Boy, have we ever covered a lot of ground since my last post. Funny how a bit of time trivializes all of the things we did – it seems really silly to detail activities to the extent that I usually do. So, we’ll go with the Cliffs Notes version here – bits of commentary. Photos. And California is so beautiful that I have dozens that I would like to share.
Before leaving Crystal Cove State Park, we had to take one extended bike ride to Coronado Island to see the iconic Hotel del Coronado. Wow. I couldn’t take any photos from a vantage point that made any sense, so you’ll have to enjoy the linked ones instead. There is even a sand sculptor on the beach there, creating fanatastical castles. It really is a look into another vacation world. Our bike ride took the biggest chunk of a day, and covered 50+ miles. Loved the fact that probably probably 45 miles of this was on dedicated bike paths, AND a brewery was right along the route.
Moving on to San Clemente State Beach was interesting, as noted in my last post. Our campsite was overgrown with weedsand a couple of feral cats seemed to adopt us – drinking from Jezzy’s outside water dish, hanging out by the warmth of our campfire, and sitting on our picnic table. And yet? What a great campground – kids, bikes, tons of tent-campers. The campground itself is perched atop some delicate-looking sandstone cliffs. It’s amazing (to me, anyway) that these cliffs are still standing – you can scratch them with your fingernail. But they are beautiful, especially strewn with spring wildflowers. Wandering down the beach, we spied on Nixon’s old house – Casa Pacifica. Lots of surfers. We cycled down a beach path, and wandered out on the San Clemente pier. San Clemente vs Laguna Beach? Old money vs new artsy money. Both fun.
It was a shock to leave the beach and head back into the Mojave Desert, but that’s what we did. Owl Canyon Campground near Barstow, CA was our next stop. With our senior pass, camping was $3/night. It couldn’t have been better. About 80% of the 30 campsites were empty, so we grabbed a good one, and set up for two nights. Ahhhh, so quiet. Huge, starry sky. The only bad thing was that it was super windy, so we couldn’t enjoy a campfire, or even an evening cookout. The wind was howling!
We did hike into the Canyon the next day, taking Jezzy on the two-mile loop. Sadly, as we neared the end, we found a rocky wall obstacle. We could have gotten up and over, but there was no way we could have boosted Jezzy over. So, we had to turn around and trudge back. There’s not much else out there – we learned that we were lucky not to have been there on a weekend – it turns into a Jeep off-roader wild party. So happy not to have blundered into that!
Death Valley was our next stop, but that deserves its own post.