Hike def. [verb]: walk for a long distance, esp. across country or in the woods
I'd like to add to this definition, "a necessity for the well-being of one's life". I forget, far too often, the beneficial outcomes of hiking. I moved from one hike-friendly city to another and found myself to be unmotivated. Carpinteria is surrounded by hiking trails and yet, I can probably count on my fingers and toes (okay, maybe a few more) how many times I took advantage of them in my 21 years of living there. Now, I'm in yet another city, bursting to the seems with hikes to discover, still finding myself unenthusiastic and having to push myself out the door to go and explore.
I'd like to call myself a "hiking girl", but how can this be true when I leave so many trails untraveled? I've decided it's an outrage! I won't ignore the bubbling, gurgling desire within me to wander. My muscles may be weak from neglect, my skin may be dripping in sweaty discord, but my heart and mind are determined.
After 4 months of living against the famous (well, famed in San Luis) Irish Hills Hiking Trails, I decided it was time to ascend into their midsts and boy am I not sorry for pushing myself this time. The funny thing is, who really is ever regretful once they reach the climax of a hike – the waterfall at the end, the expansive mountain view, the water hole, the exploratory caves.
In light of my recent discoveries, I am going to recommend the Irish Hills Hiking Trails as a place to go in SLO. I'm guessing these hills got their name during "wetter" times, when the grounds were lavished in green, and paired with the large boulders smashed into their sides, they must have had a stark resemblance to Irish territories, thus winning them their title as the "Irish" hills. (Keep in mind, that is not fact, just what I believe to be true. I've decided not to sacrifice my sense of imagination for a bit of knowledge. I welcome you to look into it though, if you like to know the facts.)
I would call this trail an easy to moderate hike. People of all ages could do it as it only requires walking capabilities. (There is no rock hopping, climbing/scaling, or water crossing of any sort on this hike). It is definitely an uphill climb and leg workout so I wouldn't categorize it as just "easy" – it isn't a "walk in the park".
The whole trail makes it mark at 5-7 miles, reaching its height at 1,100 feet, overlooking the city of San Luis and all of its mounts from Bishop's Peak, to Madonna Mountain and the rest of the Nine Sisters, and back around into the Santa Lucia Range.
At the mouth of the trail you can choose to go left or right. Left leads to more open trails and a less steep approach. The right wanders directly into the shadows of the trees, with rocky grounds and a continual uphill climb. Both find your way through beautiful scenes of mossy oak trees, golden fields of parched turf, hidden colors illuminating from dessert flowers, and a panoramic view of the city, in all its grandeur. Even the power lines standing high and proud at the top add to the beauty.
I discover something new each time I wander. Yesterday found me almost treading on a tarantula. Normally I would have stopped to take picture-proof, but after a prank video I was shown the other night, I ran screaming like a girl at the sight of it – I am a girl, but you get the point.
Today I encourage you to hike the trails where you live. Take advantage now because "tomorrow" will come, but "today" is already here. It only takes a moment, and I promise you will find yourself more alive than before. And when you're in the area, head up the Irish Hills for a taste of San Luis glory.