Our little vacation is over, and it sure was fun. We return hot dirty and very tired and glad to have gone, but glad to be home again as well.
We decided to go south, down the coast to Crystal Cove state park, which is sort of in between Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach. For the latter half of the trip down we took US 1, the Pacific Coast Highway (it runs right by our house so we could have taken it the whole way, but between here and there it's kind of like the Atlantic Rt 1 in southern Maine), and there sure were some interesting vistas. Low flat wetlands backed 20 miles inland by the big old Santa Ana Mountains; expensive developments built in said wetlands with water access for each house, and masts poking up between the tile roofs; oil derricks scattered liberally among the luxery, including one on the grounds of the Hyatt Hotel (at least it looked that way); and all that luxery leavened by not only those derricks but five or six whole oil refineries or power stations, and about ten giant oil drilling platforms visible what looked like about three miles off the beach.
But we left all that when we got to the park. First we went out to look at the ocean from Pelican Point (we saw no pelicans, but I did see a roadrunner up on the bluff above the beach, which I though was pretty neat), and then went down to the beach for a while. Then we got back in the car and went up to the other part of the park, the backcountry part, where we hiked about 4 miles over the hills and through the canyons. Four very hot miles, I assure you, cause not only was the air temperature in the high 80s or even 90s (we passed an electronic bank sign that said it was 93), there was almost no shade the whole way, what with the no trees and all. There was onle little patch of trees down in the bottom of one valley, where a bit of a stream ran through, and I took a picture of them. As far as animals are concerned we saw a whole lot of rabbits, squirrels and lizards, as well as one snake, but no mountain lions or rattlesnakes, both of which we were warned against in the trail map. I can't say I was unhappy about that.
Then to cool off we went back down to the shore and climbed around a couple bluffs of vary curious rocks (more pictures were taken) and in and out of a number of sea caves (it being low tide). Down there we added a small white egret or herron to our list of wildlife, and it suffered us to come quite close indeed without it taking fright, but sadly my camera took that moment to run out of batteries. So we turned for home, stopping only to eat some delicious Thai food on the way.
The only unfortunate bit of the whole experience was, I made a delicious lunch for myself, but then in the hurry of getting everything else to bring I left in on the coffee table in the living room. So I whined and moaned about that for a while when it was time to eat, but Leah kindly gave me half of her burrito that we bought at the co-op on the way out, which was nice of her only it tasted too much like hippies for me. Fortunately we also had some chips along, so I survived. Mothers and other concerned individuals should also note that we were well covered with sunblock, so I didn't get any sunburn at all (despite the raging hot sun) except on my forehead, where all the sunblock washed off while we were on the hike, from the sweat.
So that was our day, and don't you know that we'll sleep better tonight than we did last night.