Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Enchantment of the Torrey Pine

One of my favorite places in San Diego County is situated on a plateau with cliffs that overlook Torrey Pines State Beach. My attraction to this nature gem began as a young child when my family  would make the 20-mile trek from Poway to the beach (before the 56 Freeway).

I never tire of the half-a-dozen trails, which are lined with pine trees, coastal sage shrub, chaparral, wildflowers, and other native plants. In fact, this historic and former land of the Kumeyaay is home to the nation's rarest pine tree, Pinus torreyana, which grows only here and on Santa Rosa Island near Santa Barbara. The views are beyond spectacular as you look out across the deep blue Pacific.

As Aristotle said, "In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."

Enjoy the below photos from today's hike.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Summer Beach Series 2017: Point Loma

Welcome to the Dirty Hippy Summer Beach Series, a collection of my coastal cruises. During the summer, I will be visiting various beaches along the California coast (mainly SoCal) and sharing my snapshots with you. Enjoy!

Point Loma: Who says foggy days along the coast have to be drab?

Land of the lost... killer seascape/landscape.

Still a touch of spring color along the bluffs.

Overlook from Cabrillo National Monument, a personal fave.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery/Cabrillo National Monument Park. Thanks to all the men and women who have served.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse, built 1855.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Boys to Men Mentoring Network Starts Summer Surf Series With Donated Boards

I'm really stoked to be involved with the 100 Wave Challenge for Boys to Men again this year! We're already starting off with a bang! Check out this awesome segment by Shawn Styles with KFMB-TV.  Our community rocks!

CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Dirty Hippies Get Hitched By the Sea

'There's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it's sent away. " ~Sarah Kay

On Sept.20, 2014 I married my best friend by the sea. What a perfect way to celebrate our love with friends and family.
Dirty Hippies forever!

My bestie flew in from the other coast just to be at our wedding!
The venue, a friend's beachfront home, was perfect!

And then a mini honeymoon by the sea....

Monday, January 20, 2014

In Nature: A Martin Luther King Tribute

"For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver."
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

 As I trekked across the trail yesterday, I thought about what freedom means to me and how MLK's  legacy gave fruit to the environmental justice movement, ensuring that all people have the right to a clean and healthy environment. He often spoke about nature and its importance to humankind. 

To me, freedom is being able to enjoy nature in all of its raw beauty.  I think the best way to preserve nature is to protect it (from pollution and buildings) but to also leave it alone (i.e. no trail improvement projects). Nature was meant to be enjoyed in the raw, sans man's "messings."

Enjoy these photos I took on my Sunday hike.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Seeking Solitude: Dirty Hippies in the Desert

The last few years I have found it harder to escape the insanity of the fast-moving human race, especially in Southern California. The overbuilding and swelling population is putting a big squeeze on the remaining open spaces and nature in general. Even in my cul-de-sac, which just a few years ago was quiet, has elevated noise levels these days, which, for someone who works at home, can be maddening.

My boyfriend and I try to escape all the noise when we can, such as camping or going for a hike in the mountains or desert. We avoid camping on Friday and Saturday nights and on holidays since the masses tend to flock to campgrounds during those times, stock full of alcohol and rowdy behavior. 

Recently,  we made the short two-hour drive to the Anza Borrego Desert for a day/overnight trip, knowing that most of the weekend warriors would be leaving for their 9-to-5 jobs and to get the kids to school the next day. The great thing about the 600,000-acre Anza Borrego Desert is you can pretty much open camp anywhere, which means AWAY from people. Since our time was limited, however, we camped in the most convenient campground, which only had a handful of people. We even found a spot away from everyone. 
As soon as we got settled, we headed for the trail. Aside from the few passersby who we exchanged short pleasantries with, it was pretty quiet. I had found the solace I had been longing for. I even had to stop a few times on our hike to listen to the sound of “nothing.” It was glorious. We even enjoyed a rare sighting of one of the park’s big horn sheep. What an amazing sight. At the end of our trail we enjoyed the lush, tropical palm canyon and waterfall.

As the remarkable full moon rose over our campsite that night, the only sounds we heard were the howling of a ravenous pack of coyotes and the crackling of our fire. The stillness overnight was a Godsend.

I woke up to a beautiful and peaceful sunrise and was just getting our coffee ready when I heard the disruptive sounds of garbage trucks and beeping of construction equipment in the nearby town. My heart sunk and I began to cry. “I can’t even have peace and quiet for a full day,” I said.  My boyfriend suggested we pack up and move to a different part of the park. Instead, I toughed it out and several minutes later the commotion had subsided. We ate our breakfast and headed back out to the trail for one last short hike before hitting the road to the hustle and bustle of our hometown.
Once we hit the trail, I realized once again that silence really is golden.  Although I almost let the nearby construction noise ruin my morning, I was quickly reminded that there was a “quiet escape” nearby on the trail. The further we walked the further away from “civilization” we got and the more content I felt.
It reminded me of a quote I saw in the park’s visitor’s center: "Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it." ~Thomas Merton, monk

On our drive home, I thought about that quote and made a mental note to remind myself of that every time my stress and annoyance levels begin to rise due to all the “noise” around me. There are always “peaceful” places to escape – you just have to find them, or create them yourself, even if it means taking a sea salt bath with the windows closed and the fan on to block out any interruptions.  

I am thankful for the little solitude I did find in the desert and will hold onto that until I can go back for more.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Kooks Only...A Beach Retrospective

My home break in Cardiff-by-the-Sea

If you are lucky enough to live by the sea you are lucky enough. This is something that I remind myself of every time I surf (which is almost every day). Due to the huge influx of people in the line-up these days, however, it is becoming harder and harder to find that solace that I once enjoyed in the sea.
While there are still small pockets of soul surfers scattered throughout the SoCal coastline, many breaks have been polluted by armies of novices and stand up paddle boarders, many of whom do not know the first thing about being a  true surfer or etiquette in the line-up.

During a debate about this, someone recently asked me, "Isn't the ocean for everyone?" Well, that's the way it was intended, but it has gotten way out of control. Many "new" surfers are aggravating veteran surfers, which is causing a lot of unwanted animosity and bad vibes in the water.  Let's take SUPs, for example: My experience has been that many of these people on SUPs are abusing their privileges by taking every outside wave, being a hazard in the water, and then having a bad attitude about it. They are taking ownership of "my" waves. Not cool.
It's just like texting and driving. Many people are abusing their cell phone privileges  by texting and driving, which has, at times, many grave consequences.

As I reflect on this sad sea change, I wonder how our surfing forefathers would react to the Sport of Kings it once was. And furthermore, how do all the sea life feel about us humans taking over the ocean and claiming it as our own?
On a recent beach walk I came across this ironic sign spray painted on a sea wall:

Hmmm, maybe we are all just kooks?