Ryan’s Mountain

Finally! Back on a trail. Urban hiking is great, but so so flat. I needed to climb something. I woke up in the middle of the night. Is it me or does time pass differently in the desert? I was never able to fall back to sleep. So I got up at 5:30, brushed my teeth, put on the cute leggings I was gifted in Cupertino (Thanks LF!), and drove over to the Ryan’s Mountain trailhead for hike 29.

The sun was still rising, which made for some seriously dramatic shadow play on the hills. To my surprise there were several other people on the trail before me. Also to my surprise, I was the only one to summit and complete the hike. I had the peak all to myself. At 5457 feet, I must be over my altitude issues. I had no problems today. Woohoo!

I climbed down from Ryan’s Mountain, explored the park a little more, then headed out of the park before it got too hot. I stopped at Natural Sister’s Cafe and had a veggie omelette the size of my head. It was so delicious! This place is adorable. The selection is great, the omelette was great, the hot sauce selection was great. I can’t say enough good things. Stop in if you’re ever in Joshua Tree.

Belly full and home bases touched, I drove to San Diego where I had the privilege of staying with my friend’s mom. Okay, so San Diego is even more beautiful than everyone told me it would be. How does this place even exist? The first thing I did when I got up to the condo was, you guessed it, take a shower. Then we got to planning. We stopped at her son and daughter-in-law’s place for a quick visit. Then we went to Sunset Cliffs where I carefully, without passing the railing or signs that are there to keep you from dying, took photos. It’s a beautiful spot with a lot of people making poor decisions, risking their lives for selfies. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many people were dangerously close to the edge where the ground could possible give way under your feet. The drop is steep and the bottom is rocky.

We went to C Level restaurant for apps and drinks. It’s a great place situated by the water with a great view of the boats coming in and out of port. Another place that didn’t disappoint. We split the calamari and brie. Yum! Then home for a home cooked meal. Hopefully a long hike will happen tomorrow. I have a feeling I will be eating this well for the duration of San Diego, and I still have a dress to fit into at the end of this adventure!

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Art Teacher Abroad

I'm an art educator on a mission to explore every nook of the earth. Follow my photography on Instagram @virginiatrailslayer

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