Living in both Southern California and Montana provide readily available perks for outdoor adventure. I usually reserve my outdoor time in San Diego for hiking in preparation for the altitude that comes with hunting in the fall while in Montana. Because we are at sea level, I tend to spend time conditioning with longer hikes or trail running to keep the heart rate up.
If you haven't been at altitude, nothing will prepare you for that hike into your favorite hunting ground. Not even 6-8 miles a day of brisk pace at 1500 feet above sea level. I have recently become more enthusiastic about hiking locally because it offers me some conditioning that I've been failing to recognize on the treadmill or stair climber. Beyond that problem, it's just truly great for my soul. I get bored in the confines of a gym. I know weight training is of utmost importance but I am starting to split my time with weights at Chuze Fitness in Santee and cardio workouts crossing many miles of the hiking trails around San Diego County.
I frequent Torrey Pines State Beach, Cuyamaca State Park, Stonewall Peak, and the Laguna Mountains for one reason....I feel the need for nature. To take in the little things while enjoying the sun as it hits my face and the wind as it cools me down. The fog rolling in and out with that constant battle between the ocean and desert. The tracks on the trail tell a story to me as well. Its exciting to feel the presence of the previous travelers that used this path. Not people, but the California quail, a rattlesnake, a possum, or maybe a mountain lion.
I live for this because its in my soul. Living in this urban jungle creates the need for me to find nature even more. Growing up in the Midwest and in the Rocky Mountains of Montana has ingrained this unexplained urge to be away from sidewalks, stoplights, cabs, neon lights and noise. Personally, I just cannot feel nature with the white noise of the city. It has never come naturally to me.
In preparation for my hunting trip to Montana in November, I am going to take on a new challenge next weekend. Its called the "5 Peak Challenge". Launched late last year, this is San Diego’s very "mini version" of the Colorado fourteeners (the challenge to hike all 53 mountains above 14,000 feet). The Five Peak Challenge features climbs up Mission Trails Regional Park's five mountains including – Cowles Mountain, Pyles Peak, Kwaay Paay Peak, South Fortuna Mountain, and North Fortuna Mountain.
In order to complete this challenge, I will be hiking roughly 12-14 miles, and ascend over 6,100 feet which doesn't seem like much but I have been up and down these trails more then once. Its grueling in this temperate climate. I have just never done all 5 in one day.
Here are the details:
Cowles Mountain 1,591 ft / 485 m
Pyles Peak 1,379 ft / 420 m
North Fortuna Mountain 1,291 ft / 393 m
Kwaay Paay 1,194 ft / 364 m
South Fortuna Mountain 1,094 ft / 333 m
More information about the 5-Peak Challenge is available online at mtrp.org/five_peaks01
“Nature is one of the most underutilized treasures in life. It has the power to unburden hearts and reconnect to that inner place of peace.”
― Janice Anderson
Jake has 17 years experience working with enterprise software applications, most notably Salesforce.com and various Microsoft technologies including SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics, and Microsoft CRM. His specialties include software project management, design, development, software systems integration, SEO, Pay Per Click and digital marketing campaign management. Over the years, he has learned to leverage his strengths and to identify how to create value through technology and show the return on investment. He is an expert at defining a clear vision, developing efficient sales systems and processes, and executing effective strategic relationship management strategies. On the side, its hunting, fishing, hiking, trying his best at parenting, and loving every day!
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