hiking

Hiking: South and North Fortuna Mountains

This was in 2014. Hiking Fortuna mountains was a good workout. The climb to “Stairway to Heaven” was no easy feat. We started at 7:30 and finished before noon using the Tierrasanta entrance. We were with a group from hiking ministry so it was nice to meet new people and enjoyed praying at the summit. It’s a 6 mile hike with a combination of cold and warm weather ending with a little run to the car before the rain starts to pour. The views from two summits were amazingly great. A must hike for San Diegans.

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Hiking: Garnet Peak

One of my most favorite hikes in San Diego is Garnet Peak in Mt. Laguna. It’s about 6,000 ft. above sea level.  It’s an easy 3 to 4 miles hike from where we started. I know there’s another start area closer to the hike but we chose the longer trail. garnet1

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It’s windy and sunny at the same time. Mich looked like she’s sporting a new hairdo. :) We had spectacular views of Laguna Mountains and Anza Borrego desert.
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The last stretch of our hike to the summit.
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Selfie time!
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We left the selfie pod at home so he improvised one. We’re the only ones on the summit.
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Can’t beat the view. garnet9

This is a highly recommended hike but be sure to check out the weather especially wind advisory.

 

 

 

Canyonlands: Island in the Sky & Mesa Arch, Etc.

This is a summary of what we have accomplished in a short period of time after traveling long hours. We just had a quick breakfast and loaded our mini cooler with some blueberry muffins, an apple for the boss, Poochie, beef jerkies, gatorades and water and off we go to this vast land filled with nature’s wonders.

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This is Utah’s largest national park, Canyonlands National Park located in the Moab, Utah. We had to prioritize what we want to visit and come back some other time for other scenic areas.

Names easily catch my attention so I chose Island in the Sky and it’s surrounding attractions. It’s surreal! It’s one of those things that you don’t normally see on a daily basis. It’s breathtaking to see these rugged canyons carved by Colorado river.  It was made more spectacular when we watched how the sun sets down and makes the canyons’ color turn golden. The clouds and snowy mountainous backdrop, the texture of the rugged canyons and crevices are so picturesque. canyonlands1

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Only a short mile hike going to this awesome view, the Mesa Arch. If short hikes are like this one, everyone will be more motivated to hike regularly. The arch looked small but in reality, it’s big. If we have the luxury of time, it’s nice to just sit and relax here the whole day.
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We passed by this Wooden Shoe Arch going to the visitor’s center. It really looks like a shoe. Unique in it’s own way.

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In the back is Newspaper Rock, a petroglyph site located along Indian Creek in Southeastern Utah. It’s really cool how people from old days connect to us through art and some form of writing. canyonlands9

This is really a cool roadside attraction going to Canyonlands. It’s called Wilson arch. We decided to stop by and have some pictures. What seemed like an easy hike turned out to be difficult and impossible for me to go up with Uggs on. It’s scary to go up some more so I settled in this spot and had selfie with the rest of the gang.

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Hiking: Iron Mountain

Iron mountain is one of the most favorite hikes in San Diego. Whenever we pass by the area coming from Julian, there are always plenty of hikers and parking is full. It’s a moderate 6 mile hike with an elevation gain of 1,100 feet.

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Hiking is more fun with friends. What a perfect day to hike when it’s a little cold but sunny. Today was kinda special because of this burst of cloud that looked like a fountain. This is our fountain of youth. Haha! Looking forward to more hikes with you guys!
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“Just as iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other.” (Proverbs 27:17) Iron mountain sharpened our legs and feet. lol! Seriously, it’s a comfortable hike for everyone. 

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We just don’t hike wherever we want. We make sure that trails are safe and we are prepared. Thanks to Modern Hiker for his blog. Tips and overall information we need in hiking are very helpful. We bought our shirts from you! :) Matchy!

Hiking: Mount Volcan

We’ve agreed that as a family, we will hike once a month. By spending time together outdoors we avoid the tendency to be couch potatoes, lessen our electronics time at home, enrich our nature appreciation, sharpen our geography skills, strengthen our bodies and many more benefits. So we encourage everyone to go out and enjoy what nature has to offer. We can’t do it when we are old and weak. :)

IMG_0117As you can see, everyone is enthusiastic and ready to hike. lol!

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What an entrance to the hiking path! It’s totally unique. I was looking for Neptune! lol. Seriously, nice wood carvings there. Just now, I learned that this artwork was done by a Julian artist named James Hubbell.

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IMG_0144This is double workout for the dad. The pull. How can you hike when you want to be pulled?

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The push. Hahaha! This is really steep. I had to walk backwards going up. Weird?

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It was considered as a place for observatory before Mount Palomar.DSC_0514IMG_0389

The photobomber is having a blast!

IMG_6412How do I selfie? Let me count the ways…
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IMG_0418And the quadcopter did his job. Strike a pose!

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You don’t have an idea what transpired here. From the start of our descent, she told me the story of Paddington the movie from beginning to end. Listening for more than an hour is a skill. :) Anyway, we had a great hike. It was tiring and challenging but a good one.

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Hiking: Charmlee Wilderness Malibu


“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” ― John Muir

It’s a necessity to have a QT (quality time) with the husband and have fun outdoors so we drove a few hours to Malibu to explore the wilderness. We took the time to go far since our kids had a full day schedule (we should thank the schools for organizing field trips and competitions :))  It was such a beautiful spring (almost summer) weather up there and the view was awesome.

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We drove along the Pacific Coast Highway and saw the blue ocean and beautiful multi-million dollar Malibu houses. We don’t have the luxury of time to wander around so I just took some photos.

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Parking is $4. There’s not much hikers here that day because it’s a regular working day. Husband took a time off just to be with me. Well, he’s the one who is actually persistent to hike so it’s the other way around. I took a time off my household chores to join him.

We decided to bring Pooch because definitely we will be home late and nobody will take care of him. Glad we did coz he really enjoyed being outdoors. It was windy and the grass here is gorgeous especially when the wind blows, it’s like scenes from the movies. I am imagining aerial top view shots from one of the Lord of the Rings. Hmmm, GoPro?

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Mountain, ocean, spring flowers, wind, sun, some water and bananas, it’s a cheap date. Don’t mind the gas that was on a peak price.
IMG_0713There’s also some running involve here. We saw some lizards and Poochie enjoys playing with them. Hide and seek?

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Giving our pet some break. Looking at his tongue sticking out, he must be tired and needed some water. This was going up and was having a great cardio work out.

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Follow the lead! Pooch is in between us. He had some fun with the narrow paths.IMG_6853

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It’s funny to look at when Poochie runs and his ears are perked up! Don’t count the wagging tail! He’s just happy.

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We’re on top of Charmlee wilderness around noontime. At the background is Malibu beach.
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Blue sky and water, green grass, flowers of different hues, purple, blue, white, yellow, orange, red. It’s springtime. Charmlee is really charming! Easy 3 Mile hike. We definitely had a great time here and wish to come back with our kids. Now, off to xiao long bao.

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An Opportunity for Joy

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My husband and I went hiking on a winter season. The place is called Canyon Sin Nombre or Canyon Without Name. I can’t imagine this place during summer as it was so arid even in winter when dews are aplenty in the morning. We stayed overnight camping so we knew how cold it really was. It’s surprising to see this plant with red flower in the midst of dryness. How come it has thrived when everything is brown or black? My photo did not do justice to how pleasant it is to see a red flower in the desert. One can not miss it for sure. God can make things grow no matter how difficult it is to thrive. Not only that, things can even be beautiful and attractive!

Life can be challenging at times. And sometimes challenges happen at times when we are not ready and when problems keep piling up. But consider this: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 (NLT). We have the freedom to choose joy and grow from experience. Are we going to allow dryness to overpower us? Or let joy overtake us and create something beautiful?

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4th of July: Hiking to Fireworks

It’s so much fun when you hike with a bigger company. Twas my second time hiking up Cowles Mountain and first time for our kids and visiting friends from Utah. Cowles Mountain has San Diego City’s highest peak with 1,593-foot (486 m) summit. It is also one of San Diego’s most famous hiking area because of it’s easy trail and easy access though parking is a bit challenging. The 360 degrees view of San Diego is awesome. Going up is 1.5 miles with an elevation of 950 ft. It took us more than 2 hours for the whole hike. cowles2 Our kids are not raised to be hikers so we know they would complain if only the four of us so I took the opportunity to include hiking in our summer itinerary. Since it’s 4th of July, we brought some American flags to join America as they celebrate their independence day. Flags sold out at Dollar Tree a day before the 4th. I was fortunate to get some (on sale!) from Albertsons before going up. Patriotic huh? Mich was getting ahead of us. She is revved up…for something.

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A man offered to take a photo of us with our dramatic pose. Haha! :) We are building memories here. Someday when we look back we will remember this fourth of July hike. Who knows? We might have a “then and now” picture years from now.
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Here are the machines of 4th! Our hearts, muscles and bones were happy that they got to work a little better today. We don’t want the machines to get rusty! We had them work extra on a sunny Sun Diego day!

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Looking forward to more hikes with you. Potato Chip, next? I so love it when we hike together. Cheesiness? Anyway, after the hike, we had a very nice excuse for pigging out. Chopsticks! Then we rested for a while and got ready for the fireworks at downtown San Diego.

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Seaport village is one of my favorite places in San Diego. I love spending lazy days here walking around, watching sunset, people flying kites, sailboats, yachts and many more. This place has a lot of cute stores and restaurants. I so love the gourmet Top of the Market.
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I’ve never seen this place crowded as today. Later on I found out why. It was a good idea to park near a train station and just use the train going here. Though our train ride reminded us of jam-packed LRT in Manila, it was still a better choice. Business was good that day for a peddler like this one (photo below). Mich was hinting me to buy because they accidentally left the glow sticks at home.

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We had the best view of the four simultaneous fourth of July fireworks in San Diego that’s why it was overcrowded. Our eyes feasted on the beautiful blasts and sparkles in the night sky. We’ve even seen something new but was not able to capture. It was a long day for us, a beautiful long day. :)fireworks5