Aloha

Although flying with a 4.5 month old on a 5.5 hour flight to Kauai certainly qualifies as an adventure, the actual island offered up some slightly better sights.  Of course the beach is nice, but Little Rock wanted a little but more than lounging underneath the beach umbrella.

Waimea Canyon, Kauai

If you want to escape the resorts, Waimea Canyon offers up a nice alternative and you can’t beat the views.  From waterfalls to amazing canyon vistas it was truly breathtaking.

A short walk from the main lookout, Little Rock wanted a little higher view from my shoulders.

As you can see from the smiles, he was not let down.

We found the Waipoo Falls trail-head just up the road from the lookout.  The trail meandered through the famous red dirt, roots and jungle that Kuaui is famous for and out onto the cliffs of the far side of the canyon.

From here we could look down and watch the helicopters giving their ‘Jurrasic Park’ heli-ride tours of the island.

And finally the waterfall. It was really just the feeder of the much more impressive waterfall that we saw from the look-out, but a nice little oasis nonetheless (Although from the look in Rock’s eyes, he was eyeing bigger and better things).  This trail was up in the mountains of the island so it wasn’t too hot, but we did wrap up Rock to keep him out of the UV rays drenching the island.

 

We capped the trip with a fresh shrimp lunch down in Waimea and had a cool shave ice for dessert.  Highly recommended.

Sleeping Giant Hike, Kuaui

We originally intended on driving up to the north shore to spend a little time on the Kalaulau trail, but we eventually decided that the hour and half drive there and back just wasn’t worth it with Little Rock in tow.  We settled on the Sleeping Giant hike in Kapaa.  As you can see from the above panorama, we weren’t let down.  At the summit, we were treated to a birds eye view of almost all of the island.

Once again, the little man just loves getting outside.  Look at that smile!

Of course SierraMadre gets the smiles, I just the the little guy staring off at the beautiful scenery.

Start this one early and bring plenty of water, because it does get hot.  The reviews I read online about it really do it a disservice.  I totally recommend it if you are rolling solo or have a little one in tow.  We capped this one off with a picnic lunch in Wailua and picked up the shave ice later in the Koloa.

Little Rock loved his island adventure.  His biggest challenge was the time change on the way there, but he seemed to adapt pretty well after the first night.  Well that and a bunch a diaper blow outs.  Overall though it was a fun adventure and we’re looking forward to our next step off the beaten path.

 

Little Lion

Find a friend to hike with
Pick a day
Pick a time
Confirm the time the night before
Re-confirm the morning of
Have a little flexibility
Hit the trail

This week I introduced Rocky to his first new trail buddy, Monkie.  She was kind enough to load enough water on her back to equal a Rocky and sherpa up a serving of milk and emergency changing needs.

I set the destination at the Los Leones trail-head (or Los Liones, depending on the source) and tentatively confirmed with Monkie that we’d be ready to go at 7:30 AM to avoid the afternoon heat. After the Rock’s morning meal I was able to confirm that we’d be about 10 minutes late, but lucky for us Monkie was kind enough to pick-up some breakfast for us with the extra time. We managed to arrive at the trail head within a minute of each other. Score one in the books for coordination and flexibility.

With all of the recent rain, all of the local trails in the Santa Monica mountains are extremely lush and green.

The views from the top are always pleasant.  However with today was a little hazier than usual, so I decided to have a little fun with filters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone made it up to Parker Mesa overlook intact and happy.  However, Rocky being the little inspiration that he is, decided to play trainer and get upset with the lack of motion when we were taking pictures.  ‘Get those boots moving!’, he said in the equivalent of 9 week old squeaks. After a quick chug of some Powerade we were off back down the mountain.  I was thinking that I’d probably have to feed him on the way down, but another bonus of hiking is that he’s able to go a bit longer between feedings.  This little tidbit makes it a bit easier to take him on local trails.  We all made it back down to the cars in just over 2 hours!  Not bad for lugging up 30 extra pounds.

Rocky and I made it back home to SierraMadre where he was all smiles and able to enjoy a warm bottle of milk and reminisce on his outdoor time.

Until next time, happy trails!

Thrown for a loop

Finish what you started.

With little Rocky getting bigger by the week, I figured it was time to finish our first loop trail together.  We’d meandered up the Temescal ridge trail about a  mile the previous week so why not complete the loop?  Nature took notice and answered with a resounding “I’ll tell you why not, lot’s and lot’s of water.”  Knee deep in some spots to be exact.  Our first loop would have to wait another week.

However, that didn’t stop us from increasing our mileage and our altitude.  We backtracked through the mud and went up the drier, but still muddy, front face of the trail to a proper overlook.

Rocky and I had some muddy fun and SierraMadre made it out on her first real hike of the new year.

Undeterred.

A week later and a little drier we aimed to finish our first loop in the same canyon.  Fortunately, the trails had recovered a bit from the previous week. This made hiking the loop possible, but there was still enough water to provide us with Rocky’s first waterfall.

Ok, so the waterfall was about as big as the little guy.  But what did you expect for a waterfall in Southern California?

Needless to say, we finally completed Rocky’s first loop.  A pretty good accomplishment for an 8 week old! And for SierraMadre!

 Happy trails!

Rocky & Bullwinkle

Another weekend, another road trip.  This time to Palm Springs, CA and back.  Little Rock got to see the snow capped peak of Mt. San Jacinto but not much else.  So instead of crashing on the couch after 2.5 hours in the car, we decided to hit a local trail for the first time.

This one felt a little like an episode of 24.  Rock and I rushed out of the house with a little over an 90 minutes before his next scheduled snack.  Armed with no milk, the Ergo and not much else we embarked on our first hike without any support.

It was a bit rushed but we were able to move up the hills pretty quickly and make it to a nice scenic overlook before having to turn back.  And manage to snap a few pictures while we were at it.

Overall, another successful outing, we made it back before Rock got hungry again.  But as you can see above we both got a little sweaty.  Err, I got a little sweaty and he got a little wet.  To be honest he was so wet at the end I had no idea if he peed his pants or was just soaked from my perspiration.  I guess it’s best not to think about it too much.

10K Maniacs

I’ve run in some form of a Super Bowl Sunday race since 2013.  I certainly wasn’t going to let this year be any different.  So certain, in fact, that I booked the race before life got Rocky.  Oh and if the above photo didn’t give it away, I actually pulled it off with a little help from SierraMadre and friends.

Scenario:

Get a 5 week old baby to the race on time and get him moving in between feedings.  10K baby buggy starts at 8:15 AM, 10K starts at 8:30 AM.

Logistics:

Day before race.  Purchase used Bob Revolution SE stroller and pick up race bibs.  Lysol the hell out of used racing stroller.  Pack everything possible into diaper bag.  Day of Race. 7:30 AM.  Arrive at the race parking lot. Feed Rocky. 8:00 AM. Stroll Rocky to the starting line to use the facilities, meet with friends and get ready to roll.  8:15 AM.  Baby buggy begins!  SierraMadre and Wiggles kick off Rocky’s first race.  8:30 AM.  Monkie, BeanPole, Wiggles, RedBird and I start the traditional 10K.

Grades:

Rocky A: He slept through the entire race but he made it to the end and all the way to brunch before his next snack.

SierraMadre A+: 5 weeks after giving birth, she walks over 4 miles pushing the little 10 pounder.  Having the sturdier stroller really helped out.  That was a good idea.

Me A: I’m not a fast runner, but I completed my 2nd fastest 10K in 5 years.  All the training post Rocky really paid off,

Friends A: Super race companions and training partners.  It really helps to have active friends and an A+ support system.

Overall I couldn’t have asked for a better day.  We pulled the race off without a hitch, had brunch with friends and made it back home in time to take a nap before the Super Bowl. And kudos to the Redondo 10K organizers making a really inclusive well organized event.

 

Baby Steps

Everybody needs to start somewhere.  Rocky started his outdoor adventures with a little hike up near San Luis Obispo, Ca called the Lemon Grove trail. Armed only with a couple of cell phones, an entry level DSLR, an Ergobaby 360 and no water, we took on the 1.7 mile walk through the beautiful countryside of SLO.

While this was by no means a challenging hike,  it did answer some basic questions:

  • Could we get this done in a reasonable amount of time?
  • Would carrying Rocky during a hike allow me to navigate the trail?
  • Could we finish the hike without Rocky melting down in a fit of rage?
  • Could we finish the hike without Rocky or I overheating?
  • Could we motivate ourselves to make this thing really happen?

Luckily, the answer to all of these questions was a resounding “Yes!”

Rocky, SierraMadre and I made it happen and built some much needed confidence for pursuing further adventures.