Monday, October 20, 2014


{I'm posting every day this month for the 31 Days writing challenge!
Click here to see an introduction and a list of all the posts I've written so far.}

I can’t believe it’s already Day 20, you guys.  Yesterday I gave you a little sneak peek at what I’m talking about today, which is one of my absolute favorite ways to stay active in Santa Barbara: hiking!  

Hiking is yet another one of those things that I never thought I would get into, because I never used to think I was capable of anything more intense than a few minutes of power walking.  (Seriously.  Those of you who know me now are probably thinking I’m exaggerating, but anyone who knew me in college or high school can vouch for my utter lack of interest in physical activity.)  

I honestly don’t remember ever going hiking in my life before I moved to Santa Barbara.  That’s not to say it didn’t happen, because I have a terrible memory.  But let’s just go with this whole theme that seems to be happening in this series, where I talk about how I never did anything awesome until I lived in Santa Barbara.  Because it’s pretty much the story of my life.

My first hike in Santa Barbara was with a few friends from church, and it was arguably one of the most popular trails in this area: Inspiration Point.  It’s about a three mile round trip trek, with a pretty steady uphill climb, but not very steep except for a few spots.  And when you get to the top, you are rewarded with this amazing view:

(Click to enlarge)

That first time, when my friends told me I was about to hike for three miles, I seriously didn’t know if I was going to make it.  Turns out I not only made it, but I also didn’t even slow the group down too much!  Thus began my obsession with hiking.

Inspiration will always be one of my favorite hikes in Santa Barbara, but I’ve loved exploring some of the other trails as well, like McMenemy, Rattlesnake, Cold Spring, Tangerine Falls, and Lizard’s Mouth.  I have been sticking around the 3-5 mile range, but eventually I would love to try some of the longer trails!  

Here are some of my favorite things about hiking:

  • It’s a fantastic lower body workout!  Honestly, that first hike up to Inspiration Point, I was sore FOR DAYS in places I didn’t even know had muscles.  (So, kayaking for upper body, hiking for lower.  What more do you need?)  
  • There’s such a variety of options.  Whether you’re looking for a short hike or a long one, something near the beach or in the mountains, a steep climb or an easy walk – the possibilities are practically endless.  I love that some of the trails are mostly dirt, while others are super shaded and green.  Hiking has given me an even deeper appreciation for the fact that I get to live in Santa Barbara and see all these different scenic views.
  • It’s another great way to spend an afternoon with friends.  I mentioned this about kayaking, too: doing something active with friends is one of the best ways to hang out!  Always great conversations, always a ton of sweat and smiles.  
  • MAJOR calorie burn!  On a 3-4 mile hike, I usually burn at least 1,000 calories.  And you know what that means?  Guilt-free pizza and ice cream consumption!

I could go on and on.  But let’s leave it at this: if you live in Santa Barbara and you haven’t hiked at least one of the awesome trails around here...what are you waiting for?  

1 comment:

  1. I'm proud of you! You have sure learned to enjoy being physically active. Keep up the great work!


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