Well, now that we’ve gotten started, Chad and I have been off exploring two more times. Last Sunday we drove to top of residential hill finally found the dangnabbit trail head, only to discover that it ended only a quarter of a mile away. We were hesitant to check out the scenic view spot because of the crowds of weekend dog-walkers, but then we noticed that people were walking by us and then not ever reappearing. So we peeked over and discovered another trail heading down towards the ocean. Excellent! It was steep and pretty rocky and dusty, but we got a great work out climbing up and down hills to a peak overlooking the south end of Laguna Beach. Turned out that it was the same lookout that Chad had explored previously hiking from his sister Corrina’s old place. That was cool – we love exploring things from both ends. Heh heh, that sounds dirty now that I’ve written it.

Then this weekend we discovered another waterfall to hike to, up off the Holy Jim Trail. It’s not that WE’re so into waterfalls per se, but they do make for a good destination hike. And on the way there we never saw another hiker – so Chad took pics of me and the belly there. He convinced me to keep my undies on, which in retrospect, was a good idea, because now I can share one or two of the photos here.

It was an interesting hike because you first have to drive several miles down a rocky dirt road. The dirt road was called Trabuco Creek Road and was off Trabuco Canyon Road – you’re driving by some major housing developments in total suburbia and then suddenly you’re dropping into a completely wild canyon.

There were quite a few cars parked at the start of the dirt road; we imagined that they were mostly mountain bikers, but we only ever saw one cyclist. After going for miles down this dirt road, the scenery changed from dusty scrub to western forest with lots of overgrown black oak and we passed an old firehouse. This seemed strange because we hadn’t passed any other structures or buildings previously, in fact it had seemed like we going further and further from civilization. But then small, apparently abandoned houses began to appear. And then a few definitely inhabited houses started to show up – Boy when these people hunkered down way back when, they must have really been in the boondocks. It was a curious mixture of cabins and houses, and Chad and I wondered a lot about what kind of people were living out here and what kind of community they must form.

The best part of the hike was that we were really truly in the woods and there were flowers blooming. All we could hear was the wind rushing through the trees, all kinds of birds, frogs, and the burbling of the creek we were following.

We only made it as far as the waterfall, because we needed to be back in ample time to pick Bella up from track practice. But this trail goes on for miles and miles and would probably make for a nice backpack or a 2-car shuttle hike with some prior planning.

We rested a bit at the waterfall, snapped a few pics and then headed back. We had not seen any other hikers the entire day and then on our way back to the car we ran into somebody I knew! She was somebody I had just met at last month’s La Leche League meeting – but what’s funny is that she and I were the only two moms who had attended both meetings in the south OC area last month. What’s more, out of all the women at both meetings, I had felt that she was the most likely candidate for potential friendship: 1) She’d been nursing a toddler and 2) She had a friendly open manner and I was going to tell her that I thought she would make a great LLL leader. To no surprise, she confided to me there on the trail that she had just completed her LLL leader training. We didn’t exchange more than a minute of conversation because we both had our husbands and she had several children tugging at her arm – But standing there in the middle of the woods talking to another nursing mom felt really, really right – and great. It was a serendipitous encounter.

But I am glad we ran into them after my photo shoot by the waterfall, even though I kept some clothes on.

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