Generally, most people do not realize that the coastal area between Pt. Mugu just south of Oxnard (well, technically it's east because the coastline along there traverses east/west, not north/south) is an area designated as Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. There are 500 miles of hiking trails which range in elevation from sea level at the Pacific Ocean to over 3,000 feet at the highest peak, Sandstone Peak.
We've been casually planning this hike for more than a month, saying, "Yes, let's hike next week. Oh, wait. Sorry, I'm busy with .... OK, we'll try on Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Saturday or another day which ends in 'y'." Finally, we impulsively decided, "Today!" So we did it.
Six miles. Sea level to 1,250 feet. Fifty photos.
Here are my five favorite photos.
1. Purple sage in the twilight. In the background below us is the Pacific Ocean. Near the bottom of the trail.
2. Of course, I had to photograph flowers. This vibrant yellow daisy like flower blooms everywhere in the spring.
3. Bright orange penstemons grow along the trail.
4. Because we were hiking in the late afternoon into the early evening, the moon rose over the ridge on the east.
5. Yes, we really were that high. Standing on the ridge looking straight down on BOTH sides of the trail. Somewhere down there along the beach's edge is Pacific Coast Highway. Do you see that itty-bitty, tiny, little bump to the left of the sun's reflection on the ocean below the cloud on the left? That's Mugu Rock, the famous monolith you pass when you begin to drive inland past Point Mugu Naval Air Station. It towers above your car. But from our perch, it was barely visible.
This was my 'mountain top' experience this week. I can't wait to hike up there again!
And a bonus: my friend shared a quote she found which she declared is something I might have said. I seems to be famous among my acquaintances for my tendencies toward simplicity/minimalism.
Thank God for the things that I do not own. (Saint Teresa of Avila)