California Days

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.wp-1489722400006.jpg 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 weedswp-1490289949242.jpgand 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.wp-1490289471717.jpg And yet? What a great campground – kids, bikes, tons of tent-campers. The campground itself is perched atop some delicate-looking sandstone cliffs. wp-1490289999739.jpgIt’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. wp-1490289917234.jpgwp-1490289739477.jpgWandering down the beach, we spied on Nixon’s old house – Casa Pacifica. wp-1490289890597.jpgwp-1490289864289.jpgLots of surfers. wp-1490289851524.jpgwp-1490289830255.jpgWe cycled down a beach path, and wandered out on the San Clemente pier. wp-1490289812166.jpg20170323_102117.jpgwp-1490289621329.jpgwp-1490289588089.jpgSan 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.wp-1490669231753.jpg 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.wp-1490669266731.jpg 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.

2 thoughts on “California Days

  1. You are sure getting to the most vividly beautiful places in our country, especially with the wonderful contrasts between shore and ocean and dessert. I would want to drink in all the beauty to last for a lifetime of peaceful memories. I don’t know how much you plan ahead for your stops, but you seem to find the most idyllic spots and fabulous experiences. Thanks for sharing. I especially enjoy it while I can’t get out on my bike to bask in Mother Nature. Yesterday was my first trainer ride in about 4 months. Felt good to be in the saddle, but my fitness is shot. It’ll be a slow trek back I’m guessing. I’m hoping to set new records on return from rotator cuff. Range of motion is coming pretty well. Strength is another story

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    • Hi Alison. Thanks for checking in. We do spend a fair amount of time trip-planning. Campground location, and the location of our site within each campground is probably the most important thing to us. When we get it all right, we are happy campers. Sadly, it doesn’t always work out so well. As for a lifetime of memories, that’s the point of the blog. I find I can’t remember where we were even two weeks ago. It’s been great to have the blog as a reference to where we stayed, and how much we liked a spot.

      Glad to hear that you are back on the bike. It must have felt like an agonizingly long time off for you. Crazy how fast all your conditioning goes to shit, isn’t it? Knowing you, you’ll ride like a demon and get back to where you were pretty quickly.

      Hoping your weather turns consistently good quickly. It’s about time!

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