Well, I got my glorious road trip on Easter Sunday after all! It really was nothing short of exhilarating, and I didn’t even go too far. I woke up early on Sunday morning, made a pot of coffee, a country playlist, and two peanut butter sandwiches.
Then I rolled down the windows, donned a cowboy hat, and sped away. I headed around Lake Otay and then... up! Chula Vista is at 11 feet above sea level, but framed by mountains to the South and East. I headed East and drove up over the mountains. (To 3800 feet, to be exact.) The pass was breathtaking. Pictures were difficult, as I was by myself and the road was rather twisty- turny... not to mention built into a mountainside, just waiting for the next giddy adventuresome kayak girl to drive right off the side of the cliff.
Final destination: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, just 40 miles away. It was easily one of my all-time most enjoyable drives (and that’s impressive, given my extensive Enjoyable-Drives Record). Upon arrival, I scoped out some hiking trails. A sign at the trailhead warned me that I was in Cougar Country (I’m from Fairport so I’m used to that) but I was more concerned about rattlesnakes. The hike was beautiful. I’m quickly developing an affinity for desert landscapes, especially when they include an oak woodland forest with a sprinkling of pines and lovely meadows with creeks (which, incidentally, this one did). The park also contains Lake Cuyamaca, in which I really wanted to swim (it was a scorcher!) but I didn’t see anyone else swimming so I wasn’t sure how clean the water was.
After some more running around, climbing trees, and exploration, I found I could not wipe the grin off of my face. Freedom!
On my way back, I stopped at a roadside fruit stand and bought two of the biggest navel oranges I’ve ever seen. Seriously, they look like grapefruits. (What other insane oddities will she discover in this strange new land!?!?!)
It’s a shame I haven’t explored the California Parks System the past three March- Aprils that I’ve spent here. Now I’m going to have to make up for lost time!!
I just know I was meant to be a wanderer.