August is upon us

Since the last time I wrote, I guess the thing that has changed or the thing that has become a thing is that I get up and go for a walk. My sister turned me on to an app called All Trails, and I have made good use of it. I think I mentioned last time that I want to find places that feel like you’re not in a city even though you are, and I’ve had some success with that.

Mom & I went to Creek Park with Lulu. It’s about a mile loop, and there’s a horse trail so I’ve been back there a couple times and do a couple loops. I went to this place called Wilderness Park which is not even close to being wild. There were huge power towers running the length of the park, but I guess it was good that they made it a green space.

On July 19, I tackled Murphy Ranch Trail. It’s in Whittier, and it was great.

It was only 1.8 miles, but there are some hills that had me breathing hard. The next week, I tried the Arroyo Pescadero and Deer Loop Trail. This was 2.8 miles, some elevation, but also great. I’ll definitely do it again.

There was this face in the hillside that was equally delightful and creepy. The key is to go early enough that it’s not too hot. It’s challenging since I’m not using an alarm clock while I’m not working. But I tend to just wake up around 6:30 am. Then it’s just a question of how quickly I can get myself together to get out the door.

Last week, I took on the Schabarum Trail Loop that I also will do again. 2.2 miles, but I wasn’t sure how to follow the map so I cut off about 1 mile unknowingly.`

It’s funny because I know these photos all look very similar. What can I say? It’s the hills of southern CA.

The next day I went to a regional park (Craig Regional Park) and walked around for 3.5 miles. It felt easy. Most of it was paved, just sidewalks winding through this huge park, but I did manage to find a couple trails (no photos).

The next morning, I went back to a park (Ralph B. Clark Regional Park) that I had gone to when it was more novelty than intention to walk. This time I did the full perimeter, which was only 1.7 miles, but I’m trying to be conscious of my knees and feet and not go overboard every day.

Sometimes, the app doesn’t show everything there is, which may be due to the filters I’ve put on but I tend to look at the map to find green spaces and then just go to them. That’s what I did on Thursday, August 1, and I happened upon part of the Nora Kutcher Recreational Trail which all told is 5.2 miles, but since I kind of happened upon, I kind of made my way along, using the app and the map, so I only did 3.6 miles, but it was really cool. I walked along and saw there was a lake on the map so went there, and I loved it!

On Friday, I had one destination in mind, then changed my mind, changed it again, and again, and ended up at Hillcrest Park, which was a strange park with lots of stairs and seemingly abandoned roads (they’re not). But there’s a nice fountain. This one was only 1.3 miles.

Since I do all my walking in the morning, that gives me the rest of the day to job search, read, run errands, or do things with Mom. Usually, she’s still asleep by the time I get home so it works out pretty well.

So other than my walks (I’m down another 2 1/2 lbs making it 11 lbs I’ve lost since I got home from my tour – I’d still like to lose more, but I’m feeling good right now), here’s what’s been happening.

I got all my stuff out of the garage and either unpacked and placed it in my room or I repacked it and put it in the shed. I think I had 7 or 8 containers in the garage, and now there are only 3 in the shed so I’m happy with that.

Mom & I have gone to the beach twice. The first time (7/22) we went to Huntington Beach state beach. It was nice, hot. The walk from the parking lot to the shore is long.

After the beach we went to Ola in Pacific City for a late afternoon snack. On August 1, we went to Bolsa Chica state beach. We didn’t want to go to HB because the surfing championships were happening so it would be crowded. The walk to the sand isn’t as long in Bolsa Chica, but this beach is dirtier, plus it was very windy. Still, there are worse places to be on a summer afternoon.

Mom & I also went for a walk around La Mirada Regional Park one afternoon with Lulu.

Here’s some good news on the job front: I start at the Cypress College bookstore on Wednesday, and hopefully I’ll hear back tomorrow about getting an interview scheduled for another position, also part-time, but it’s remote. Yay! I’ve probably applied for 40 jobs by now. Some I’ve heard definite ‘no,’ others don’t communicate at all. Some you can check online, and they say they’re ‘processing’ or ‘reviewing.’ My mood/attitude has fluctuated greatly with this dynamic. I’ve also done a lot of soul-searching about what I want to do, how much I’m really willing to do. The critical variable is healthcare. Most part-time jobs don’t offer benefits, but the full-time jobs that do offer them are usually comprised of the stuff I used to do.

Now for some news from outside my immediate bubble. There have been 3 mass shootings* in the last week.

July 30: Gilroy, CA: a gunman killed 3 people at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

August 3: El Paso, TX: a gunman killed 20 people at a Walmart (he drove from Dallas to do it)

August 4: Dayton, OH: a gunman killed 9 people (this happened around 1 am so it was within 24 hours of the El Paso shooting)

* there have been more mass shootings than 3 in the last week, in fact there have been 250 this year, but the ones I’ve listed are the ones that are domestic terrorism in that the gunman specifically wanted to kill random people as opposed to gang crimes or familial or relationship shootings which also have happened with alarming frequency.

I’m not sure how this terrifying American phenomenon can be assuaged, but I think one step toward it would be to not allow citizens to buy assault rifles. It’s truly staggering how easy it seems for anybody to purchase these weapons that have no use other than to kill. I’m left feeling two ways: scared that it can believably happen anywhere and carefree because it doesn’t seem to matter what you do, what you believe, who you favor politically… life is dangerous and sad and overwhelming so you best just do whatever you can to be happy.

On that note, I’ll sign off. I’m going to go walk around Heritage Park.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sandy Thompson says:

    All your walks sound great! I’m glad the app we talked about is helping you find a bit of nature in the urban world. Also, the pics are a nice addition to the descriptions. Congrats on losing some lbs!

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