A Good Way to Spend 36 Hours
A recent ActiveRain contest asked us to spell out our strengths and weaknesses - I mentioned working myself to the point of recharging, and recently, I was hitting that wall. I always know when I'm lacking inspiration and a "charge" in my batteries because it shows in my creativity. I'm usually a content-producing machine. Blogs here, blogs on my website, marketing pieces, social media content, etc. When I can't think of anything for days on end, it's time for a break. This past weekend, I took that break.
A group of 7 friends and I booked a ferry to Channel Islands National Park off the coast of Ventura, CA. With only what we could carry in our backpacks, we were dropped off Saturday morning at Scorpion Anchorage with plans to meet the ferry at another location about 16 miles down the coast Sunday afternoon. With about 50 pounds on my back (for this route, we had to carry all of our water as there was no water source available), we set off and encountered a grueling first 5 miles. Nearly all of it uphill on steep, rocky terrain, and done under the mid-afternoon sun, we were all pretty beat up and tired when we reached the ridgeline. Fortunately, the scenery helps to make things more enjoyable. Pristine coastline, blue water, a nice ocean breeze, and lots of wildlife keep you company on the journey - crows, other birds, lizards, and the island's famous foxes.
After the initial ascent to the islands ridgeline, the trail levels out some for the next 6 miles with some rolling hills and becomes more enjoyable, but still not an easy walk while rationing water under the burning sun.
We set up camp at Del Norte campground, had our dinner consisting mainly of freeze dried meals reconstituted with my JetBoil campstove (one of my best investments). I particularly enjoyed the freeze dried chicken fried rice, as I've learned to bring along seasonings and condiment packs to make meals on the trails more enjoyable. After dinner, it was sunset time, followed by whiskey and stargazing. In SoCal, a starry night is a rare treat, but with no lights between us and the mainland, the sky was clear and the stars were shining.
The next day, we hiked down to the Prisoners harbor, our destination, and the kayaks I had previously reserved were waiting for us. We set up hammocks, dropped our backpacks (FINALLY!), and spent the day kayaking up the coast, jumping from the pier into the frigit ocean water, enjoying the gorgeous surroundings, and the fish, dolphins, & seals that stopped by to say hello along the way. We were met by a boat and crew that traded us a few greenbacks for some cold beers - what a steal they were, as after a day of heat, sweat, salt, and dirt, a cold Sierra Nevada might be the best thing on the planet.
Our ferry picked us up at 330 and tooks us back to Ventura, where we immediately headed to Tony's Pizzeria and devoured pizza as if we hadn't eaten for weeks. Exhausted, happy, and belly full, we made it back to Orange County by 9pm, and I slept a sleep of pure exhaustion.
It was a weekend where 36 hours felt like a week. We packed so much into a day, traveled so far by foot on some pretty gnarly terrain, and had about as much fun as you can have in a day. Safe to say, the batteries are fully recharged.
With a bit of serendipity, I booked this Channel Islands trip just 2 weeks before my next scheduled trip to Zion National Park. In 2 weeks, my batteries will be supercharged!