By Shannah Crane

 

January started with an energized bang. Psyched to get out and enjoy more of nature in San Diego and surrounding areas, my hubby and I embarked on a few fun adventures throughout the month. Here are the top three:

 

Hiking at Calcite Mines

 

  • Specs:
    • 2-hour drive from SD
    • 5 mile hike
    • full-day activity from start to finish
  • What I loved most:
    • The calcite mines and surrounding area in Anza Borrego surprised me. I haven’t spent much time in this area and we got the scoop from our local hiking book, Afoot & Afield San Diego County. During WWII this area was mined for its calcite crystals (the calcite was used in manufacturing gunsights). While the mines were intriguing, what I loved most was the terrain of the hike. Part gravelly desert, part smooth slot canyon, part rock-hopping, the terrain was fun and the amazing views of the surrounding desert left me feeling peaceful and serene. I’ll definitely be back!

Mt Laguna: Snow Hike and Moon Run

  • Specs:
    • 45-minute drive
    • half-day activity
    • will need a Wilderness Pass to park
  • What I loved most:
    • I love Mt. Laguna. Pine trees and crisp mountain air just 45 minutes from North Park?! A dream! I learned through my January adventures that I really like Mt Laguna in the cold! We ventured up to Mt Laguna to frolic in the snow on one especially cold Saturday. We hiked 5 miles throughout Noble Canyon–leaving footprints in the snow and soaking in the lightly frosted trees.
    • On January 31st there was a super blue blood moon. We missed the bloody part (waking up before sunrise is hard!), but we did make it out to enjoy the super blue moon. After wrapping up work we drove out to Mt Laguna and went on a 3 mile run in the moonlight. It was cold–about 34 degrees–and the air burned my lungs at first. Once I warmed up a bit, the run felt a-mazing! I let my mind clear and savored the cool air washing over me. It was 45 minutes of super blue moon freedom.  

 

Climbing in Descanso

  • Specs:
    • 30-minute drive
    • half-day activity
    • in the sun all day
  • What I loved most:
    • Climbing in Descanso is fun! The approach is pretty chill–about 20 minutes, with 15 minutes of it being manageably hard and uphill–and it doesn’t seem to draw big crowds. We climbed on the main wall. This area is awesome because there are some nice-and-easy routes to get warmed up on and a couple that pushed me to try hard. Thankfully my beau set up top ropes on each of the routes and I was able to try a few. My favorite climb of the day was Icarus. In my mind, Icarus is broken into three sections (my hands are getting sweaty as I think about those sections now): The first section involves snuggling into the crack of the dihedral and getting my feet up high; the middle part requires leaning in, getting tall, and (deep breath) trusting my feet; the third part requires extra courage (stepping out and over onto the other side of the dihedral = feeling exposed) and pulling on some teensy fingers. I took my time on Icarus, fell and tried again, and felt strong and brave once I made it to the top.

 

I’m so grateful for this delightful start to 2018 and excited to see what the next few months bring. Hooray for more adventures coming soon!