Christopher Nyerges' Survival Walk

April 14, 2001 at Arroyo Seco/Gould Mesa

Christopher often starts off this hike with a discussion of poison oak. Does he really eat it? Yes he does. But you better talk to him first before you try it.
A closeup of poison oak. "Leaflets three, let it be."
I don't remember their names, but this walk was her birthday gift to him. They were dressed right for the walk...plenty of sun protection. (By the way, that's horehound they are holding, not poison oak.)
Christopher points out California buckwheat. The seed pods/heads are easily harvested and its seeds make an excellent "extender" food.
Thayne and Carole Young. Nice folks.
Christopher demonstrates separating yucca leaves into strands. These can be made into rope.
Dip the yucca strands into the water and rub vigorously for an excellent, environmentally safe soap.
Christopher's walks are hands-on. You don't just talk about the plants - you eat them. You don't just talk about yucca soap - you lather up.
Christopher demonstrates firemaking with a hand drill. This is very doable with mulefat, a wood that is common to the Angeles National Forest and resembles willow. But even with the best materials, it is better left as a group project!
Julie has known Christopher for a long time. She home schools her children and often brings them with her on Christopher's walks. Her son Gregory is very knowledgeable about wild plants.
As Christopher discusses plants, he collects samples. As you are walking you hardly notice that he is doing this. When you get to Gould Mesa he pulls out a cutting board, some bowls, and a bottle of salad dressing. Lunch is served! Yummy!
Here's a shot of the whole group as we head back to Altadena Blvd.

Our walk ended at about 2:15pm, but it was such a beautiful day that I wasn't ready to go home yet: I wanted to hike some more! So I drove over to Eaton Canyon Nature Center for a quick walk to Henniger Flats (about six miles round trip.)
This is the view from Eaton Canyon Nature Center looking towards Henniger Flats.
Follow the trail up canyon from the nature center until you get to a bridge. Then it's 2.5 miles uphill on the Mt. Wilson Toll Road.
Yucca in full bloom seen along the way.
Me with .7 miles to go.
I made it! Always a welcome sight.
Me at Henniger Flats. So cool and comfortable among the pines here.
This is the view from Henniger Flats back to the Eaton Canyon Nature Center. Henniger Flats is a nice place to camp. But not tonight...I have to get home.

Copyright © 2001 by Bill Qualls. Last updated May 5, 2001.
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