Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Road to San Diego

This is the last post for my previous trip to California, but have no fear- I'll be taking lots of pictures on this trip too! (And hopefully I'll be better at uploading them in a timely manner.)

On one of our last full days in California, my Aunt and I drove to San Diego.  On our way we stopped at Torrey Pines State Park.

It was a beautiful grey day with huge waves that supposedly got as big as 10 ft tall.

Doesn't it seem to you
That the mind moves more freely
In the presence of that boundless expanse;
That the sight of the ocean
Elevates the soul and gives rise to
thoughts of the infinite and the ideal?
-Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Something about the sand and the way the tide pulled it across the shore made the most intricate patten with the dark and light sand on the beach.  I can honestly admit that nature never stops astounding me.

Also it was fun to see naturally rainbow colored rocks instead of your plain old earth tones for a change. (That's not to say I don't love earth tones, because I do, it's just fun to see some colorful rocks!)

After Torrey Pines we went to San Diego for a little while, one interesting thing we saw while walking around was this huge statue paying homage to the end of the war and what and the excitement that surrounded it.  The statue was right next to a huge battle ship and a few other statues commemorating the war.

Next we went to La Jolla cove to see the sea lions. 

On the way to see the sea lions we saw rocks that were covered in pelicans.  They smelled awful but they were prettier than I usually think of pelicans as being.

It was an absolute delight to see the sea lions.  They were so cute waddling around of the rocks and sleeping in packs.

When my mom told us to go see the sea lions I didn't expect there to be very many of them but there were so many at that cove.  There were big ones and little baby ones and they all were resting on the rocks.

It was really funny to see them come in from the water, they kind of just let the tide push them further and further onto the rock until they push themselves up on their flippers and waddle to where they want to be.

My Aunt and I stuck around for a long time, we wanted to see the sunset before driving back.

That was a wonderful day and I was so lucky to spend it with my Aunt Leigh.  I had a fantastic time on that trip and I can't wait to post about what I've been up to this time in California!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Red Rock Canyon

I know it's been a while since I've made my last post, I was a little busy with the end of my semester and starting everything up again in the new year, but I'm back to give you the last two posts about my trip to California.  It's kind of funny because right when I'm done posing about that trip I'll probably have more pictures to post about the trip I'm en route to now, I'm going to California again.

These pictures are from a hike my Aunt and I took at Foothill Ranch on the Red Rock hiking trail.

The trees over the path were so different from the trees I've seen, the way they bent at odd angles made them look mystical, like they belonged in the pages of a story book.

We were happy to see everything looking so green and healthy as only seven years ago there was a forest fire in this area.

Sometimes you could see old burnt trees but before you had the chance to get sad about it there were plenty more healthy new trees.

At first my Aunt and I had a lot of trouble finding the trail head because it is right across from a Target and right next to a small strip mall.  For the first half mile or so there are houses lining the top of the canyon but once you get passed them it feels like theres nothing for miles.

My favorite part of the hike was when we stumbled across a small deer.  Like I mentioned in a previous post, I think the wildlife in California is very tame.  He let us stand near him and take pictures while he just carried on chomping loudly at his food.  It was fun to see a different species of deer then we have in Ohio, this was a California Mule Deer, it had bigger ears, darker fur, and a smaller structure then the White Tailed Deer I'm used to seeing.

Another interesting thing about this path was the cacti growing along the sides of it.  They had flat surfaces instead of the round cacti you'd expect to see.

As we got closer to the red rocks at the end of the trail I noticed that the terrain was getting more rocky and there was more groundcover plants than trees.

My Aunt Leigh sure does make a fun hiking partner.  She knows a lot about plants and she's just fun to hang out with in general.  I'm definitely going to miss her this time but I'm sure my brother and I will have fun doing different things then I did with her.

I'm sad to admit that this picture doesn't really capture the red hue of these oddly porous rocks.  They looked especially colorful with the sun shining brightly on them. 

One of my favorite things to do when hiking is to turn around and look back at what I've already hiked.  Nine times out of ten I find that I've come a lot farther than I had originally thought and I think it is so fascinating to look back at what you've just hiked through and see it from a viewpoint you didn't get to enjoy when you were among it.

This state park is located at the southern-most tip of the Sierra Nevada where it converges with the El Paso Range.  Through a little research I've discovered that these mountains are made mostly of weathered sedimentary rock.  

That was a beautiful way to spend about three hours.  Aunt Leigh and I decided if we lived there we would hike in that canyon as often as possible.