Yesterday I went on a hike to Piedras Blancas in the mountains above Ojai.
It felt good to be on the trail. The dirt tread of a trail feels so much nicer than concrete and asphalt on the feet.
The scenery was very interesting. We walked through the Piedras Blancas, which was a large, white sandstone formation. You could see lines and layers from the ancient sand dunes they used to be. It looked like something the PCT could only wish to walk you through.
Then we hiked up the trail in the heat through the burn zone to reach the creek. We rock-hopped up the creek to a huge, deep, crystal blue swimming hole. The water was very cold but we jumped off rocks and swam anyway. It was very refreshing on a hot summer's day.
I thought if I brought a lot of fruit and one Clif bar that would be enough. It seems my body says, Oh yeah? This again? You better feed me! I was so hungry I felt weak and wobbly and dizzy on the rock-hopping part.
Afterwards we ate at that biker hangout on Highway 33 in Ojai. The barbecue was pretty good. I felt much better after eating.
One thing I really noticed — and I noticed this on my last hike to Fish Creek, too — was how different it is to hike with people who are not afraid of the chaparral on a hot summer day. These people were not dreading it, were not mistaking chaparral for desert, weren't thinking of it as something to get through as quickly as possible in order to get to the "real" stuff further on. They wanted to be there, they felt comfortable and enjoyed it. It felt nice to be among people who feel at home in Southern California.