For better or worse, here I am—trapped in paradise. As long as I continue to live in this vital, inimitable spot on the globe,

I will continue to seek out the unique…the delicious…the innovative products, services and traditions of San Luis Obispo County.

Stay posted for a few of my favorite things.

About Me...

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A wanderlust at heart... captivated by the California Central Coast. Join me on my culinary and vino-infused adventures as I explore and discover the regional novelties of San Luis Obispo County that make living here...easy to stay...and hard to leave.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

SLO Ranch

I hoped to bump into a wild pig or two on yesterday's hike, but no such luck. My first time to explore the open space at Johnson Ranch just outside of San Luis Obispo City, I found instead, winding trails that meandered slowly up and around dried grassy slopes amidst fragrant oat grass and tall oak groves. Although these hills were alive with critters—lizards, cows, and birds—I didn't stumble upon any pigs.

In spite of my lack of swine sightings, this 242-acre property provided me and other adventure-seekers the occasion to benefit from cardio exercise by walking, running, or dirt biking the 2-mile loop trail—as well as traversing the additional 1.3 mile trek on the opposite south side. Although my first impression led me to believe that all I'd trudge were parched hillsides, the indirect trails eventually led me through shady splotches of trees and streams; as well as to patches of colorful wildflowers and unexpected panoramic views. Fresh air, a sunny sky, and a remarkable new hiking discovery outweighed the boars' no-show.

Even amidst the dried prairie land, full green trees dotted the landscape.

Colorful wildflowers cried out here and there.

The fog rolled over the ocean in the distance.

Looking to the opposite side, SLO City and its ridgeline beckoned.

After this zigzagging hike, the warmish temperatures left me in need of a refresher. I whipped up the following to hydrate and alkalize my weary body. This thirst-quencher (think lemonade stand) offered a familiar cool, sweet-tart finish, and a refreshing way to end any work-out.

SLO Lemon Crush

2 cups purified water

2 cups ice

Juice of 3 - 6 lemons

4 - 6 tablespoons raw honey

Zest of 1 lemon

Pinch of salt

Strawberries for garnish

Combine all ingredients in blender (except for strawberries) and purée for fantastic results! Taste frothy mixture and adjust according to your own tastebuds. Add more lemon for pucker power; drizzle in more honey for a sugary effect. Serves 2 - 3.

Once consumed, acidic lemons actually produce alkaline-forming properties that balance the pH of the body and combat the buildup of malolactic acid, which contributes to sore muscles in athletes.

Happy adventure hiking! With or without pigs!

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