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Hiking party Nohely Mendoza | Sat, Nov 26 2011 12:00 PM

A new hiking group has emerged in Chula Vista, the South County Hiking Organization created by Gary Grine, 58.
Grine began hiking when he was a teenager.
"Basically it began with a hiking trip to the White Mountains in New Hampshire, we went to Mt. Washington and my brother went too, so we both got into hiking," Grine said.
Hiking and climbing are two different ways of going up mountains, Grine does both and says he has hiked about a 1,000 miles, and has climbed local mountains such as Mt. Otay and Mt. Miguel.
"My favorite mountain has to be Mt. Rainier, they train for Mt. Everest there and that was a one and a half day hike," said Grine. "We camped out at the glacier and got lucky because we got to the top with good weather."
Along his hikes, Grine has encountered wildlife such as hawks, rattle snakes, deer, tarantulas, Rosy Boa snakes, gopher snakes, alligator lizards, horned toad lizards, coyotes, turkey buzzards and falcons.
"I'm mostly surprised about the desert animals I’ve found up in the mountains, around the mountains of Otay Lakes. I’ve found scorpions, road runners, coyotes, and rattle snakes," Grine said.
Grine created this group so others interested in hiking could experience it.
"I've been hiking for over 10 years and I never saw any other hikers. I’m introducing other people to the joy of hiking."
Anyone is welcome and there is no cost for joining the group.

"Hiking is the best for middle-age people, it’s the best way to get low impact conditioning," said Grine. "You get the views and the animals along with the hiking, as well as the importance from the exercise. Everything is green up there, it’s a different world and you can look down at the ocean, Chula Vista, and Eastlake. We have a different world in our own backyard."
There are four hikes left this year, Mount Miguel on Nov. 26 a 6-mile hike, Otay Mountain lake view on Dec. 3 a 6-mile hike, Iron Mountain on Dec. 10 a 6-mile hike and El Cajon Peak on Dec. 17 an 11-mile hike.
For more information on the hikes or joining the group contact Gary Grine at (619) 370-1027 or email ggrine@aol.com.

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