31 December 2013

Summing Up My Outdoor Year 2013

December 2013


My outdoor year 2013 started slowly in January. First activities were walks on nature. Walking on the coast has always been inspiring, like watching these ice skaters at Kallvik:

Did some snowshoeing at Vaakkoi, too:

Cross country skiing, running, walking, snow shoeing, these were prescription for outdoor cure.


February was a lazy month for outdoor activities. Something was about to change.


Got a new job offer in Autumn 2012, considered it a while and then finally accepted it. It was about to move from Finland to the California, US (where this post is now written 10 months later).

Lots of plans for different outdoor activities were flown in mind. However, started from the easiest ones, walks, cycling and some hiking.  Ultimate plan was to search and find a sea kayaking club were to join ASAP (unfortunately that search is still active).

California offered some cool State Parks near new home, like Torrey Pines:

On the beaches one could see many species of birds as Pelicans, as well as seals:


In April continued walks on different beaches. Did few day hikes, e.g. to Palomar Mountain and Hellhole State Park. (Outdoor) Swimming came back to weekly agenda, too.

Had bought a new road bike earlier in March and started to grow miles with it on local roads. These roads were not flat, but very hilly, including mountains over mile high.  While having hikes on trails had noticed them to be most suitable for mountain biking. Soon after on May a new mountain bike found its place from a garage.


May was filled with cycling, as bike commuting finally was started. Pro cyclists visited us while the first stage of Tour of California cycling race filled the streets in Escondido:

Day hikes scheme continued, bringing new places as Elfin Forest, Los Penasquitos, Iron Mountain, Volcan Mountain and San Elio Reserve.


On June, any outdoor activity (except swimming) had to be started early as heat hit hard at 10am by latest. Wanted to experience the real heat, too. Drove over the mountains to Anza-Borrego desert State Park. The temperature was +43C.  Did a short hike there and that sure was enough. Did first hiking on Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

Did a lot mountain biking on June:


On the fourth of July weekend headed even further to the mountains. San Jacinto, peak over 3000m, lied on two hours drive north east from San Diego. Idyllwild, a cool hippie town on mile high had some great lodges. Did mountain biking and hiking, conquering San Jacinto peak.  On San Jacinto Wilderness, took more serious hiking on the PCT, too.

The rest of the July was filled by city walks in San Diego and LA, as well as road and mountain biking. An injury in foot did not allow any serious running.


In August started to join in cycling races and events near San Diego. The first event, CycloSDias, was an event promoting city cycling. The next one, Bike The Bay, was a bit more serious, crossing A Coronado Bridge.


In September did the first more serious cycling race, Giro di San Diego. Some heavy climbing on the road. Tough but rewarding. Continued city walks on small cities north of LA.


October started with another cycling race, Tour of Poway. Legs were empty on first mountain, Happy End. Otherwise spent reasonable time on a mountain bike saddle, too.

Explored new mountain region, east of San Diego, called Laguna Mountains. All trails there were over mile high in altitude. Did some hiking and mountain biking there on consecutive weekends.

Autumn was truly visible there, too. Leaves of sudden oak trees were either red or bright yellow throughout pine forest.

Cycling, new city breaks and a day hike on Santa Ysabel were in agenda.

Another PCT experience took place in Laguna Mountains, too. Near the edge of mountain, one side showing meadow and forest of Laguna and another edge Anza-Borrego desert.


November started with another cycling race, Tour de Julian. The real mountain race. Again, empty legs after the first real climb. And again, the very Happy End.

Did another hiking near Laguna, on Cuyamaca mountains, containing the highest peak on San Diego County.

Probably the best hiking took place later in November in Joshua Tree National Park. This legendary NP did show its best. Rock climbing there looked absolutely tempting, who knows if ...


Among cycling, December contained city and beach walks as well as a relaxing holiday on Oahu island, HI.

Summing Up

GPS recorded altogether some 3000km where most of it came from cycling. As a great disappointment, there was no paddling activities recoded during 2013. Hope that's going to change in 2014.

The best photo I took during 2013?  I would pick up this one as it explains pretty well the sight which have become more and more familiar to me during 2013:

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

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