Welcome to Surf City

Huntington Beach, CA

We left Santee Lakes, outside San Diego, this morning and headed north after a stay of almost a month.  San Diego County is full of great hiking opportunities so yesterday we took advantage of a beautiful, sunny afternoon to take one last hike in nearby Mission Trails  County Park.  Our destination was Cowles Mountain, the highest point in the park at 1592 feet.

View of Cowles Mountain (center) from the parking area

The park rates each trail on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 rated as very challenging for hikers in excellent physical condition only.  Since we are at the very peak of physical conditioning, we decided to take the Big Rock Trail, which is rated a 5.  The hike started at an easy rise but quickly turned quite steep.

After hiking up the hill for about an hour, the trail met an access road that led to a communications tower at the summit.  We hiked it for a while, thinking it would be the best route to the top, but the road soon turned into a very steep climb.

But after a bit we found another trail that was a bit longer, but at a smaller incline, so we decided to take that to the top.  After hiking for about two hours we reached the summit and were rewarded with a great view of the city of San Diego and the Pacific beyond.

Our stay on the summit was brief, as the sun was heading down and we needed to get back to the bottom of the hill before dark.  This hike was a great concluding activity to a great stay in San Diego.

As we said, this morning we headed north on I-5 heading for Huntington Beach, just south of Los Angeles.  Traveling through the metro L.A. area in a 41 foot vehicle towing a Jeep can be a bit challenging, especially on the Friday before Christmas, but we waited until after the rush hour to leave and found that traffic moved very smoothly the entire hundred mile trip.

Northbound I-5 north of San Diego

Early in the afternoon we arrived at Huntington by the Sea RV Resort and quickly found our site.  This park is basically a paved parking lot, which is a type of park we usually avoid.  But after being parked on fine gravel that turned to mud while in Santee Lakes, the pavement is a nice change.

As you can see, the sites here are very close together.  So why stay in a parking lot with your neighbors just outside your window?  Because of the view just across the street from the park.

The park is right on the Pacific Coast Highway, which means we are right across the street from the ocean!  In real estate it is said that the three keys to any property are location, location, location.  The same is true with RV parks.  This park would be way down our list of preferences, but it’s location makes it hard to beat.

As soon as we were set up, we hopped on the bikes and found the Huntington Beach Bike Trail, a wide, paved path between the highway and the very wide beach.  Even though it was a bit cool (high 60s) there were a number of people surfing (with wet suits), playing volleyball, and walking/running the bike path.

The Huntington Beach Bike Trail

The young beauty pictured below is an example of the many beautiful California girls we found to be enjoying the beach.  When interviewed about her visit to the beach, she stated that if the temperatures were a bit warmer she would have been in her tiny bikini playing beach volleyball or riding her surf board on some of the big waves.  But alas, the cool weather forced her to cover up and enjoy a small java while sitting in the sun.

We will be in Huntington Beach for the next ten days.  On Monday we get to drive to LAX to pick up our daughter, Jessica, who will stay with us for a few days.  She’s never been to this area so we plan to do the tourist thing in LA and the surrounding area during her stay.

More on that later . . .

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3 Responses to Welcome to Surf City

  1. Lisa says:

    Your park is very much like our new park…a parking lot, where the only redeeming factor is the Bay and all its walking trails just steps away! Thank goodness for the beauty of the surrounding area!!!

    Hope you have a great Christmas!

  2. Marsha says:

    We want to be there with you for all the hiking. We need the exercise. That trail is excellent. And for you two top-inshape-expert hikers, I am sure it was a piece of cake.

    LOVE the view from your park. Sometimes you have to overlook the RV Park bad points to enjoy the surrounding wonderful points.

    John, any chance you could go back and visit the beach on a very warm day and take another shot of that California Dreamin’ Beauty? I would love to see her in action. I am sure she has one mean spike.

    I am so excited for you two picking up Jessica on Monday. What a wonderful Christmas present it will be for you two. Sending all our love and Christmas blessings to your entire family!

  3. Bruce & Barb Smith says:

    Barb & I have been enjoying your blog and pics of your travels. You all have taken some fantastic pictures during your travels and visited some unusual places. Keep posting. Enjoy the warmth out there in Southern CA because it’s in the 20’s & 30’s back here. Hope you have a great visit with Jess for Christmas. Merry Christmas!

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