Hiking Challenge: Weeks 1 through 5

Last month, I read about the 52-week hiking challenge (one hike a week for 52 weeks straight) from a fellow blogger, Alisen Dopf, and it inspired my husband and me. I’m a little behind on blogging, but we have hiked for five weeks in a row now, and I would like to share the start of our journey. It’s been a little slow for the same reason that I have not blogged much (the 4th of July celebrations and catching a cold), but I am determined to get out there every week to meet our goal. I’ve taken most of these photos with my iPhone 12 Pro Max (I like to hike light), so I am sharing for John’s Cellpic Sunday.

Week 1 – Keeping It Local: Prospect Park (1.05 miles)

Prospect Park in Redlands, California, includes a trail along the orange grove that was planted in 1896. The old irrigation system and stone walls still line the trail.

Part of Prospect Park trail overlooks an old orange grove from 1800’s, with a view of San Bernardino Mountains in the background. This is a very clear day for summertime.

Located in Prospect Park, local artist Tim Sullivan’s “Orange Man” sculpture is one of many that have popped up around town as part of an initiative from the Redlands Quality of Life Department; sharing for Marsha’s PPAC #56 (Photographing Public Art Challenge).

Week 2 – In the Heat of the Desert: Snow Valley State Park, Saint George, Utah (.51 miles)

We took a little road trip to Saint George, Utah, for our best friend’s birthday shortly before the 4th of July–not really my favorite time of year to visit the desert, but it was for a good cause. As we approached the western end of Santa Clara (outside Saint George), I was kicking myself for forgetting my Nikon on the kitchen counter at home. Luckily, I have a decent phone. I’m including some photos of the road trip for Terri’s Sunday Stills–Road Trippin’, but I really wish we were traveling all over the countryside like her!

Back road from Las Vegas to Santa Clara, Utah, hints at approaching vistas that include red rock and volcanic formations.

Yet, with a mini road trip, I found peaceful scenery and a short hike early (5:30 am!) in the morning, before the sun rose over the rocks. I have not been to this part of Utah; we used to travel to Zion like the rest of the visitors. To my surprise, there’s a lot more to see outside of the national parks, like this volcanic area west of Saint George. I hadn’t planned on finding a state park, and as the sun quickly rose, I tried to hike a trail before the sun came up over the rock walls. Unfortunately, I didn’t plan it too well and didn’t realize it was only half of a mile roundtrip. By the time we finished our exploration of the slot canyon and reached the end of the trail, the sun was up and that was it for hiking for the day. Perhaps we will return in the late fall, after the 110-degree weather and before the snow, to check out the petroglyphs, sand dunes, and lava tube caves.

Snow Valley State Park, Saint George, Utah, at sunrise.

Week 3 – Local Canyon Hike: San Timoteo Nature Sanctuary (1.23 miles)

Well, my mini road trip wore me out and I got sick. Four Covid tests and a doctor’s visit all say it’s not the Vid. I thought I was better and got out to hike a short, local trail early in the morning before the heat. It’s a little different in the summer, and I was reminded of Arizona as soon as I saw a tarantula wasp flying by. I will try to revisit this area again to hike further–once it’s cooler and the tarantula wasps are gone.

Week 4 – Foggy Canyon Hike: Quail Trail through Shady Canyon (2.09 miles)

After three hot hikes, I thought I’d change it up. My husband suggested this trailhead in Irvine, California, where we lived when we first returned to California. It is a very long trail and steep for someone not in shape, but at least it was beautiful outside–very peaceful and quiet. We turned around at the one-mile point, but I can’t wait to be ready to hike much further. There were quail (obviously), deer, many birds of prey, and a roadrunner (who was too fast for the camera). I even found a cute little creek and had a view overlooking a lake. This trail heads west to the beach–need I say more?

Week 5 – Recovery Hike: Easy Trail at Caroline Park (.55 miles)

Well, that last hike might not have been a great idea after being sick, because I had a relapse. Still not the Vid, but I don’t dare overdo it. I chose another local hike just to get outside.

Bright, hazy day on an early morning summer hike at Caroline Park, Redlands, California.

Trail around Caroline Park in Redlands, California.

Only 47 more weeks to go to hit our 52-week challenge! My short-term focus (besides not getting sick again) is to be ready to hike in Hawaii when we return there in September for our 30th anniversary trip.

Hiking a trail in Waimea Valley that ends at Waimea Falls in Oahu, Hawaii.

Hope everyone has been well and having a peaceful summer (or winter for those of you in the south).

Published by Dawn Palmer

I am an avid nature and ecology lover and enjoy sharing my photography in my blog writings. I will often be out early in the morning or late in the evening with my camera, trying to capture the peacefulness and beauty around me.

28 thoughts on “Hiking Challenge: Weeks 1 through 5

  1. Wow, Dawn, thank you for taking me on some of your hikes and road trips! Sorry you got sick–summer cold anyone? Remember those? Erg. What a great goal 52 hikes! I almost hike every day when I walk the dogs since three trails are within steps of our property–just not very photo-op worthy. That one set of pics looks like the white domes area of Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas–I have two almost identical shots of the slot canyons. Great to see your link this week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Iโ€™m glad you liked my post. ๐Ÿ˜Š Yeah, summer coldโ€ฆbut so annoying because I havenโ€™t been sick since Covid and masks, etc. Ugh.
      The Valley of the Fire is an extension from the same volcanic area, which I think is why it looks similar. The shots I took are from an area about two hours north, but itโ€™s same string of volcanoes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have selected some beautiful places to hike. I admit that one of the things I will miss most about leaving our winter place in Arizona is the weekly hikes. I’ll be looking forward to seeing more photos of your hiking challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜Š I always thought it was better hiking in AZ in the winter. Getting up at 4:30 or 5 am to hike was tough in the summer (and I hate tarantula wasps and snakes). ๐Ÿ˜Ž Iโ€™m sure thereโ€™s some cool places to hike up north too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry you got sick. Your hikes and pictures took you to some beautiful places, Dawn. Next time you pop over to Arizona, be sure to look me up. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing the orange man with PPAC readers. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜Š Iโ€™m not missing your heat. ๐Ÿคฃ My daughter is graduating from ASU in December, so I hope not to be over there before then. ๐Ÿ˜Ž
      Also, I didnโ€™t realize thereโ€™s orange men sculptures all over town, so Iโ€™ll be on the lookout for more art to share. ๐Ÿค“

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome, Dawn. Prescott is pretty comfortable right now. Lots of monsoon rains keeps the temps in the 80s for the most part and high 60s, low 70s in the evenings. If you come up in September, check out our Blogger Meet UP on the 15th.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Prescott is awesome. I donโ€™t care for the many snakes on the trail around Watson, but everything else up there is great. ๐Ÿ˜Ž I would love to check out your meet-up, but Iโ€™ll be in Hawaii. ๐ŸŒบ Next time!


  4. Wow! Just Wow! Thanks for taking us along these wonderful hikes! Challenges (especially 52 weeks) can be, well…a challenge. But at least you’re getting out there and making a herculean effort! Your photos are wonderful!๐Ÿ“ท๐Ÿฅพ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

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