Within a few days we are back on the trails again. This time I put on 2 pairs of socks and as soon as I place my right foot inside of my boot, the outside of my big toe feels a small electrifying jolt. I adjust my socks and re-do the laces until the ah-ha moment arrives and my big piggy zones out shopping at the market.
Today we hike the Bear Canyon Loop. The trailhead begins about 100 yards south of the Ortega Highway Candy Store.
Speaking of candy, we discover, a package of edible cannibus as we start the trail.
Medical marijuana is legal in California and can be purchased at a dispensary. But first one needs a doctor’s recommendation and proof of CA residency. For $75, more or less, you can register at a clinic, skype with a doctor, and, if approved, receive an annual physician’s statement which is a certified legal document allowing you to purchase and carry so many ounces of marijuana and/or cultivate a certain number of plants. The yellow hard candy we find contains 40 micrograms of marijuana which is a double dose and probably meant to be a now-and-later edible.
So, do we taste the hemptation temptation? No. We leave it in the trail registration box. We remember our parents’ warning from when we were little kids and choose to not take candy from a stranger.
The Bear Canyon Loop Trail begins on the Ortega Highway, meets up with the Morgan Trail, and continues to Four Corners. From here you can loop back or continue on several different trails for a longer hike.
After a mile or so we meet up with the Morgan Trail. So far so good with my feet.
We take the high road to the right for another mile or so. My feet are not talking back yet.
We reach the trail marker for the 4 Corners loop.
We continue on to 4 Corners which is the half-way point of our 6.5 mile hike. Honestly, I don’t know if my feet hurt or not. I am so focused on reaching 4 Corners that, come toes that wished they had stayed home or toes that wished they were more beefed up for hiking, I ignore all of my piggies and zero in on the destination.
And we arrive at a clearing.
There are several trail markers here:
We opt for the trail leading us back to the Ortega Highway. Just an FYI… Trail maps and information are difficult to find online. The Cleveland National Forest web site is part of fs.usda.gov. The trail descriptions are limited at best. The total mileage is often questionable. The trail markers are confusing when hiking.
As soon as we head back I become aware of my aching feet. I try to ignore them by concentrating on taking pictures of the trail.
At last we complete the 4 Corners loop and I tell my aching toes we only have 2+ miles to go.
I think I can! I know I can! I have no choice! So I dig my heels into the ground, with each step, to take the pressure off my toes. And I continue to take pictures to help me forget that my piggies are crying all the way home to the car!
At last, the big rocks return and the end is in sight!
Now, all I need to do is hobble across the Ortega Highway, get to the car, and get my hiking boots off!
My socks are bloody and the tops of my toes are blistered. Could anyone use a pair of slightly worn (just 2 times) Merrell hiking boots size 8.5? Let me know.
I order a new pair of boots on Amazon.com and now too tight is just right and too small is not at all.
I test these out on the Chiquito Trail. Here’s a picture of Jeff basking in the joy of my happy hiking feet: