Focal Point: Hike! El Moro Canyon / Crystal Cove State Park

Enjoyed a nice Saturday morning and early afternoon out hiking with some friends in Crystal Cove State Park along Pacific Coast Highway a few weeks back. Here are the photos! It was the first time I remember doing a seven-mile, round trip hike in a while. I think I need to buy a better camera strap for outings like this.

Lessons learned for this trip (and common sense for any wilderness hike in general): hydrate and eat plenty of nutritious food prior to heading up. I had to shoot a birthday party afterwards for 3 hours, and I was running on little to no food or water the entire day. Bad idea! Luckily, I still had energy to click some pics.

Things I noticed on this trip in terms of camera equipment:

– I need a new sort of backpack/waist strap for the more adventurous shoots I go on. I’d love to bring a flash, but having to take off my back bag is tedious.
– I seriously need to take my camera and lenses to the Irvine Canon USA camera service department. My gear has been through rain, snow, dust and dirt since I last had my stuff cleaned. Annoying spots of dirt keep appearing in my pictures!
– I’m curious about ring flashes now.
– Still enjoying my roots in landscape photography. Although the photography really came in secondary on this trip, I wonder what it’d be like to shoot purely for the wilderness one day.

Anyway, enjoy the beautiful, blue skies and saturation of colors! Nature always has a wonderful way of producing the most vibrant pictures..

It’s amazing how different a 5-10 degree difference will make when hiking. The small bit of shade we were able to get under was swarming with bugs, but it still provided solace from the heat.

To the left? Slow N’ Easy. To the right? The Elevator. Care to guess which one I took?

If you guessed the Elevator, you were right! That’s a photo of my friend Cham being smart and using gloves to climb up some of the steeper parts of the trail. 0.9 miles up this thing is a serious workout.

And this is Fence Line, the top-most part of the entire park. The scenery was quite captivating, as you can see the flora in the foreground, and the hills and ocean in the distance.

Beyond the trips in college to Crystal Cove beach to understand geological formations, I was pleasantly surprised to know there are trails further away from the shore to get some exercise and just enjoy the outdoors. Lots of trails for mountain bikers as well, as we probably passed by almost fifteen or so of them over the course of our 2-3 hour stay.

For the entire set of photos (not much more this time around), please check out my flickr page!

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