Skyline Drive Trail to the Doppler Ball


A couple Saturday’s ago, I went with my brother, the ultrarunner, and a group of friends on a hike up the Skyline drive trail in Corona. We had never been there before but we had heard that it was a pretty nice hike. We got there close to noon and it was HOT! None of us had brought any sunblock and only a few of us were wearing hats. Also, there seemed to be a lot of bugs flying around that day.

Still it was a pretty cool trail and it had some nice views. Nicer than what I’m used to seeing from the suburbs, anyway.

We really didn’t have any set destination but a friend of Justin’s had told us that it was about six miles all the way to the Doppler ball. We got about 3 miles up, took a group photo, and then decided to turn back.

Justin kept going.

It took us a while to get back to the car but by the time we did, Justin had sent us a picture of the Doppler Ball saying he had reached it.

The whole week I was thinking about how close we had come to the top but stopped short. I was practically obsessing about it all week long and had already decided that I was going to come back the following Saturday and hike it myself. I wanted to finish what I started. I saw a post of Arnold Schwarzenegger polishing his boot collection and he was talking about the importance of following through and finishing what you start. That’s what successful people do: they set goals and keep moving until they reach those goals, then they set new goals.

Saturday came and I got up early. This time it was cool and foggy.

I had a nice drive up and I was listening to some John Denver music to get me in the mountain mood.

When I got to the trailhead, I could see that the entire hilltops were covered in fog and exotic birds were chirping in the trees. It reminded me of Jurassic Park. I thought to myself “this is going to be a fun day.”

I took off powerhiking up the hills. I was passing people left and right. Of course, everybody else was there on a leisurely hike, but I was on a mission.

I kept hiking, hiking, up the hill, and in no time I had reached the same spot where we took our group photo. It was completely covered in fog. Just a week ago, it was so hot that we were cramming up against the side of the hill fighting for a little patch of shade. This week, I didn’t have that problem at all. I also didn’t have the view of the city but I figured the cooler weather was a nice tradeoff.

This guy on a mountain bike was passing me and he told me that I had just a couple miles left until I reached the ball. As he was telling me that, I got to this clearing right above the fog and I was able to see the ball in the distance.

As I kept going around the curves of the mountain I would see the ball getting closer

and bigger

until I finally reached it.

Success!

Once I was there, I stood around taking a bunch of pictures and taking a good look around at all the sights. Everything looked so green up there. It was really neat.

Then I headed back down, got in my truck, ate 2 slim jim’s, and downed a Gatorade. The entire 12 mile trip took me 4 hours (a lot of photo ops). My feet and legs were hurting a bit but they didn’t really start hurting until I was already at home relaxing. But the minor pain in my feet was worth the sense of accomplishment that I got that Saturday morning when I would have normally been sleeping in.

Also, I’m glad I drove myself this week and had some room to stretch my legs. The previous week I rode in the backseat of a tiny Honda. If there was a sunroof I would’ve stuck my head out like Dino.

4 more weeks until Tough Mudder