Tag Archives: Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Cuyamaca Peak

VIA THE AZALEA GLEN LOOP

CUYAMACA RANCHO STATE PARK

Activity: Day Hike, Peak Bagging

8 Miles, 6,512’ elevation, 1870’ elevation gain, 4 hour duration, rated Moderate

Date: 11-10-21

Cuyamaca Peak is one of the “Six Pack of Peaks” coveted by Peak Baggers for being the second highest peak in San Diego County. The views from the top stretch from Mexico to the Coronado Islands, San Jacinto, to Granite Mountain in Anza Borrego, and it really is quite spectacular.

The State Park Charges $10 for day use, and there is a campground there if you are so inclined. This hike is a loop and I recommend doing it counter clockwise. If I had more time I might have done the hike as an out and back utilizing the Azalea Glen Trail portion in both directions. The second portion of this hike is down a paved fire road and that certainly is not my favorite, but you can cruise down it relatively quickly.

The hike starts out rather flat and gentle weaving through a wooded area with a variety of trees such as oak, alder and pine. Even though this area is recovering from one of the worst wildfires, a large portion of the trail is shielded from that view as the brush is built up along the trail. The hike becomes steeper adding some switch backs and you will experience some rocky areas so sturdy hike boots are a plus. You will be dumped out on a dirt fire road for a small section before taking the Conejos Trail all the way toward the summit where the final section is on the paved fire road called Lookout Road. On top you will have astounding views all around.

This state park had a series of incidents in the 80’s and 90’s regarding mountain lion attacks one which was fatal. Encounters with cougars are very rare. If you have a backpack on, leave it on to protect your back and neck as much as possible. If you should run across one of these animals make yourself big, wave your arms, throw rocks and sticks, yell at it, and do not crouch down. How do you pick up a rock? Well, that is a good question. We have all seen that one viral video where the mountain lion followed the guy for like a mile, and every time he bent over to pick up a rock it charged all fangs and claws, but when he finally did get a rock and flung it at the large cat it took off in a flash. The good news is those attacks were a long time ago and nothing like that has happened in over 25 years.

As I mentioned I took the paved route down on the Lookout Fire Road as shown on the map. It was late in the day so I just cruised down the road. Not the natural feeling that I felt on the way up, but it was quicker.

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure YouTube Channel, CLICK THE PIC.

Views from the top are pretty astounding.
“Of all the paths you take in life make sure A few of them are dirt.” – John Muir

Thanks for coming along on this trek up Cuyamaca Peak. People have been ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ in this area for 7000 years. To ensure that you remain on this journey to self fulfillment please COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. If you peruse the menu above you will find that PBTA ventures to many fine locales throughout the West, so you should be able to uncover plenty of inspiration there. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. If you need Adventure Wear, such as that pictured, you can find top quality gear with the Pursuing Balance Through Adventure Logo and Mantra at SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Penasquitos Falls Loop via Carmel Valley

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve

Activity: Day Hike, Chasing Waterfalls

5 miles, 550 elevation gain, 3 hour duration, rated Moderate

Date: May 6, 2021

This hike descends into a canyon rather steeply and there are loose rocks, so watch your footing. When you’re on top there are houses and power lines, all the things you are trying to get a break from.  Once you drop down into the canyon you gain much more of that natural ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ feel that you’re looking for with oaks, hills, streams and a quaint waterfall that’s so scenic that it it appears it could be the model for an A List Celebrities’ backyard.   It has several drops to it, but it is not very tall.  What Penasquitos Creek Falls lacks in stature it makes up for in South West ambiance.

San Diego’s Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve boasts varied habitats chaparral, marsh, grassland, and woodland.

While I was making my way along the trail, I caught a glimpse of a dark figure stretching it’s neck and eyeing me. It stayed as still as a grave not moving a muscle.  I snapped a pic of what I thought was a coyote while others are saying a dog. But to me the ears and the sharp snout and the slightness of it’s frame and shoulders. I thought it was a coyote. Also it was on it’s own and quite skittish. If I stayed still it would have continued be motionless, but when I took that first step In that direction it vanished like a ghost not down the trail, rather into the underbrush and without the slightest sound.  Like many SoCal trails there was plenty of scat to indicate a healthy and thriving coyote community, so I still say coyote.

It’s all water over the falls.  
Waterfalls need to be seen in motion. Click the pic to go to the PBTA YouTube Channel

Thanks for joining me on this fun hike into Penasquitos Canyon Preserve where the sound of rushing water tumbling over rock just sort of puts everything back together and really puts one at ease. For more mending experiences in nature stay with me by doing a couple of very simple things: LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE. The menu above shows many wonderful spots throughout the West that PBTA chases that equilibrium that we all need. The escape we desire from the mundane and the monotonous, as well as the Helter Skelter of modern life. Each location is a separate Website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. Click this link: SHOP APPAREL for top adventure gear from PBTA. Each piece carries the logo and mantra.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

IRON MOUNTAIN

Near Poway

Activity: Day Hike, Peak Bagging

Distance: 6 miles, 1,129’ elevation gain, 2.5 hour duration, rated Moderate

Date: 5-20-21

The mostly single track trail is well marked along scenic rolling hills of rock and chaparral. Much of the journey is along a rocky path, sturdy shoes are suggested. The trek to Iron Mountain sets out flat, then begins the incline.  Heading up to the summit hikers must tackle quite a few switch backs. 

This is one of the more popular hikes in the area and one of the tallest peaks in Poway. The day I was there we were experiencing the Spring time phenomenon known as “May Gray”, (marine layer that usually burns off later in the day), which gave Iron Mountain a moody vibe, unfortunately this also blocked the view at the summit. The Boy Scouts had an excellent viewing scope at the top to point out what we would have seen. 

I met a couple, the woman was wearing a Forest Ranger shirt. It turns out she recently lost her brother who was a Forest Ranger. She was wearing his shirt on hikes as a tribute of his life, which I thought was very touching.

Iron Mountain is certainly a fun and enjoyable hike. Even though the sights were not what they could have been the May Gray kept it from being too hot and the surrounding terrain was still wonderful.

“Everyday is all we have.” – Will Ferrel, ‘Downhill’

I hope that you enjoyed the jaunt to Poway’s Iron Mountain while ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’. I love the rocky chaparral covered hillsides. In order to love more adventures in nature with the goal of balancing out a busy work a day life please: FOLLOW, LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE. To enjoy other spots in the West that are filled with natural beauty go to the menu above, each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. You will need adventure wear and I literally have you covered at SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Trestles Wetland Nature Preserve Loop

San Onofre

Activity: Hiking, surfing, biking, bird watching

4 miles, 263’ elevation change, 90 minute duration, rated Easy

Trestles is the famed surf spot that the Beach Boy’s sang about in ‘Surfin’ USA’. Trestles is named after the railroad trestle over a portion of the Trestles Wetland. Trestles consists of three distinct areas each with a little different wave: Uppers, Middles, and Lowers. Trestles is the site of the World Surf League Finals in Sept of 2021.

Trestles Beach is located at the Northern Tip of San Onofre State Beach in North San Diego County. The access is through San Clemente which is the boundary between the OC and San Diego County.

Park on Cristiantios Road not to far from where it crosses the 5 San Diego Freeway, close to Carl’s Jr. There is a dirt path trailhead that heads through a brushy area under the freeway and under the train trestle and then on to the beach. It is about a 15 minute walk.

It’s a cool beach in that it has a natural feel as you come up over a little sand dune area to it. Also because there is not parking lining the beach, such as Huntington Beach-Surf City USA or some of the popular San Diego Beaches. Trestles is like a step back in time as you head down that dirt path to the beach. The Trestles Wetland Nature Preserve gives Trestles some of that natural scenery as it basically is untouched.

The beach itself is broad with a few too cool for school surf cabanas. Since it is a haul to get yourself down to the water, along the sandy path, up and down the beach, to the favored surf spot, with your wet suit and your board you’ll notice that most of the surfers have e-bikes with fat tires and a mount for their board.

My son Alec and I checked out the break, the surfers, and walked along the sandy stretch of golden sand as far north as we could go before we ran out of beach with the tide reaching the rocks. We followed a couple of surfers tip toeing along the railroad ties for a portion and then back on the beach heading south towards the now decommissioned San Onofree Nuclear Power Plant.

On our return we rejoined the Trestles Wetland Nature Preserve Loop, which took us up a bluff through a brushy area. I have to say that the nature preserve isn’t really something that you would come to see, at least I wouldn’t. It is a just a thicket that is completely natural and looks like you would have to have a machete to penetrate. I have heard that it is a bird watchers spot. Once you make it up on the bluff the path joins a roadway that is used by runners, walkers, and bikers and continues towards San Onofre State Park. We followed it North back to the dirt path we had come in on.

“Dude, there’s like some gnarly waves out there to day, ya’ know. It’s like a totally awesome lineup with killer overhead barrel rolling in. Picture this- down the face, bottom turn, off the lip, the tube cover up! Dude!!! You are so happen’n!” – Roger Jenkins

Thanks for joining son Alec and I for a day at the beach. I love the beach so much, and it is so fun to checkout the stupendous beaches California has to offer. Stay with us for more hikes, and beach adventures by doing these very simple things: FOLLOW, LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE. If you go up to the menu you will discover the many places that ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ romps. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. I am sure that will give you ideas about leaving the couch and your computer behind, setting out on your own adventure in nature, and in doing so release some of the stress and toxins brought on by a hectic world. Adventure such as this is the first step in seeking a more harmonious balance. If you need a hat to keep the bright California sun out of your eyes or from burning your nose go to SHOP APPAREL. The cool PBTA logo adventure wear even has some shirts with UPF 50+ Protection!

Life’s a Beach-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure