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'Afoot And Afield In San Diego County' Co-Author Hiked Over 3,000 Miles To Update Book

Scott Turner is pictured in this undated photo.
Courtesy Photo
Scott Turner is pictured in this undated photo.

The cover of the fifth edition of "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County."
The cover of the fifth edition of "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County."

Many think of it as the definitive book about hiking in San Diego County. "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County" was last updated by its original author, the late Jerry Schad back in 2007.

As well-remembered as the book and the author are by San Diego hiking enthusiasts — a lot has changed in San Diego County in the last 10 years. Now an updated "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County" is in print. Scott Turner, who is the co-author on the fifth edition, hiked every hike in the book, which was over 200, to update each one.

"A lot of it was things that had changed in the natural environment. We had several major fires since the 2007 edition, so the habitats had started to change somewhat. There's been some invasive pests that changed some of the habitats — the goldspotted oak borer and more recently shot (hole) borer beetle," Turner said.

He also added 50 new hikes to the book.

One of the new hikes that Turner added to the fifth edition is a hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. The destination is a rock that is in the shape of an eagle.

"So the destination is this wonderful novelty and a lot of people like to go and have their picture taken in front of it, but the actual route to get there goes through this beautiful pasture area with rolling grasslands and you have these amazing views of the surrounding mountains," Turner said.

The fifth edition of the book was published in March.

On his favorite hike:

"I love the Palomar Mountains. I love the entire range but specifically I love Palomar Mountain State Park. It's unique in that it has the sort of habitat that you'd expect to encounter at the Sierra Nevada Mountains, so there's beautiful conifers, meadows, ponds and creeks ... I'm also a huge fan of Anza-Borrego Desert. That was a bit intimidating for me at first because it's so vast and there really are no trails there but once I got past that there's an incredible amount of stuff hidden out there."

On hikes for the beginner:

"Close to the city, I would recommend Oak Canyon in Mission Trails Regional Park. Part of the reason for that is it's short and easy. There's interesting history with the Mission Dam, which is a structure that's over 200 years old. And then if you go during the right time, which would be the winter and spring, there's a series of waterfalls back there and everyone loves a waterfall. And then the second recommendation would be the Doane Valley Nature Trail in Palomar Mountain State Park. And with Palomar you get the beautiful trees, but this one I'd say inch for inch is probably my favorite footpath in the entire county because every step of the way is absolutely gorgeous."

Turner joined Midday Edition on Monday to talk about the process of updating the book and how he honored Schad in the updated book.

Scott Turner will speak about the book at a series of events at libraries across the county over the next month:

Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Rancho Peñasquitos Branch Library, 13330 Salmon River Rd., San Diego

Friday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. at the San Carlos Branch Library, 7265 Jackson Dr., San Diego

Saturday, Sept. 16 at 2 p.m. at the Ocean Beach Branch Library, 4801 Santa Monica Ave., San Diego

Saturday, Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. at the Poway Branch Library, 13137 Poway Rd., Poway

'Afoot And Afield In San Diego County' Co-Author Hiked Over 3,000 Miles To Update Book
'Afoot And Afield In San Diego County' Co-Author Hiked Over 3,000 Miles To Update Book GUEST:Scott Turner, co-author, fifth edition of "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County"

This is KPBS Midday Edition. I am Maureen Cavanaugh. Lots of people think of it as the definitive book about hiking in San Diego, the book "Afood And Afield In San Diego County" was updated by the late Jerry Shad . As well remembered as they are, a lot has changed in the last 10 years. Now, and updated "Afood And Afield In San Diego County" is out compiled by Scott Turner. He has hiked every hike in the book including 15 new ones. Welcome to the program. How did you take on the project and become the new "Afood And Afield In San Diego County" author ? I took it on in 2014 and I have been writing for modern hiker. I was using the book for inspiration. As I went through it, I found there is more stuff out of date and I started to stock the Internet to see if someone would update it. I never found anything. At my wife's suggestion, I sent a repost -- a proposal to revise it and they accepted it. What kind of things did you find that was out of date? A lot of it was things that had changed in the natural environment. We had several major fires since the 2007 edition. The habitat had started to change. There has been invasive past and the gold spotted oak or the Beatles. There had been new trails that had come out that were not included. I wanted to make sure that all of that was reflected in the book. In updating the book, you re-hiked the hikes in the fourth edition, 200 different hikes that for three years, you hiked between 1000 and 1400 miles each year. What was that experience like ? A lot of fun. That was one of the most attractive parts on taking on the project. I had been hiking that much anyway and this was nice to legitimize my habit. I got to see parts of the county I did not know existed and I had rewarding experiences. I understand your -- you are a marriage and family therapist by trade. How did you find the time to hike that much? It is an obsession. Moreover, you know, being a therapist comes with a certain amount of stress and hiking was a way to relieve the stress. To be effective as a therapist, I have to manage my own stress. Hiking does that better than anything for me. I mean, maybe this sounds like a justification but it was almost a way of staying effective as a professional. Tell us of a couple of your favorite hikes. I love the mountains. I love the range but specifically, the Palomar Mountain State Park. It is unique in that it has the habitat you would expect to in -- encounter in the Samara no Matt -- the creeks. I live not too far a way so it is my go to when I need a day out. I am also a huge fan of the desert. That was intimidating because it is vast and there are new trails but once I got past that, there is an incredible amount of stuff hidden. Is there a time of the year that you should go? It is hot in the summer time color right ? It is best between November and April. Now, it is 115 degrees and you would not want to hike there right now. No. Give us an example of a new HiQ added. There was a hike I enjoyed on the Pacific crest Trail. It is called Eagle rock. When you get to the rock, you see it. It looks like somebody deliberately created the rock to look like an eagle. It is a wonderful novelty. And people like to have their picture taken in front of. The route goes through a beautiful pasture area with rolling grasslands and amazing views of the surrounding mountains. It is a nice experience because you get a nice mixture of stuff. There are hikes in the book that are urban hikes, aren't there ? Yes. I put an effort to increase the coverage in the city. It is not easy for everybody to get to the backcountry. Sometimes you want to go somewhere in the middle of this city to get your exercise it. One hike I added was the Jerry Memorial Trail. He developed the trail system. I wanted to have that reflected as a tribute and it is a nice place to walk. What is a hike in the book that you would suggest for a beginning hiker ? I give you two recommendations ? Absolutely. I would recommend oak Canyon. Part of the reason is that it is short and easy and there is interesting history with the mission dam. And then, if you go in the right time, which would be the winter and spring, there is waterfalls and everyone loves a waterfall. The second recommendation would be the Doan Valley nature trail. You get the beautiful trees but this one, I would say this is my favorite footpath because every step of the way is gorgeous. Jerry wrote the first edition of the book his death was deeply mourned by many in San Diego. How do you remember him in this new edition? You know, you look at the cover of the book, the top picture is him standing on top of a rock at Hot Springs Mountain which is the highest point in the county. The post that he is taking is indicative of his joy when it comes to hiking. That comes through in the way he writes and it comes through in his reputation. He loved this activity so much. In terms of trying to honor that: first of all, I tried to maintain the text but I did not want to go overboard but I did sprinkle in attempts to honor him throughout the book but the biggest thing is trying to make sure that his guide remains accurate and reliable source of information that people have used for three decades. I have been speaking with Scott Turner, the co-author of "Afood And Afield In San Diego County". He will speak about the book tomorrow at a library around town. Thank you so much. Thank you. It was my pleasure. Be sure to watch KPBS evening addition at 5:00 and 6:30. Join us again tomorrow for KPBS Midday Edition at noon. If you miss a show, you can check out the podcast at www.kpbs.org . I am Maureen Cavanaugh. Thank you for listening .