On July 4th 2017, I woke in a strange bed in a new city. After passing through 3 states in 40 hours on no sleep, I had finally gotten some rest and was ready to kick off our plans for San Diego, California.
We had a lot of options to choose from, but suspecting that the beaches would be packed with families for Independence Day, we decided to start our adventuring with a hiking trip.
The drive to Torrey Pines Nature Reserve was beautiful. But unfortunately, with all the free parking spots taken, we were so close, but oh so very far away. We had to drive about two miles up the road, make a U-Turn, and try again.
Still no luck.
Always the impatient one, I grabbed my shades, jumped out of the car, and walked ahead as the lookout. Turns out we could have parked in the lot provided by the reserve all along for $20 – so in we went.
We wanted to be as far away from the overcrowded beach and its nearby trails, as possible. So instead of parking by the entrance, we drove up the winding road to the very end.
On the Trails
Once we had mapped out our routes, it was time to get started. Torrey Pines was an immediate favourite, and probably the most beautiful trail I’ve hiked this year. The landscape had a lot to do with that.
In Jamaica, and just about every other beach location I’ve ever been to, the area closest to the beach is a mix of lush vegetation and marshes. And my experiences with the desert in Colorado and Vegas showed no large bodies of water around for miles.
Needless to say, the very idea that I was in the desert overlooking the Pacific Ocean was a whole new experience.
There was another big difference, as well. While the Nevada desert was almost entirely bare of plant life, the California desert was not. Much to my surprise, there were a lot of trees, flowers, and patches of grass.
There were so many flowers, in fact, that they attracted the bees.
Ericson seemed to be attracting quite a few of them, himself. He damn near trampled me, trying to get out of their way, while Tristan snickered in the background!
Thankfully, we didn’t run into the more dangerous wildlife that called Torrey Pines home.
And just in case any hikers felt adventurous enough to go looking for these hissing trail-buddies, the reserve had metal rails along the trail, and warned us that it would cost a pretty penny to go a-wandering.
Heading to the Beach
After we had explored all the different routes on our side of the mountain, we decided to try the final trail: the beach trail. But that’s a post for another day, specifically Friday morning next week.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the pictures and my brief re-cap of my first trek into the California desert. We’ll pick this up on Torrey Pines Beach, same time next week.
Have you ever hiked in the desert, or tried a a beach trail before? Then share your amazing stories with me in the comments below!
My trip to California was sponsored by Alexis Chateau PR and booked by our in-house travel agents. Is there a country or city you’ve always dreamed of seeing with your own eyes? Then stop dreaming, and start traveling.
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