Length: 5.2 miles
Time: 3 hours
Weather: about 75 degrees, sunny
During a visit to San Diego, California for a job interview, I had some free time and hiked in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. As far as I can tell, “State Natural Reserve” is the California term for what we in Colorado would call a State Park.
There is no fee for park visitors on foot. Fees apply if bringing a vehicle into the park. I found free parking along the beach just outside the entrance to the park, so I had no fee.
My hiking route started along the beach. Then, I took the Beach trail up into the park. I made a loop of Beach trail, Razor Point trail, Torrey Pines Park Road, and Broken Hill trail (north fork) back to the beach.
I’d recommend this park for anyone with some time to spare in San Diego!
Length: 14.5 miles
Time: 10 hours
Weather: about 75 degrees, cloudy
This was a long day-hike consisting of Dexter Creek Trail, Difficulty Creek Trail, Horsethief Trail, Cascade Pass, and County Road 14. The route makes a loop around Cascade Mountain northeast of Ouray. My favorite highlights were Disappointment Gulch in the Uncompahgre Wilderness, a geographic feature called Bridge of Heaven, and abundant wildflowers. Distance, weather, and elevation gains made it challenging to complete this as a day hike.
Disappointment Gulch felt like a special place because of its absolute quiet, clean air, and solitude. It is found just east of the Amphitheater above Ouray. Here’s a photo of the scenery:
The second highlight was the abundant wildflowers on the 1/2 mile climb approaching Bridge of Heaven. I experienced a strong moment of gratitude here, where I felt very happy to be there and just soaked it in. Here’s a photo of the Bridge of Heaven feature. It’s just a narrow ridge that goes nowhere. It is a short spur off of the Horsethief Trail, and optional to walk along the ridge.
Bridge of Heaven
One practical note is that the plants and flowers along Dexter Creek Trail have overgrown the trail in long sections. It had just rained, so my feet got soaked by all the wet leaves. It would have been helpful to have waterproof shoes and pants in this section.
The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 awarded me the Certified Information Systems Security Practitioner (CISSP) certification on October 8, 2015. I had been studying for the exam for a few months, and passed the exam in mid-September.
My primary study resource was the Shon Harris CISSP Exam Guide (6th ed.). Additional study resources included study materials and presentations from my local Colorado Springs ISSA chapter (thanks, ISSA volunteers!), and sample test questions from cccure.org.
The test covered 8 domains (topics) of the CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK). A table which I created as a study aid for the “Communication and Network Security” domain is below. I’m saving it here for future reference, and perhaps someone else may find it useful: