The COO of the company told the new guy to take me out as a team-building exercise. If this had been the mob, that would be cause for worry. His suggestion, that I come with him hiking up to Red Rock Canyon, did however make me wonder if (1) I had offended him in any way, shape or form and (2) how common it was that two men entered the canyon and somehow only one came back out.
We went to Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park[a], an area of the type of nature known as "chapparal[b]" which lies just north of Irvine, and which happens to be where the new guy lives. The hike was great. Lots of beautiful nature. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
The red fruit of this cactus can be eaten. You should, however, burn off the spines (and there are a lot of them) before picking the fruit.
Falcon View Estates - an expensive community in the Santiago Canyon.
As the wind enters the canyon from the north it gets compressed and accelerates. The resulting flow is powerful enough to wear down the rock, creating this smooth, buckled surface.
View south from the northern end of Red Rock Canyon.
A dry flowbed at the southern end of the canyon.