Monday, May 30, 2011

Fun Times Hiking

A lizard on the trail

Hiking is one of our favorite outdoor activities. Lucky for us since there are endless options for hiking in our part of the U.S., specifically, San Diego County. In one day, we could, theoretically, hike in the mountains, in the deserts, at the beach, in the valleys, you name it. We've hiked several times and in several locations the first time we lived here from 1999-2003 and a few times since we moved back a year ago. This last time, we decided to go to Mission Trails Regional Park. We've been here lots of times, but it's such a large preserve, approximately 5800 acres according to their website that we still haven't hiked all the available trails. This time around, we hiked the Old Mission Dam and then we hiked the Oak Canyon Trail/Fortuna Mountain trail. This hike is rated a 3 which means that it's moderately challenging but not impossible for the average person. From start to finish, we hiked six miles total. The elevation gain was only about 300 feet though which isn't too bad. It was a great workout is what it was.

On the hike, we saw several types of lizards, lots of birds (we even saw a mating pair of hummingbirds) and two different snakes. The first snake was very thin, very long, and it was swimming in the San Diego river eating bugs. It was pretty nifty. The second snake we saw was the biggest snake I have ever seen outside of a zoo. We were walking along when all of a sudden, the youngest started having a fit and said that there was a snake on the trail. Sure enough, we look ahead and there is a big ol rattlesnake crossing the trail in front of us. We noticed it when it was about ten feet ahead. That is the closest any of us have come to a dangerous animal in nature. That we know of, lol. It was freaky and none of us wanted to walk past where it had disappeared into some brush, but unless we wanted to turn around, that was our only choice. We gave the snake a few minutes to move away from the trail (we hoped) and then walked as far as we could on the other side, lol. It sure made for an interesting hike.

We're hoping we can get a few more hikes in before it starts to get too hot.

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