Of course, with an invitation like that I made the absolute most of it. I asked her if my day could start Friday night and when she agreed I booked a camping spot. Friday I left work at noon and packed up the van and off we went to Dos Picos park. Sarah and I have camped quite a bit together and I believe this is the first time we actually arrived at the campsite in the day light. I was quite fun. They have a few hiking trails ( more like walking paths but still quite nice) and we checked those out.
On one of the trails we passed by a hill with the strangest wooden structures built on top of them. I have no idea what they were for but you can't have a tower like those without some one climbing them. They made a pretty tower for preaching from. Sarah looks like she's singing in one of the pictures.
Since we were out of the city we decided to head out on one of the trails after dark to get a better look at the stars. You can't see them very well from in the city but they were sure nice out there. Every year around my birthday the Perseid meteor shower comes around. I know it is late but we were hoping that we'd catch a few stragglers from that and we actually did see a few cool meteors.
I also had to try out a new app I got for my android called Skeye. You hold your phone up to the sky and it shows you a star chart. It isn't much use in town but it was really cool out there. I learned that the brightest star out last night was Vega. One of my favorite stars as a kid was Betelgeuse and I used to be able to find it but I haven't for years. I checked it out but unfortunately it hadn't risen yet. It is also a very bright star and I'm told a common one used for navigating.
As we were walking in the dark we learned that a lot of animals like to come out and warm themselves on the path after the sun goes down. We came across a tiny little snake and it freaked Sarah out. It didn't have a rattle but it looked just like a rattle snake. I believe baby rattle snakes don't have rattles and I also understand that they can be more dangerous than adult snakes because they haven't learned how to control how much venom they release when they bight. If they bight you they dump everything they have into you. We navigated carefully around him.
The next sample of wildlife we came across was a humongous wolf spider in a very intricate web that spread completely across the trail. The spider was dead center in the web. I felt bad destroying the poor guys web but we did need to get by.
You can imagine that I was watching the trail pretty closely at this point in case we came across any more wildlife and I watched Sarah step right over a big old tarantula. She didn't even see it. When I shone the flashlight on him she about died again. I have to give her credit though because she was completely game to keep going.
The whole time we were hiking we kept hearing a weird screeching sound and I couldn't figure out what it was. Suddenly a huge owl flew by us. I kept the flashlight beam on him and we watched him fly from tree to tree. We finally figured out that it was him that kept making the screeching noise. I thought they only "hooted".
We finally made it back to our beds and laid on our air mattress under the stars. This is the view we had but in the dark it was even more gorgeous. I love sleeping under the stars. Just laying there with the cool breeze blowing by and admiring the stars and listening to the sounds of the night is almost intoxicating for me. I'm so glad that Sarah was willing to give me this one last adventure.
As the sun came up and shone in my eyes I laid there once again soaking in the wilderness. Somebody was cooking bacon and that made be briefly wish that I'd brought some but I didn't want to waste any time cooking and cleaning so we enjoyed our granola. As we were eating some kid was climbing in the rocks and fell and broke his leg. He leg was severely dislocated and wedged so tightly in the rocks that he couldn't get it out. An ambulance came and they had to shoot the kid full of morphine before they could get his leg out.
After the ambulance left we loaded up our gear and off we went to hike up Mt Woodsen. That is actually a rather tough hike. It is only four miles to the top but it was hot and in places pretty steep. What a beautiful view though.
The trail starts out at Poway Lake so it is beautiful right from the start. I was so sad though because I was enjoying looking at the sky so much the night before that my battery died on the hike. I got some good pictures but they have a cool rock that juts out over a cliff and I really wanted a picture of me on that rock. Just so you can see the rock I downloaded some random dude standing on it from the internet. I did stand on the rock but I have no photographic evidence that I did so.
After racing down the mountain so that Sarah could use the bathroom we changed into our swimming suits and headed for the beach. It was almost eerie but as we headed out the parking lot there was another ambulance there. A lot of people were having a really bad day.
The water felt really nice after the hike but I was so tired I was ready to go home after twenty minutes or so. On the way home we stopped at Cotija's and order a Carnita's Taco for me and a Bean and Cheese Burrito for Sarah. Of course I had to have my large Horchata. You're not going to believe it but as we left the Vons parking lot there was another ambulance. I was beginning to feel like we were leaving a path of destruction behind us. At least we were having a ball.
The original plan was to relax and watch a movie but we had to go and represent our family at Chris Birds wedding reception. It was great to meet his wife and to see Ryan who just got home off his mission on Wednesday. He looks pretty good. We get to hear him report his mission tomorrow. When we did finally get to turn on our movie we were both so tired that we fell asleep. Not much visiting at that point but what a wonderful day doing all kinds of fun stuff with my baby.