Thursday, April 25, 2013

Six Miles of Beauty

The absolute highlight of Willow's Week which I'm posting for Friday Fave Five was a six mile trail I hiked with a friend this week.  Although the morning was foggy and gray, by the afternoon the sun had burned off the coastal cloud layer, and the sun was shining.  It was windy, but that didn't stop us from driving out to the Pacific Coast Highway and turning south toward Malibu.

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)


Gracie Saylor said...

We both just posted about beauty!!! Thanks for sharing the awesome beauty in and around you, Linda!

Faith said...

Oh I would LOVE doing that hike! beautiful!! I'm hiking on Sunday in a new area to me (Foothills of the Catskills here in southeastern NY) about an hour from my house. I usually hike UP UP UP in the Adirondack Mts...have you ever been to our beloved mts?? Hiking is so good for the body...and soul!! LOVE that quote, too! thanks for sharing the simple beauty of our Creator.

aspiritofsimplicity said...

How wonderful to walk outside with you.

Tracy said...

BEAUTIFUL... and that view at the top...*swoon*... What a spiritual experience. :o) Thanks for taking us along, Willow. Happy Weekend now... ((HUGS))

Barbara H. said...

Six miles -- quite an undertaking! What beautiful treasures you found there!

Marg said...

That would of been absolutely stunning. Sometimes the spontaneous times are the best times. Glad you can tick that off your list. Where's your next climb?

Susanne said...

The quote made me smile.

What a gorgeous view on that hike. I would love to do that. I'm notorious for taking mega pictures on hikes too!

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

I love this quote!!

Just beautiful pictures, especially that last one. Have a great week ahead!

snoopydogknits said...

Oh wow! What stunning photos and what a beautiful area; making walking a real pleasure, I would guess! Ros

Bethany said...

I'm so jealous!!! That looks amazing! Your photos are beautiful. You could lead photography hikes for a career!

Aqeela said...

The last photo is so beautiful, it sounds like such an uplifting walk, i would have loved to come too!
Aqeela xx

Gattina said...

Beautiful pictures ! I love the sunflowers !

ellen b. said...

Lovely!! Glad you were able to follow through and enjoy this hike!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

That was quite a hike, Willow! Don't think I could have kept up with you to that height. But look what a glorious view you were both rewarded with. I love that quote by St. Teresa of Avila and am feeling more and more drawn to a minimalist lifestyle though I've certainly got a long way to go to even begin down that path. Do you have book(s) to recommend on the topic?

Barbara said...

Loved first and last photo and what a great hike.