I’m in between engagements in my busy social life here in Mission Beach, and thought I’d take a minute or two to write about my day so far.
First and foremost: A big, big THANK YOU to TPGoddess (I think she might really be a goddess) for taking the time out of her busy life to meet up with me and act as tour guide. She’s a lovely woman, very easy to talk to/with and fun to be with. Best of all, she understands (really understands) about having to stop every few minutes to take a photograph when nature is involved.
TPGoddess picked me up here in Mission Beach around 10:00 this morning. I was a little worried about meeting up with her since I didn’t know what she looks like and she didn’t know me, and the construction near the condo caused a small bit of a SNAFU as I didn’t think she’d be able to get to where I’d directed her to pick me up. That’s what cell phones are for, right? So I called her on the handy dandy cell phone and let her know I’d be waiting elsewhere, and described what I was wearing. I’d pretty much just hung up when she came around the corner (I knew what kind of car she was driving, having had the sense to ask that much when I talked with her on the phone yesterday).
Meet-up successfully navigated, TPG got us turned around and we headed to La Jolla. La Jolla is a beautiful area that is described on their official website as one of the most affluent communities in the United States. It’s apparent that there’s money in La Jolla. I would imagine that many of La Jolla’s residents feel the amazing scenery is worth the price. I know I would.
We went up to Mount Soledad, which seems like one of those areas you might not find on your own if you’re not from around here. I was surprised to read on Wikipedia that Mount Soledad is the scene of an urban legend: The Legend of Munchkinland. Another cool, fun fact: The last home of Dr. Seuss is on Mount Soledad.
The Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial was the scene of some controversy regarding the cross. If interested, you can read a little about it here. The compromise, it seems to me, was a good one. The black wall which reminded me a little of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., has photographs along with the names of the veterans being honored.
There are breathtaking views from Mt. Soledad, including the city of San Diego and the Pacific Ocean. We could also see the Mormon Temple. Long-time readers of Life in the Bogs may recall that Mormons have been featured here on occasion while M and I were on our sabbatical adventures.
I should mention — before I ramble on any further — that we had a gorgeous day here. The clouds we woke up to cleared out and we had great views from the various high spots TPG took me to. I should also mention (again) that TPG is an excellent tour guide. She gave me a good overview of the area with some history and local stories thrown in to make it more interesting.
After our visit to Mt. Soledad we went to Torrey Pines State Reserve. Honestly, I think it might be better to wait for the photos on this one as I’m not sure I’m up to describing how beautiful the Torrey Pines area is. I can see why TPG loves living and hiking in the Torrey Pines area. It’s gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. The wildflowers were blooming, showing off lots of yellows, some purples, a few reds, oranges, and whites. The torrey pine trees themselves, one of the rarest native pines in the United States, have great character. I’m not sure how else to describe them. On some the branches spread and curve in wondrous ways.
TPG took me on Guy Fleming Trail. It was easy hiking with fantastic views. We saw quite a few ravens (a pair of whom were nice enough to pose for me), and we were very fortunate in that we got to see a peregrine falcon. TPG might not always be able to name the flowers immediately, but she’s fantastic with birds. In fact, when we were in the Torrey Pines Lodge the docent overhead TPG teaching me about the differences between the Cooper’s hawk and the red-shouldered hawk, and she asked if TPG was in the current training program. When TPG said no, the docent said “You should be a docent.” She’s right. TPG would be a great docent. Coincidentally, TPG had just told me a little while before that when she retires she’d like to be a docent at Torrey Pines. I hope she does it. Her love for the area is obvious and I think that, above all, would make her very good at it.
From the Guy Fleming Trail we headed up the hill (with me huffing and puffing a little) to High Point Trail where there are panoramic views of the area.
All in all, it was a great little hike that gave me an opportunity to see some of Torrey Pines. I may have to see if M would like to go there before we leave as I think he would enjoy it and it would give me a chance to see a little more.
I’m going to have to stop here as M and are going to a street party this evening and I should start getting ready to go. I’ll finish up later or tomorrow or the first chance I get.
But before I go, another thank you, thank you, and thank you, to TPGoddess. It was a wonderful day.