03 January 2015

Summing Up My Outdoor Year 2014

Jan 2015


Slow start as previous year. Not much activities on weekdays, weekends filled with cycling, either mountain biking or on the road.

NHL Winter Classic arrived at the LA. Saw TeemuS playing at Dodgers Stadium under starry sky with 55000 other spectators.

Long walks on beaches, Gray Whale watching, bird watching and cycling filled weekends.

Jan - Grey Whale watching, CA


Hiking and cycling. Did hiking trips to Santa Ysabel, Wilderness Gardens and Cuyamaca State Park, all in San Diego County.

High season for oranges. Always an inspiring sight when seeing fields full of bright and fresh oranges. And they tasted good, too!

Feb - Hiking on Santa Ysabel trails, CA


Walks on beaches continued. From Torrey Pines to La Jolla Shores and back being absolute favorite, barefeet.

Hiking trips to Mount Laguna and Sequoia National Park.  Spring well in progress around southern California.

A hiking trip on southern Sierra Nevada, in Sequoia NP, was the most interesting trip. Big snowy top mountains and huge sequoia trees were simply magnificent to see and experience at once. Lack of snow (under 3000m) was a slight disappointment.

Mar - Hiking on Sequoia National Park, CA


Road cycling. Gran Fondo San Diego. 160km. Flat, up and down. 10km long contiguous climbs. Reasonably good speed. Tough.

Walks on beaches along LA, barefeet.

Followed 41st San Diego Crew Classic, a rowing event and season opener in the US.

Apr - San Diego Crew Classic, CA


Few local hiking trips, Mount Woodson, Black Mountain etc.  Only few times on a saddle.

A long waited first holiday of the year, Memorial Day and a long weekend.  Visited Grand Canyon, AZ.   Wow-effect was guaranteed after seeing the canyon for the first time. Did along the Rim hike and Rim-to-River and back hike. Latter was exhausted one.  Superb place for hiking indeed.

May - Hiking on Grand Canyon National Park, AZ


Lazy month. Walks on beaches and cities, no real hiking trips, nothing much on a saddle either.

Spent mid summer in Finland. Everything felt so green (California is a desert after all).

Jun - Walking on backcountry roads, Finland


4th of July and another long weekend. A trip to Big Sur. Hiking trips on Point Lobos, 17 Mile Drive, and State Parks in Big Sur. Huge cliffs, big redwood trees, sandy beaches, sealife etc. Extraordinary place.

More walks for bird watching.

And finally a longer hiking trip on San Jacinto Wilderness.

Jul - Hiking on Tahquiz Peak, CA


Walks on beaches and cities, bird watching.  Just commuting on bike.

On local hiking trips headed to Palomar Mountain State Park and William Heise County Park.

Had joined Sierra Club earlier. Was looking for suitable and interesting team and place for hiking. Found one, was approved and joined the team. Longest hiking trip was about to take place in Yosemite National Park.  Few days hiking on wilderness on high altitude.  Due to very dry season there's no water on waterfalls, it was such a gorgeous place anyway.

Aug - Hiking on Yosemite National Park, CA


Some city walks on San Francisco and Seattle, good ones both.

Finally a looong waited event was to take place, a sea kayaking trip.  Had a week long paddling trip on San Juan Islands, in Washington State, just on border of Canada.  Vancouver Island was pretty near.  Had some walks on the island as well as some cycling trips.  Whale watching and wildlife naturally, too.  Saw the very first time Orcas (killer whales) in the real and natural environment in Pacific Ocean.

Paddling trip felt great.  Hilly islands with confiner forests. Most islands had State Parks of their own. Even Deers lived on islands. Porpoises and Harbor Seals jumped around our kayaks.

The only real hiking trip took place on Mount Rainier National Park, WA.  Great mountain was a center point of all trails. Forests, rivers and snow. Simply fantastic place.

Sep - Paddling on Pacific Northwest, WA


Back on beaches again. Barefoot walks.  Did some bird watching as migration had already started.

Did a long weekend hiking and mountain biking trip to Big Bear Lake, CA.  Usually a Ski Resort but heard friends that it offered activities around the year, containing one of the coolest mountain bike trails. The base level was on 2000m above the sea level. The PCT crossed the region, too.  Fall foliage was at peak while visiting there.

Oct - Mountain biking on Big Bear Lake, CA


Walks on beaches and bird watching on lagoons. Lots of birds at this time of the year.

Did several hikes on Mount Laguna and Cuyamaca State Park.  Not on a saddle for some time.

End of the month headed to Arizona. Spent a long weekend there in different places, having walks around famous places (Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, Monument Valley, Flagstaff, Sedona and Scottsdale). Awesome places.

Nov - Walking on Antelope Canyon, AZ



Spent a long weekend on Death Valley National Park, CA.  Didn't know what to expect, but appeared to be very interesting place, being a desert (and high mountains and ...).  Did some walks on famous places there. It's a large park having long distances. Lack of water makes hiking trips challenging. Worth visiting for sure.

Some beach and city walks before headed Finland for Winter Solstice and Christmas time. Snow arrived just before Eve bringing White Christmas even to southern Finland. Nice, especially during the darkest time of the year.

Dec - Walking on backcountry roads, Finland

Summing Up

GPS recorded some 3800km of walks, hikes, cycling and even some paddling. No serious running due to injuries.  Most of the activities were purely for recreation purposes.

Really happy that had a chance to visit some awesome places like Sequoia NP, Yosemite NP, Pacific Northwest and places in Arizona e.g. Grand Canyon, and not to forget couple of short visits in Finland, experiencing both summer and winter.


Photography as a hobby has started to take more and more time. This has really grown up during various outdoor activities to record nature, landscape and wildlife. Learning theory is important in addition to keep shutter bug active. Looks like during 2015 this hobby is going to steal even more time from other outdoor activities.  Becoming photos will mainly be published under my name on different sites though most will be visible on this site, too

The best photo taken during 2014?  Difficult to bring up just one but IMHO it was this one:

El Capitan and Half Dome in morning haze
Yosemite National Park, CA

Happy New Year!

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