to stay in my comfy nightgown and sweater and look at photos from the day before.

It was fun going through all of the photos taken from my Canon, as it did a great job capturing the beauty that is the Grand Canyon. After a couple of hours, I felt a little better so we checked out and headed south to Sedona.   Continue reading

Hiking Arizona – a trip to the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Lake Havasu

Part One: The Grand Canyon

My husband, John, travels to Arizona for work every couple of months or so. I’ve tagged along with him a few times, but this last week while he was busy working in Arizona, I was busy helping my daughter in law.

It was the week before Thanksgiving and John wasn’t going to be finished with work until late on Friday. So we decided since he was already there, I’d take the train from Santa Barbara to Flagstaff and meet up with him.

I like traveling by rail and thoroughly enjoy Los Angeles Union Station. Built in 1939, at a cost of $11 million, it still looks as grand as it did back then.   Continue reading

He was Judd

Surviving a bankruptcy and losing my homes was not easy.

Even though I knew they were just “things” I was losing, it was still painful. But, I had a distraction through it all, which made it so much easier.

met Judd in November, just before the holiday season, and he took me to one holiday party after another. He sold advertising for a local publishing company, and his job came with a lot of invitations.

We had a lot of fun, and I felt like Cinderella.

For Christmas he gave me a beautiful silver cuff bracelet that he had specially ordered for me. He said it was a Wonder Woman bracelet, because I reminded him of her.

I felt like Wonder Woman

My Wonder Woman bracelet

Continue reading

How to climb a craig – one step at a time

The Highlands offer so many options to visit, and Cairngorm National Park was a must see for us.

The drive from Culloden to Coylumbridge was just over an hour away, and filled with beautiful scenery. Arriving at our hotel, we walked around a bit, had a light dinner and a quiet evening in. I got online and found what I thought would be a great hike for us for the next day.

After a restful evening, we found the path to the Craigellachie Nature Reserve. It wasn’t easy to find the place! Following Google’s map, we crossed over the spot several times from the main road, never seeing a sign.

So we parked in Aviemore and looked up the local information center. Armed with a map, we were sure to find the entrance to the park, and be on with our hike. But instead we found ourselves standing on a lane, looking every bit the tourists we were as we studied the map to find our way. Continue reading

Weekend Up!

John grew up in Morgan Hill and spent much of his youth climbing El Toro  behind the family home.

He has pulled me up that hill a few times, but it’s been several years since we’ve been back up.

Until this morning…

Climbing up El Toro barefoot

yes, he is barefoot…

climbing El Toro

It took 30 minutes just to get the the part that was so steep I had to use the ropes to assist. El Toro ropes Climbing El Toro

 Climbing El Toro to catch the sunrise

 

Great place to catch the sunrise through the hot smokey sky.

Smokey sky over Morgan Hill High above Morgan Hill

Amazing views up there!

Morgan Hill and wildlife 

But I was happy to be heading down!

 El Toro climb whew…

Happy Labor Day Weekend! Stay cool

%d bloggers like this: