05
Mar
12

Queen of the Mountain

This Saturday, it was a gorgeous day in sunny Southern California, so my friends and their daughter decided to go on a hike. I was graciously invited, and having never gone on an actual hike, I was game.

First of all, I wasn’t aware we were going UP. A. MOUNTAIN. They called it a large hill, I called them ridiculous. We were both wrong, as it’s actually a 22-million year old volcanic plug¹. So there.

Mount Calavera at the Lake Calavera Preserve – Carlsbad, CA

My gracious hosts encouraged me along, knowing that this was my first hike, and I appreciated the lack of humiliation, because 30 seconds in, I was panting and gasping for breath. I’m a beginner, shush. This guy is 513 feet of steep, uneven terrain trails.

Not the steepest or most un-even, but you get the idea. Yeah, we climbed that.

On my way up. Yes, I have my purse with me. Shut. Up.

Slowly, we made our way to the top, and I have to say, it was worth it. Being able to stand where it feels like you’re on top of the world is amazing. To the west I could see the ocean, and to the east, snow-capped mountains, below us, a small lake, and all around, rooftop views. It was really refreshing and exhilarating.

I was really proud that I made it to the top, no joke. I never thought I could do something like this.

Ocean to the West

Snow-Capped Mountains to to East

And Lake Calavera below us

We rocked that ancient volcanic plug, biaaaatch. Yes, Melissa and I are ridiculous.

From the top, you can see the rock designs people have made near the base where the quarry was in the 1930’s. Yep, that’s a rock maze. Yep, that other shape is exactly what you think it is.

The whole experience was really great. Except the part where they told me there were rattlesnakes, and took me down a steep path where I felt like I was going to fall on my face and have my skull crushed in and have to go to the emergency for not only my crushed skull, but rattlesnake bites because they all found me and were all “Hey look! A chunky one tried to hike! Dinner’s ready!”.

I might be exaggerating. Slightly.

You can’t see the terrified look on my face, but it’s there. Also, not the worst part of the way down.

Up close of the rock maze. I was badgered until I actually went through it. Not by the 13 year old, either.

At the base, on the quarry side. Can you spot me?

Either way, I would totally go hiking again. It was a really great experience, and I can’t wait until we go on another trail. Oh, next time, I won’t bring my purse. I swear, people were staring… 3 of those people BROUGHT ME there!

All the photography is done by my best friend Melissa. She’s ridiculous and refuses to start a photography blog, so if you want to let her know how much her pictures effin rock, comment here and I’ll force her to look at them. Note to Melissa: I’m gonna start posting more of your pictures! They is awesome!

1- Btw, a volcanic plug SOUNDS dirty, but it’s not. Basically, a plug is magma that hardened inside the volcano. As the volcano erodes away, what’s left is the plug. Thank you Wikipedia.

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