Hiking San Jacinto and Idyllwild, California

From our campsite we looked down over the dusty towns of the Inland Empire, imagining their residents choking in the thick layer of smog that was ever present.  But the air on the mountain was clean and as the sun set over the desert below, the stars shown brightly down on the lights of the towns, like scars strewn across the desolate landscape.  We went to bed early as we sometimes do when camping, not having brought firewood and wanting to wake early to hike the peak.  We left the cover off the tent so we could fall asleep under the stars in the brisk mountain air.  Peaceful dreams came fast.  In the morning we would be hiking San Jacinto, one of the tallest peaks in Southern California

13920204_10102004025568680_463263910871486914_o

We stayed at the Marion Mountain Campground.  There were only a few other people staying there, all quiet and keeping to themselves.  We picked site number 8 because it overlooked the valley.  It wasn’t a very shady spot and didn’t have trees for our hammock, but the view was worth it.

13909191_10102004025813190_4359580450772421016_o

We made some breakfast in the morning and decided NOT to go on the 12 mile round trip hiking San Jacinto Peak to the summit.  The weather man was predicting possibilities of rain and being caught on a giant mountain in a thunderstorm is not one of our favorite things to do.  So we went to the ranger station in Idyllwild town and they recommended the Deer Springs Trail to Suicide Rock, a more manageable hike to some white rocks overlooking town.

13641293_10102004025413990_2242719297557017278_o

The hike was moderate and peaceful, with only us on the trail.  Lizards of various sizes ran away as we made our way upwards, there were also birds and chipmunks scurrying about.  Once at the top there was indeed a few perfect places to off yourself.

13923800_10102004025463890_8991927520149296271_o13909191_10102004025473870_6587293116095783854_o

I climbed to the highest rock over looking the biggest drop and looked down on the town of Idyllwild, hidden beneath me in the pines.  The iconic Tahquitz Rock was across the valley.  We ate some snacks and took some Go-Pro shots.  We started back down with a lot of morning left and were down the hill before noon, glad that we didn’t do the big hike.

13925464_10102004025394030_7290050067321534058_o
The Idyllwild town monument

Our car took us back to town where we grabbed some tasty sandwiches at Idyllwild Bake Shop & Brew.  There were lots of interesting people walking around; climbers, outdoors people, Asian tourists, old hippies.  We checked out a few of the smalls stores.  They had few customers but very friendly shopkeepers.  We especially liked the pet shop where the owner told us that Idyllwild was the most dog-friendly town in America and gave us a magnet of Mayor Max, the golden retriever.   We were tired from hiking and wanted to take our boots off, so we headed back to camp and relaxed for the rest of the day.  The city life had destroyed our connection with nature, so we were happy to take it back for a day.

Enjoy reading about hiking San Jacinto Peak?  Click HERE to read about our epic hike up Mt Whitney in central California!

Please follow and like us:
error
Advertisements

The Cost of Our Cross-Country Move

Toledo, Ohio to San Diego, California

6 Days

2461 miles

Gas: $398.11

Tolls: $25.80

Food/Beverages: $245.85

Accommodations: Free!

Grand Total: $669.76

We didn’t exactly live like paupers during this road trip.  We Couchsurfed everywhere of course, but we also splurged on quite a few meals out and quite a few brewery stops in Colorado.  It was a mini vacation!  Still, I think the fact that we spent so little proves something…

Do it.
Please follow and like us:
error

Moving to California – The Final Day

We spent a restful day at my parents house in Williams, Arizona, then made the last push to San Diego, our final destination, the end of the continent.  Arizona was our home for about a year, and when we woke up after a night there, it was as if we had never left.  I was offered a stable job at the Grand Canyon.  We thought “are we stupid to leave here?”  But those are the times when you must push forward, the times when most would take the easy road instead of doing what they really wanted.  We almost always do what we want, so found ourselves on I-40 west with Los Angeles on the highway signs, only hundreds of miles away.

Mr. Moose hates the heat.

Usually we take the old Route 66 to L.A. and then cut south to San Diego.  This time we chose to take a shorter but slower direction by turning south right after entering California.  The desert got CRAZY – super hot with dust storms as we passed through abandoned towns, dried up and shriveled remains of old dreams and desires.  We had a CouchSurfing hose in Moab tell us a story about a guy he knew that went out hiking in the desert and they never found him.  “When the desert decides to take you, there is nothing you can do about it,” he said very seriously.  The desert sure is a strange place that demands respect.

With that said, we were worried about the car, making sure we wouldn’t run out of gas, sweating and sweating and… but we got through and soon were gazing upon the beautiful palm trees near Palm Springs.

Mr. Moose near Palm Springs.

The last bit was the longest, as it always is.  We hit a mountain range that was unexpected and we again worried about our brakes smoking.  But, all of a sudden,finally, FINALLY WE MADE IT WHOOO SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA YEAH WHOO GET US TO THE OCEAN YIPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our new home, Ocean Beach!!! (or for the locals, simply OB)
Our main drag, famous Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach.

Stay tuned for more from one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. of A.  Be ready to get jealous as we leave you with a picture from Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, near our new home in Ocean Beach.

Please follow and like us:
error