Friday, April 20, 2012

San Diego

On the bus an hour north of LA
Before first light on Monday morning I boarded a bus to start my trip south to San Diego.  It was an all day affair that went smoothly with four connections, had plenty of time to sleep and had views of the ocean and mountains-some still covered in snow-to gaze at.  The train arrived a half hour early giving me daylite to find the hostel.

I'm staying right downtown in the heart of the Gaslamp District.  San Diego is move lively than San Francisco was.  I was surprised how many people were out on a Monday night, and every night since there's been even more people.  It's great people watching.  I imagine the PCT is going to feel very empty in comparison.
Fish that people drop off in the night at a pond in Balboa Park

Tuesday morning I strolled around Balboa Park-the San Diego attraction I've heard the most about.  I took a walking tour about the Park's history, plant life, and architecture.  When the buildings were built for the World's Fair they mad them out of chicken wire and plaster with the intent of tearing them down after a year-that was nearly 100 years ago, although they have been rebuilt since then. They had some very impressive gardens.  The rose garden was very colorerful and fragrant, but the cacti garden was my favorite-not surprising saying all I think about is the desert section of the PCT.

Coronado Island was second on my list of places to visit.  I met up with a fellow PCT hiker Wednesday morning and we took a bus to the Island.  We window shopped, poked around in the bookstore and walked along the beach.  I put my toes in the water, but only for a moment-it reminded me of swimming in Maine as a kid.  We left to go to a farmers' market for lunch/dinner.  I had half a grilled artichoke-it might be my new favorite thing to eat.

Old Town
I went to Old Town-The Birth Place of California-on Thursday.  Maybe I wasn't paying attention when somebody told me about Old Town, but it wasn't what I imagined.  It was living history, everyone dressed in period clothing, dirt streets lined with reconstructed buildings.  It was shop after shop of cuties tourist/gift stores.  And after saying all that, I liked it.  I watched the blacksmith, who said bending hot metal is as easy as working with play dough, I looked at some donkeys, had a nearly free lunch, and learned a little.  Then I left to go to Little Italy with the soul purpose of finding gelato-it was an easy and satisfying mission.

Today at Seaport Village with kite fliers in the background

As much as I like cities, today I was really feeling ready for the hiking life.  I'm getting a little tired of seeking out something to explore every day.  Thru-hiking can have its challenges,  but typically it is a very straight forward simple way to live.  And I'm ready for it.  I'll be at Scout and Frodo's tomorrow night, 1 of 4 hikers they will be dropping off at the trail head Sunday morning.


  1. Erma "Flame" HumphriesApril 21, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    Castle, I can relate with you on wanting to get out of the city and head for the hills! I'm thinking about you as you begin this epic adventure on the PCT! Have fun and lots of luck! ~~Flame

  2. Sounds like you had a good time in San Francisco and San Diego.Also sounds like your ready to start your hiking. Stay safe and have fun.

  3. I'm glad you had a lot of fun in San Diego. You got to explore some places we haven't been to yet. I think we have a picture somewhere of Arlen and I standing in that same spot at Seaport Village.

  4. Have fun and stay in touch. We'll be thinking of you.