What’s an EASY Hike?

By Mary

You know how “O” ratings are in the GLS section for Hikes? They are rated  “easy”,  “moderate” or “strenuous”. I assumed these ratings represent easy as easy, moderate as harder than easy and you get the rest.  So being my naive self, I did some “easy” hikes with my  “Leader” girlfriend to support her in outdoor activities and found myself in some perilous situations. Like walking for 1 mile straight into the desert in soft sand in 102-degree heat and having heat stroke. Then there was the time an easy hike was 5 miles through rough terrain in Sattell Back Lakes, embarrassingly, getting myself stuck on a snow covered hill top where I nearly froze waiting for a very cute and tiny ranger who saved the day.  Or 2 miles on the Nalapli coast carrying a backpack for 500’gain and loss over slippery boulders and protruding roots.  My last adventure was in my own back yard where the fire road starts Elyria Canyon Park’s 38 acres. Unbeknownst to me I was suffering from Mononeulosois at the time. Thank the Goddess for Will, the gracious man that he is, who helped me with his steadfast encouragement as I panted my way back to our house where I then provided drinks for 15 or so folks as they had lunch.

Now you must understand that my abilities for hiking are limited in my 200+ frame (the plus is my business). And have been reserved for more cerebral activities, such as discussing politics over dinner, watching from my fold up lounge chair many sun sets, (not too many sunrises), and walks along the beach. So for some time now, I have been asking the question, who decides a rating and “What is an Easy Hike?”

Little did I know that the “ Leader” for the hike determines the rating. So all you Leaders, Loosen UP. An Easy hike is for folks who don’t hike that much!!! The hike should be less than 4 miles round trip and flat terrain.  Now that we have that cleared up I would like to tell you all about a truly “Easy” hike I did last weekend.

Eric and Lauren were Leaders for the Malibu Canyon Creek hike, rated as EASY, and it was. There were about 25 people in all shapes, ages, color and fitness, mostly Women, too bad for Eric but we girls had a great time.  The hike was on a fire road, which was for the most part, shaded from heavy sun.  A babbling brook with cute little ducks but later learned from Teresa that they are called “Kooks”, (finally I didn’t feel like one…) splashed and hunted for food. We hiked by lots of folks either painting by the brook, or bicycling, sometimes too fast for the comfort of us hikers. We stopped often to discuss native plants and birds of the area.  The highlight was visiting the area where South Pacific was filmed. Bali-hi was our group song.  Then lunch, and one mile back to our cars.  In total 3 miles, slight hills, but mostly flat. Lots of laughing, learning and excersie while getting to know some wonderful people.  For the more seasoned hiker this might have been a bore, but I really doubt it.

 For the record, Thanks to Eric and Lauren, for a truly Easy Hike! Hopefully there will be more of these kind of Outings so folks like myself can have a heart pumping experience in the beautiful outdoors.

[Note: This walk will be repeated on Earth Day, April 22, 2001.  See Schedule for details]


                                                                    Malibu Creek