Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sand skiing near Palm Springs

Sans skis of course.

When I was coming down that impossibly steep and sandy slope Tuesday using my trekking poles, it occurred to me that I should try my hand at skiing down. In my naivete, I thought that I was the first to come up with such an outlandish idea, wrong! But it was sure fun regardless of whether I was the first or not.

This post is about the repeat hike that I made from the week before, this time with pictures and videos. Scratch the embedded video part as the new Open Live Writer has a problem with Youtube and Vimeo embeds. But I will put my Youtube Channel link in for you to head over and check them out if you wish. Also feel free to leave a comment and like or not like the video as you wish.

By the way, I have asked for assistance from the Blogger Help community with the video issue and hope that it can be resolved.

Some of you know that I have made several hikes out by the windmill area of Palm Springs over the years, mainly trying to hike up the ridgeline. Most of these hikes were made when I was, no other way to put it, huge.
Yours truly before my weightloss out in the socal desert.

Since I began my weightloss and avoiding diabetes regimen, I have went back to the area and hiked again. These last two hikes were very enjoyable, despite discovering that the recent rains in the area made the trail on the ridgeline disappear and the soil surface less stable. I can only imagine the damage done to the nearby Pacific Crest Trail as well.

First, here is the location and directions to the area if you are looking for a challenging and fun hike. Also see the screenshot and check out the link to my Viewranger hike info.

Using Interstate 10, you can exit at either Field Road or Haugen-Lehman Road, but it is closer to just get off at HL which is the last exit before the Hwy 111 turnoff to Palm Springs. Go right if you arrive from the west, left if from the east. You will just drive and park off the frontage road(on the Mt San Jacinto side)at the very first large highway billboard. It is okay to park there just don’t park next to the sign in case the workers need access to it. I always put a note on my car that I am hiking in the area with my name and cell number just in case a law enforcement officer decides to stop and check on the situation. Yes, I have been called by the Highway Patrol while hiking!

After parking, cross over the two railroad tracks to the dirt road on the other side and go left, following the road across the wash to the ridgeline. Or you can go crosscountry heading toward the end windmill up next to the mountainside and the road that heads up the switchback toward the left side of that ridge. Trust me, you can’t get lost and do not trespass onto the windmill property as they have an electric fence and security patrolling.
Park to the left as the sign is on the right side. Be very careful, watch for trains and watch your footing on that gravel. You could also follow the tracks going left as the downslope lessens that way on the other side of the tracks. The dirt road is very close on the opposite side of the tracks, follow it across the wash to the ridge and then head toward the mountain until you get to the switchback road against the mountain.

If you do choose to head crosscountry watch out for gopher holes which can cause a sprained ankle. The good news is your cell works here even up on the mountain ridge. Just follow the windmills! This is an interesting hike with photo opportunities around and check out the animal tracks in the wash. The recent rains have scoured the wash pretty good as well as that switchback road up the ridge. Do not try to drive even your tricked out Jeep up that road. I will post photos of the heavy damage that the road took recently. Remember, you have been warned not to drive up the road.
The view once you get to the switchback road. It looks good even for cars here but don’t do it. Here is why.
Up at the top of the picture is where only a dirt bike will be able to continue. Even Big Foot couldn’t go any farther!

No place to turn around, don’t you wish you had listened when Morongobill said don’t drive up?
The view after you get around the baddest spot and right before you top out onto the plateau.
The view from the plateau looking toward the way you came, note that dirt road crossing the ridge, you will hike right to left across it later if you follow this hike as outlined here.
After your little rest break, you will head up this Jeep trail. Be careful.
You were down there. See what I mean about having to be careful?
Now the fun really begins. Don’t put your skis on just yet however. You are about to go 500+ feet straight down the mountainside!
You also have the option of going toward the mountain and up the ridgeline. I found out though that the rains had made the trail almost impossible to follow and the soil felt unstable so I didn’t follow it this time as I did the week before. Instead I followed the road down the mountain.
The view further down where the dirt road becomes deep and soft sand. This time I chose to leave the road and walk on the left side of the road, right down the steep mountainside. Come on, if a formerly huge 61 year year old can do it, so can you! Just be careful!
Looking back uphill.
View once you get to the sandy part. It gets even steeper further downhill. At this point I got off the
road onto the left side and started going downhill. Remember if you don’t have trekking poles or a
sturdy hiking staff to plant your feet sideways to help slow your descent. Do the same on this sandy
road if you stay on it. It is a long way to the bottom, especially if you start rolling downhill!
View to the right.

My battery died filming video with this camera so from now on all photos were made using my cell and will have handshake issues  and lack the sharpness of the ones so far.

Let’s talk about the safe way to descend from the ridge on this very sandy surface. If you do not have a hiking staff or trekking poles along, I suggest that you go downhill placing your feet sideways,planting your feet carefully each time. Be careful as the sand could actually stop one or both feet in mid-fall which could result in a sprained ankle or worse. If you have the gear, you
should be able to work in a more normal manner, again being vigilant. Note, this applies whether you stay on or get off the road here. If you venture off the road, remember to aim for natural breaks such as creosote bush clumps which will stop you if you start rolling downhill! Now let’s get to the pics where you could start sand skiing! Technically I guess I really wasn’t skiing without the skis and only used my hiking shoes, but I was skiing none the less and it was a real hoot! I never felt like I was in any danger and never felt out of control.
I don’t know who or what made those tracks but it appears that they were going uphill.
This is the steep part that I mentioned earlier.
Looking uphill, those tracks appear to have been made by an animal of some sort.
Here I chickened out and quit skiing and started the sideways thing with my feet.
Almost at the bottom.

Once you reach the bottom then you turn left on the dirt road and start following it along the backside of the ridge you were just hiking and skiing on. It is easy and there is no chance of getting lost. After about a third of a mile you will come to some rocks where you can sit down and take a well deserved rest break as I am doing in this photo.

I continued further along the dirt road and came to a point where I could either go cross-country to go around the very lowest point of the ridge and from there cross the wash to make my way back to the car or I could go left and cross the ridge very dirt road as pointed out earlier, the road you could see down the ridgeline in the photo from the plateau.
To the left is the ridge and at the top is the plateau mentioned earlier. Let me add that once I tried going straight down this ridge in the photo and lost control and by a miracle caught ahold of a dead juniper tree limb as I went by, it didn’t break off, and my descent came to a screeching halt, enabling me to resume a controlled pace down the steep and rocky terrain without any injury whatsoever.
The view from the saddle of the dirt road both ways.
The Morongomobile is parked straight ahead to the right of the sign. From this point, I just headed crosscountry toward the sign. Piece of cake after what I and hopefully you will have gone through to get to this point.
The Morongomobile right where I parked it. The billboard is out of the photo, stage left!

This completes the hike. I certainly hope that you try it and the sand skiing part, even if only with your hiking shoes on. My strong advice is that you carry trekking poles or a hiking staff if you go off that dirt road downhill. The trekking poles would be ideal. Skis are optionalOpen-mouthed smile

Here is the screenshot from my Viewranger page. The link is below also. To see the maps, choose from the many options. The options also include the topo which I used here. Note the elevation loss and gain and where 500 feet of that loss came from. Hint: where you need the skis.

My Youtube Channel:

Morongobill's Youtube Channel

I did put up one video which you can view here at this link:

Plus two others going down the slope from a week earlier:

Hope to see you out on the trail. Email me if you are in the area, I am off Tuesday and Wednesday. Let’s go hiking!

Morongobill aka William C McDonald

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Easier to enjoy the outdoors after you drop the pounds and inches

Yesterday I drove out to the Palm Springs area to revisit an area where I have hiked up the ridgeline a few times in the past when I was about 60 pounds heavier. I ended up doing a 6.5 kilometer hike up and down the ridgeline, including a very steep, straight down descent, trek down the sandy mountainside.

Normally I use miles but I had Viewranger GPS recording a track on my smartphone and it uses km. Unfortunately I haven’t figured out how to view the track except using maps, I will try to post a screenshot at the bottom of this post.

Anyhow, here are a couple of shots from the video below and one taken with the phone.

Here is the video. In another video, I said something about “compounding stupid” by taking this shortcut straight down the impossibly steep mountainside.

Sorry I cannot embed the video with my blogging software from either Youtube or Vimeo. Here is the link to the Vimeo site which makes my video look a little better than over at Youtube.

Looks like my infatuation with my new blogging software is over.

You will find out the same as I did that it is much easier to go hiking or biking, whatever, when you are not having to carry around the extra lard on your frame. One of the components of my plan presented in the e-book is that you do some sort of aerobic exercise 5 days a week. This helps build your wind and stamina which helps immensely in outdoor activities.

So buy the book and get started or do it on your own, get out and move!

William McDonald

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How I cheaply got rid of my acid reflux problem

For years I had acid reflux issues at night while sleeping. Many times I jumped out of bed from a dead sleep with acid burning my throat to the point where it felt like I couldn’t breathe. In a panic even at times.

My problem was mainly caused by eating a small meal, usually fast food, on the way home from work, then going straight to bed once home.

I knew this couldn’t continue once I began my weightloss journey in mid-April last year and somehow I stumbled upon this idea which stopped my acid reflux that very night and it has not returned to plague me since.

This picture shows my new “medicine.” I will follow it with why I think it works below the photos.

I eat a big spoonful of peanut butter and wash it down with a third of a glass or so of regular milk. Now I know that sugar has been added to the peanut butter and that milk has lactose sugar. But both also have a lot of protein and saturated fats to lessen any sugar spike effect. For me, and this is a fact that I have verified with my glucose meter, there is no sugar spike. This combination tastes great and it makes you feel full. I do not get hungry afterwords for hours. I think it is the perfect late night snack and I never get tired of it. It also works at other times too!

If you have a peanut allergy or are lactose intolerant, don’t try this. If you are prediabetic like me, remember to “eat to your meter.” Trust but verify. Use your blood glucose meter and see a food’s effect upon your blood sugar.

I really don’t have a clue how it stopped my acid reflux, I just know that it worked the first time and acid reflux has not bothered me since.

This is of course in my e-book so if you haven’t bought it yet, why not? Scroll up to the top right and click over to my Amazon book page. Start changing your life for the better today!

William McDonald

Monday, January 18, 2016

Portion size control?

I had an interesting chat with a friend on this very subject. His opinion was that a lot of obese people believe that this is the way to get a handle on their weight issue, by limiting the amount of food that they eat through smaller serving sizes. This is also how a buffet does it. Have you ever noticed that their plates are smaller than the ones that you use at home?

I did see online at government health sites that portion control is important for diabetics. As I mention in the e-book, diabetics often are told by their health professionals to eat several small meals as the way to stabilize their blood sugar. So if you are a diabetic, please ignore what I am about to say.

I do not believe in spending all my time counting calories nor do I exercise any sort of portion size control. With my plan, you eat until your body says that you are full. You will be eating a healthier mix of food under the plan and hopefully will not be eating junk food or food that comes straight out of the box which is often loaded to the gills with high fructose corn syrup or other sugars. Those types of foods often result in your body signaling that it is not full, as your blood sugar spikes and crashes, usually from cheap carbs such as processed sugars.

Despite espousing what many in the medical and diet communities believe is heresy, I have managed to drop 60 pounds of fat from my 61 year old body and 8 inches off my waist. I do not feel like I have to starve myself to keep my weight at this level, 170 pounds plus or minus a pound or so. My blood lab results haven’t been this good since I was in my early 30’s. I eat what many might consider a big amount of food from time to time.

Here is the brunch that I had this morning. 3 big chicken legs along with nopales, Mexican squash(tastes sweet) and other vegetables. As you can see I finished the whole plate. I guarantee this meal will not spike my blood sugar and my weight will stay in the same range tomorrow morning. I have learned my body’s requirements and those who buy and practice the lessons in this e-book will have similar results.

I wasn’t always so aware as I am now about the problems our body’s have with sugar. Before April 2015, I would probably have had about 2 servings of this, see the followup picture also and double that sugar gram total. Then divide by 4 to get an idea of how many teaspoons of sugar such a bowl of cereal contains. No wonder I became prediabetic!

So if you are big and fat, like I used to be…

you can continue on your current lifestyle course or you can buy this e-book, read it, and start living it by making some what really are minor changes, and maybe end up dropping over 20%+ of your body weight and saving your health in the process.

It really is all up to you. Let’s get healthy, shall we?
William McDonald

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Some say meat is bad for you

This has come up at a forum that I hang out in. I guess they objected to the food pictures with big meat laid out on plate.

Well sorry if meat offends you. I ain’t gonna quit eating it and the bloodwork came back good with improvements in most of the metrics, so I see no need to quit eating it. Besides eating protein is good for weightloss as it requires a lot of calories to be expended in the digestive process. Plus protein makes you feel full and the feeling lasts a long time.

So in honor of that objection, here are a few more plates that I have eaten that had a lot of meat on them.

Sorry, I am getting too hungry looking at these photos to continueSurprised smile

In all seriousness however, if you are against the eating of meat then my e-book just may not be the right one for you.

William McDonald

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Confidence in the plan

Warning! Image intensive! Mouth watering images!

This will be a non-verbal sort of post to give you an idea of the foods that I have eaten since my weightloss journey began mid- April, 2015. Note that several of the photos show a HUGE bowl. I really mean HUGE!

Under each photo I will advise what the meal consists of. Note that my girlfriend is from Mexico and quite a few of these are Mexican food items. Trust me on the following. The conventional wisdom that all Mexican food is fattening is absolute hogwash.

On this subject, I am an expert.

Pinto beans, spinach, scrambled eggs with cutup hotdogs

Caldo with beef,corn,calabasas,carrots and other vegetables. HUGE bowl.

Fried eggs over refried beans with bacon strips.

Caldo with chicken, cabbage, green beans, carrots and other vegetables. HUGE bowl.

Carne asada beef steak with fried eggs over refried beans

Chicken with spinach and potato.

Chicken with mole, spinach and brown rice.

Chicken caldo with veggies and yes a banana sliced up on top!

Look, it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it. I had to eat all these huge and very tasty and healthy meals on my way down from 230 pounds on 4/15/2015 to 169.4 pounds this morning, 1/2/2016. It was hard work but I did it to show you that D-I-E-T does not have to mean B-O-R-I-N-G W-O-R-K.

Speaking of work, with the exception of the mole, most of the meals above do not require an  extensive amount of work or time to cook and prepare. I could even do it. And the mole I can buy out of a bottle off the supermarket shelf, it just won’t be as good as my baby’s. Winking smile

So go ahead, splurge on your health. You deserve it! Break out the pennies and buy this 99 cent e-book!

William McDonald

P.S. Here is what I just got through wolfing down this morning. 4 pieces of chicken with tomatoes diced on top, chayote and calabasas, and lettuce that was sauteed. Absolutely fantastic and guaranteed to not fatten you up or raise your blood sugar! And I didn’t even count one calorie!