Tales from the Trail

With heaving breaths, we rise over the crest of the mountain and are met with stunning views of the valley below — the sun setting over the distant ocean.

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We breathe in deeply, thanking everything that led us to this point in our lives. As we sit perched on a rock, overlooking the awesome views, we try to take the moment in fully, to  appreciate it and the life we’ve created. It feels like a different world from up here.

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Views of San Diego and Los Coronados islands in the distance.

Once we’ve caught our breath, we head back down the mountain and back to the real world. And oddly enough, back down to sell our Pontiac to someone who called us while we were at the top of the mountain.

That was just last week, during our hike up Mount Woodson. On the way up the mountain, I always hate life a little bit, and I always want to give up. But once we make it to the top, I am so happy that I kept going and pushed through everything (though my body isn’t happy for the next several days).

The car sold quickly. We posted it online, but once we parked it in the dirt lot along Main Street where everyone puts cars for sale, it sold the same day.

We’ve been doing a lot of hiking as of late — the beautiful spring weather is drawing us to the trails.

We took a couple of days off to recoup after our Mount Woodson hike before we hit another trail.

Then we found our next adventure.

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Seems people are protesting the closed shooting area…

I wish we had hiked around this area earlier in our time here. It is close by, quiet, and beautiful.

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We hiked around sunset, and the views of the foothills were amazing.

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The trail leads into a dense tree canopy before opening up to overlook views of the surrounding valley and foothills. I definitely want to hike this again.

We saw a large tree filled with turkey vultures — kinda creepy, kinda cool.

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The next day, we decided to check out Eagle Rock again. The first time we hiked this trail was when the area was very dry, and the fields were yellow. I knew it could be more beautiful and that we should visit it again after it had rained a bit.

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I was right. The forest part was very green and the creek had water flowing in it.

As we made our way through the oak woodlands, we could feel ourselves relax as we listened to sounds of the flowing creek and birds singing. The trees started to open up a bit, and fields of long grasses intermingled with moss-covered rocks and towering oaks.

I kept my eyes open for signs of wildlife, watching woodpeckers, songbirds, and squirrels travel throughout the area. But I wanted to see something even more. And my perseverance was rewarded!

I saw movement along the edge of a grassy field and stopped to wait. This beautiful coyote came out from the brush and headed straight toward us before stopping beneath the branches of the tree. We stood still for a moment, watching one another, and our movement eventually scared it off. I think it was coming for water. We quickly moved along so that it could make its way back toward the creek without us there to interfere.

I was thrilled to see the coyote (I happen to really love them), and Andy was just a little impressed with me for catching sight of it.

The trail eventually left the woods and opened up into grassy fields. What was yellow on our first trip was a nice, subdued green. Much prettier.

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Saying hello to some cows — maybe happy cows do come from California?

We finally made it to our destination — Eagle Rock. Rising up from the grasslands, the formation looks like an unassuming pile of rocks from the backside. But coming around the corner, you can see the raptor-like shape that has been etched away by wind and time.

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We met several Pacific Crest Trail hikers along our way (Warner Springs, where the trailhead is located, is a popular stopping point for the hikers). Our conversations during the hike revolved around our own future hiking plans — and living plans.

We rested briefly before heading back to the trailhead and our Jeep.

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The video below was me trying to capture Ted eating grass. He gets so excited when he sees long, green grass that he can hardly help himself. He’ll dart off to the side to grab a mouthful while we hike.

That night, we saw a neat phenomenon in the sky called cloud iridescence. Neither of us had ever witnessed it before, and we weren’t sure what we were looking at. Apparently, it is fairly common, but we were still amazed.

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Yesterday, we went back to the Orosco Ridge trail and went a different direction. It was another beautiful, quiet, relaxing evening.

We are looking forward to what the next week will bring! Always looking for some new adventures.

Quick question: how many days in a row are you allowed to say “man, it’s a beautiful day” before it gets annoying?

#socalspring

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