Sunday, August 21, 2016

Weekend Activities

  • Hiked the newly opened Annie's Canyon trail in San Elijo Lagoon.  It was pretty cool for a urban hike.
  • Ended my tenure as head usher at St. A's. - quite sad.
  • Did some bodysurfing but the water is getting cold again :(

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016 Sierra Trek

This year's high adventure trek was in the Eastern Sierras.  The route was a loop out of Horseshoe Meadows going over Cottonwood Pass to Rock Creek and then back over New Army Pass.
We headed up a couple days early to get acclimated.  We drove to Lone Pine and got a spot at the Tuttle Creek Campground a bit uphill from town.  It was a pretty near camp but still hot.  We had dinner at the pizza place.
Next day, we broke camp and headed back to town for lunch.  Then we spent some time at Manzanar which was pretty amazing.  Our plan was to get Subway and head up to the trailhead to camp for the night.  However, the Horseshoe Fire started right as we were driving up the road.  We headed back Tuttle Creek to plan things out and spend the night.
Next morning, I headed back up the road and the guard said it was going to be closed for some time.  So I went back to the ranger station to change our permit.  In the morning lottery, I felt bad when I pulled number 12.  Since a lot of people were changing due to the closure, I wasn't sure anything would be left.  When I finally got called, the ranger said the only thing available for our group size was Sabrina Basin near Bishop.  I quickly reserved it and headed back to camp.  Looking at the maps, the Sabrina Basin TH only had a few miles of trail but lots of lakes.  We all agreed to drive the extra 1.5 hours to Bishop and start hiking!
At the trailhead, we unloaded and ate lunch before moving the cars to the hiker lot.  Fortunately, the super nice camp hosts at the campground offered to stash our leftover food in their bear box.  We then headed out.  The trail starts out following the lake in a gradual incline.  It was a bit hot since there wasn't any shade.  After a bit, the switchbacks started and we gained a ton of elevation.  Thankfully it was shaded most of the way.  We finally reached the top and Blue Lake.  The scouts picked a good spot and we setup camp.
Next day, the scouts decided to base camp at Dingleberry Lake so we packed up and made the quick hike over.  Dingleberry is a nicer than Blue and we had a great site overlooking the water.  Mosquitoes were a bit of a problem but not too bad.  I had my new A16 bug bivy so was very protected at night.
Next day, we day hiked up to Midnight Lake which is the end of the line for Sabrina Basin.  It was a pretty neat alpine lake with cliffs around half of it.  The scouts did a bunch of scouting.  They even made it up to some snow fields and I had to warn them about the pink snow.
Next morning, we packed up and hike out.  It was pretty fast going since it was all downhill.  We got to the cars, picked up our food stash and made the long drive home.  It was another great high adventure trek for the troop.

Tuttle Creek Camp

Scouts as Tuttle Creek

Lone Pine Cafe

At the roadblock

Horseshoe Fire

Let's Hike!

Blue Lake

Dingleberry Lake

Tarp Camping

Hiking to Midnight Lake

Chilly Evenings

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hot Weekend

  • Attended Bengt's NYLT closing at Mataguay - it was hot but in the shade
  • Visited Jyoti's cousin and family up at the beach house they rented in Malibu
  • Spent the afternoon at the Getty Villa
  • Dinner at Art's Table - expensive but good, I recommend the brussel sprouts

Sunday, July 10, 2016

First Summer Weekend

Due to graduation, moving and vacation, this was really the first weekend of summer for me.  It was my also my first day of bodysurfing which happened to be during the Switchfoot BroAm at Moonlight beach.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Hawaii 2016

The extended Osten family had another exciting trip to Kauai!  We and the extended Martin family had an awesome time.  Here are highlights:
  • Sleeping Giant hike - highly recommended!
  • Smith Family luau
  • Zip lines - awesome!
  • SUP at Kalapaki Beach
  • Sams Oceanview
  • Kilohana Plantation train tour 
  • Osten Family Olympics - cornhole, tennis and bocci
  • Waikiki - too crowded
  • Pearl Harbor - Arizona Memorial, Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Missouri, USS Bowfin
  • OC - Borrego Canyon trail at Whiting Ranch
  • OC - Lolo Gaspar for Kevin's birthday

Monday, June 27, 2016


Jaya graduated from SDA this weekend.  Jo's parents and sister came into town and my parents drove down for the occasion. Grandmas had lots of balloons.  One down, one to go as Jaya heads off to LMU.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

3 Peak Challenge

For Memorial Day, we hooked up with Troop 782 to attempt A16's 3 Peak Challenge.  The challenge involves summitting San Jacinto, San Antonio (aka Baldy) and San Gorgonio.  There are different times allowed but we were going to do it over 3 days.
First on the list was Jacinto and we drove up on Friday night to the Seven Pines trailhead.  There is a yellow post campsite there.  Unfortunately it was already taken by some noisy drunk yahoos.  But we set up camp in near the trail sign for the night.  The next morning, we all got on the trail by 7:30.  Seven Pines is not really maintained and no one in the group had hiked it before.  We had some trouble in spots locating the trail but there was lots of ducks to help out.  The trail crosses Dark Canyon creek a few times before hitting the PCT/Deer Springs Trail.  From there it was a long haul uphill to the summit.  Many in the group were struggling due to the distance and altitude.  Once on the summit, we took our required pictures with the A16 flag and then started heading down the same way.  The last couple miles seemed to take forever but our troop got the cars around 6pm.  Bengt left with Torti's while I waited an hour for troop 782 to make it down.  It was much later than was planned so rather than head over to Baldy, we decided to eat in Idylwild.  Unfortunately almost everything was already closed but ended up getting some good pizza at the Idylwild Pizza Company who were good enough to stay open.  Finding a place to camp, we drove to the nearby state park but it was full.  So we decided to head back to the Seven Pines site and our raucous friends.
The next morning, we headed out for Baldy.  We made a stop at Subway to get sandwiches for the trail and thankfully a doughnut shop was right next door.  I have discovered that maple bars are great pre-hike meals even though they are anti-paleo!  We got to the trailhead at the optimal time as the early hikers were done and starting to leave.  That opened up some prime parking spots within yards of the starting line.  Hiking up to road to Baldy Notch, a couple of us went fast and got to hang out at the lodge for a while.  After everyone made it up, we ate lunch then headed out.  The first mile or so up Devils Backbone is a horrible slog up ski runs.  After that, then next few miles along the knife edge were great hiking.  The summit push was steep but short and we all made it in good time.  After some discussion, we decided to head down the Baldy Bowl Trail to save time.  Shortly after reaching the ski hut, thunder pounded down from the summit.  I think it was good did not take the Devils Backbone as it might have been pretty dicey up there.  After getting to the cars, we went to Manker Flats campground and grabbed a spot.  Then we headed to Mt. Baldy Lodge for giant burgers and some cool live music.  I tore through a double grubby and was still a bit hungry!  But we had to get back to camp since he had an early rise in the morning.
Waking before 5, we broke camp and drove to Vivian trailhead, stopping for gas and breakfast at Jack-in-the-Box (we had lots of non-paleo eaters).  We were on the trail at 7:20 and started the long slog up to Vivian Creek camp.  After that, it was cruiser all the way to High Creek.  By now, the scouts were starting to wear out and we had to keep encouraging them.  After a break at High Creek, we slogged up to the ridge and then up Turd Hill.  With the summit nearly in view, the pace was quickened until we all made it!  After pictures, we headed down and everyone was going much faster.  We stopped for water at High Creek.  Along the trail down one scout got bad altitude sickness and I smacked my head on a low branch.  We finally made it to the cars after 12 hours of hiking.  A couple cars went to eat dinner in Mentone while the other left for home.
Overall, we did 42.2 miles and 13,000 feet of elevation gain.  I am super proud of everyone made it.  You can check us out on the 2016 3 Peak Challenge finishers page.

Mt. San Jacinto summit

Mt. San Antonio summit

Mt. San Gorgonio summit