"Don't stop!"

"Don't stop!"

"Don't stop!"

Repeating the mantra over and over, out loud, I climbed to the top of the Temescal Canyon ridge today during a late afternoon hike.  After my hike there yesterday, I'd planned on trying a new trail today at the Will Rogers State Park, but I was too busy to go early enough (it begins to get dark here around 5:45PM, and I don't want to be caught on an unfamiliar trail in the mountains after dark), so I headed back to Temescal Canyon around 3PM.

My goals today were to both shave some time off my hike and to try not to stop -- at all -- on my way up the mountain.

I shaved 4 minutes off the hike both by not giving in to the constant screaming from my burning thighs to STOP, on the climb to the top of the ridge, and by running during more of the hike.  The Vibram Five Fingers 'Trek' shoes make running much easier because of their somewhat thicker -- yet still thin -- sole.

Running on an uneven, sometimes boulder-strewn narrow mountain trail, littered with rocks of all sizes and shapes, fallen limbs, low branches and other natural obstacles -- much of the time perched on the edge of a steep canyon wall -- requires constant focus on the ground and the area ahead of you. Unlike jogging on the strand along the ocean, where I can just put my head on auto-pilot and daydream as I run, when I'm running on a trail, I have to keep my mind on what I'm doing or risk a nasty fall, or worse (tumbling hundreds of feet down a canyon wall would not be pretty).

So. Ok, I did stop today, but only three times. First, at the top, where a Jewish family (a young father and his 10 and 11 year old sons) were reading bible passages and at another spot -- both only for a few seconds to gulp down some much needed water.

I stopped one other time, at the narrow foot bridge, to photograph and shoot video of the beautiful waterfall and fast-moving stream -- especially beautiful today with no one else around but me. (see the 1 minute video below for peaceful waterfall)

Once I'm done hiking I'm always starving, and I head to my favorite California Chicken Cafe on Lincoln, a few blocks from my home. It's a favorite for the LAPD, too, and today I was surrounded by cops while eating.  The two photos are of LAPD cars and my SUV. A better photographer could have made a really cool pic out of this scene.



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