I haven’t been hiking in a while. When the air was bad and I had to workout indoors, one of the things I did was stair intervals , two steps at a time. It was a good workout but unfortunately irritated the piriformis muscle in my right leg, which caused sciatica symptoms (pain down the leg all the way to the ankle from a nerve compressed by the inflamed muscle). I’ve been doing a lot of stretching of the muscle. which helps, but I also stayed away from hiking, even after the air got better. After a few weeks, I decided it was ok to hike again. My friend Veronica runs a local meetup group, which tends to have small groups so we can readily do social distancing. I went on her meetup at Coyote Open-space, one of my favorites, yesterday. It turned out to be just the two of us this time.
Coyote Open-space has only one trail, which has a lot of single track, so the county has made it one way for safety during the Covid crisis. They switched the direction since the last time I went, this was my first time doing what I consider the “backwards loop”, which made it seem like something new.
Veronica took a “social distance selfie”:
This is a view of the northern half of Coyote valley from a vantage point:
We saw a lot of deer and cows along the way. There were many calves, that looked only a few months old. I wish I had thought to take pictures of them. It was interesting that there would be one grown cow with several calves nearby, which couldn’t be all hers because they were all the same size. We wondered if they take turns. While this one is babysitting, the others are off finding greener grass somewhere else.
I did get some pictures of the deer at one place we spotted them. Here are a couple of does with a fawn off to the left:
Here is Veronica taking pictures of some small white flowers we saw, which neither of us could identify:
This was a nice easy outing, a four mile loop with a little over 600 feet elevation change. I got a slight case of shin-splints on the left side, and my right ankle was bothering me a bit afterwards. I think it was because I’ve become unaccustomed to downhills. They felt better later, but this was a hint that I’m going to have to ease slowly back into hiking.