I’ve finally started training again. I’ve been taking it too easy lately and have put on some of that weight I lost while training to hike to Mt. Whitney. Presently, I’m training to hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim and back in April.
My favorite hikes to train in winter are those departing from the Cobb Estate. I have three pragmatic reasons. First, with the shorter days I need to take advantage of the shorter drive time from my house. Second, even after 9 pm I’ve seen people going up the trail as I make my way down it. This makes me feel more comfortable hiking in the dark. Finally, there are numerous destinations that exceed a 15 mile round trip effort to reach. So, an entire winter season of weekly training can be of different hikes starting from the same place.
Last Friday I hiked from the Cobb Estate to Tom Sloan Saddle. On the way back I enjoyed another great sunset and views of city lights to finish off a long day of training. The Sam Merrill Trail has continuous unobstructed views west and south as far the Pacific Ocean often including a view of Catalina Island. This orientation has the practical benefit of providing natural light later in the day compared to other trails where the mountains block the setting sun. At its darkest, the view of city lights beyond provides something to look at outside the range of a headlamp. I find these two transitions are a wonderful way to end my day providing me with something else to fixate on other than my tired feet. Below are photos from last Friday’s sunset and views of city lights. Click on any of them to enlarge.