61- Week Hiking Challenge (Week 5) – Johnson Ranch Loop Trail
With California catching up to the rest of the country’s cold spell, I’m finding it more challenging to go on hikes in the morning when there’s still frost-covered paths. But I have to say that I am counting my blessings that it’s just the cold wind and the crisp air that I’m contending with.
What is the 61-Week Hiking Challenge?
How many of you make New Years Resolutions? How many of those resolutions have become part of your lifestyle? I know there are a lot of people out there who think “new year, new life” or “new changes for the coming year,” but I think that we set ourselves up for failure when we use the word “resolution.” There’s so many jokes out there revolving around how fickle we are as a society and laugh when our NYE resolutions don’t even make it to day 3.
Why 61 weeks?
I like to go against the grain. I didn’t want to make another meaningless resolution about working out and I didn’t want to wait until January 1 either. Why put it off when I’m ready today? I want to challenge myself. When a challenge has been put forth, I don’t like to loose or give up. It motivates me. So I decided to start my journey early (end of this past October) and start with something simple: I want to get outside and go on at least one hike a week. Whether the hikes are big or small, long or short, with or without kids, I want to actively engage my body and enjoy this beautiful world we live in. There are so many places to go (free places to boot) that I want to explore them all.
This week, I had one of my hiking buddies come along with me. Arleena and I traveled a relatively short way up to San Luis Obispo to hike the Johnson Ranch trail. I’m really bummed because my “MapMyHike” app stopped working shortly after our departure; however the maps say it’s roughly a 3.7-mile loop.
The trail is easy, easy enough for young kids but not strollers, and it is dog friendly. We even saw a few mountain bikers as well. I’m sure this would be a very beautiful hike in the Spring or Summer with all of the wildflowers blooming and green grass growing; however today, the open space was covered in brown grass. But nonetheless, the shady oak groves and vast rolling hills still provide a lovely backdrop.
The Johnson Trail also can connect you to the Irish Hills Trail. I am hoping to come back and extend the hike which would make it about 10 miles round trip.
To get to the Johnson Ranch Trailhead: From San Luis Obispo, take the 101 Freeway south to exit 198 for Higuera Street. At the bottom of a horseshoe bend in the off ramp, turn left into a parking area for Johnson Ranch.