Friday, July 17th, 2015: Temescal Canyon

We did not die. It has indeed been a few weeks since we’ve posted, but we’re blaming Allison. Yes, we know we always blame her, but this time it’s actually her fault since she bailed on Shannon for dumb stuff like Disneyland and Comic-Con, ugh, who wants to go to THOSE places. 11750782_909529887946_1016562554_o

Grunting and sweating is way better than Disneyland duh

It was another hot one this week, though not the absolute hottest, so we ventured just a little further inland while sticking close enough to the coast to hopefully get some breeze. Parking at Temescal Canyon costs seven dollars for some ridiculous and probably vaguely fascist reason, so we parked on Sunset and walked into the park where the trailhead was. We ended up behind a group of bros that Alejandra thought might have been Greek tourists or something but when we listened they were definitely American and definitely bros. 11725374_909529982756_565114930_o

Bros of a feather bro together

Besides not wanting to gamble on sharing the trail all the way up with some dudes that could have been perfectly nice but could also have been obnoxious dudebros or even fuckboys, we were pretty sure they were going a different way than we wanted to according to the hikespeak page. Said page was its usual combination of vaguely helpful but incredibly confusing, and eventually we were off. 11745666_909529967786_1593464814_o

To the races

We quickly made a new friend, a very nice lady who is in town for the summer and is trying to take advantage of LA’s myriad hiking opportunities during the day while her children are in one of those places they keep children over the summer. We told her about this blog, so if she managed to find it, hi, very nice lady! Sorry there’s so much swearing, we maybe should have warned you about that. We were all having such a nice time talking that it took us a tiny but of time to realize that this hike…was really hard. 11747428_909529937846_1561135415_o

One might even call it prickly becAUSE IT’S A CACTUS GEDDIT

It was a hot day, as we mentioned, so maybe that was part of it, and maybe it was also partially because it had been a few weeks since we’d been out. But it was pretty steep and man, we were grunting and sweating our way up. Only bits and pieces of the trail were shaded, too, so that didn’t exactly help. Anyway, we came to an overlook with a nice ocean view and even a little breeze. There our new friend had to say farewell because of time constraints, and we had to poke our heads into a little hobbit path we found heading down the hill. It was sort of like crawling into Wonderland, and when Shannon made the horrible mistake of pointing that out, Allison started doing an Alice monologue. Once Allison starts a monologue there’s no off switch, so we just waited her out in the closest thing to a clearing we could find. 11749930_909529843036_2039482067_o

She looks so proud too

Anyway then we Igor-walked our way out of there and kept going on the trail, thinking it couldn’t be that much further to the actual top. It was. We were climbing for what we’re pretty sure was actually forever. Every time we thought we had to be done because the trail dipped down a bit, then it would swing back up. We kept looking back over the trail and seeing the peaks we’d already reached, and they looked so far away. 11750954_909529907906_907923921_o

We don’t even really have any pictures of that part because we were so. tired.

FINALLY we caught sight of some people stopped ahead of and slightly above us. We had reached what finally seemed to be the highest peak, and we were greeted by the sight of the bros from the trailhead! We confirmed that they had taken the loop the other way, and that we could expect something of a steep climb down as well. Also when we got there, they were sitting on a bench, but after we took a few pictures, they offered the bench to us, and that is when we discovered they were actually soft bros, with consideration and manners. Excellent examples of well-known soft bros include Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum, Joey Tribbiani, and the softest of all soft bros, Chris Evans. 11770687_909529813096_356852977_o

Also it probably would have been polite to let them keep the bench but we were fucking tired

Fun fact: the bench was dedicated to “Lulu” and the other victims of the Columbine school shooting! What a relaxing place to enjoy a lovely view of the ocean after a taxing hike! 11770298_909529713296_1024259569_o

This one’s for the victims of the Great Emu War

Finally it was time to start heading down. Sometimes when a decline is really incredibly steep [read: Runyon] it’s almost harder on your legs during the decline. Luckily this wasn’t quite so bad. There were a couple of points where the trail started climbing again and we were ready to burn Utica to the ground but they passed quickly. At one point it looked like the trail was going to head right the fuck up another fucking mountain and we were ready to surrender, but then we came to a clusterfuck of crossroads and it turns out we were taking a different path that started heading downhill in earnest. Then we passed a sign that directed us to a waterfall. We thought it might be a different direction than we were supposed to be taking, but we decided to check it out, even knowing that in July, in year eight hundred of the drought, there probably wouldn’t be much to see. So we went down…and down…and down. And at this point we were under the impression that we might have to climb back up again to finish the loop, but even though we were convinced we’d die if that were true, we just kept going??? Don’t ask us to explain ourselves. Our brains were cooking. 11246824_909529743236_353495035_o


Finally we came to what was probably once a waterfall, yes. Now it’s some rocks. And a bridge. The bridge was kind of cute. IMG_3181

Probably cuter when it’s next to a waterfall but whatevs


Cute girls on it help too

By the bridge there was one more sign, this one telling us we actually WERE going the right way to finish the loop, and at this point we were so relieved we had to sit down for like five minutes. 11768619_909529753216_1460204504_o

If you will please observe the zen-like peace on Alejandra’s face at knowing there’s no more climbing

The rest of the trail was pretty easy, and even really beautiful. It was flat and green and shaded, and there was a breeze rolling through. We encountered some groups of older folks here, who we assume were just cruising this section of the trail and not trying to give themselves strokes by attempting the monster we’d barely survived. In any case, we were glad we’d done the loop in the direction we did instead of the opposite way like the soft bros, because it gave us a nice peaceful finish. We also walked past a nice grassy area where a girl was doing tai chi or some shit, and that along with some structures we passed looked like they’re probably really nice event venues. Then talk turned to weddings again of course, because we’re girrrrrrrlllllls. Afterwards we went to Noah’s Bagels and then to get frozen yogurt with donut holes in it because we fucking earned it, even though that meant we left the Palisades at literally the worst time of day so Shannon did not have time to shower before she had to go babysit. At least she has the comfort of knowing there’s little she can do to smell worse than a seven-year-old boy. Wildlife? The usual lizards, and then on our way out of the park Allison had a full-scale flail panic when she saw a snake right next to her foot. It was brightly colored which means it was either poisonous or wanted us to think it was, but mostly we just talked about how cool snakes are and how they make badass pets. Musical moments? Idk man, there’s always some but they’re starting to blend together. Conclusion? A fun hike with a lot of variety. A tough workout that we will definitely not be attempting again until the temperature drops like at least ten degrees, probably more. Also, don’t judge a bro by his cover. BONUS PICTURES! So it wasn’t really a hike, but Allison and Shannon did take a trip out to Lake Hollywood a couple of weeks ago. It’s more of a walk than anything; the path is wide, paved, and flat all the way around the lake. Most of the coastline is blocked by a giant chainlink fence, but when you walk across the dam there are amazing views of the lake and the Hollywood sign. It’s a good walk for when we don’t have a ton of time and/or it’s too hot to climb a mountain or some shit. It’s also good for conversation since it’s spacious enough to walk side by side and easy enough that you don’t get out of breath. The first time we did the 3.5 mile loop twice, but this time with the heat we were totally wiped after one so instead we went to go get smoothies. Here are some pics! IMG_3047

Literally the view for most of the trail


Some deer that were super-close and didn’t care that a bunch of people were right on the other side of the fence taking pictures of them!


Don’t ask us we don’t know


Crossing the dam, damn


It really is a killer view


We made it better though






The promised land

Thanks for coming back after our long break! Today we went to Santa Ynez Canyon, so keep an eye out for that post in the next couple of days [they said optimistically]. As always, we’d love to hear recommendations for hikes we should try. Until next time, Skip&Bird[&Sooky]


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