Peñasquitos Preserve, Waterfall to the West End

I have hiked in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, but always approaching from the east and hiking to the waterfall. By “hike,” I mean easy walk. I knew that the preserve trails continued all the way into Sorrento Vally, just east of the 5 and 805 freeways… by the way, you know how to peg a Native Californian? By how they refer to all highways and freeways as “The + Number,” no matter where they live. My Indiana friends always thought I was nuts to say “The 465,” or “Remember that 4th of July weekend when Bryan’s accident shut down The 65 North to Chicago?” If you would like an easy, but long-ish hike, I recommend this walk. And it was a beautiful day for this beautiful walk.

Looking north, towards Del Mar and Rancho Penasquitos
Looking north, towards Del Mar and Rancho Penasquitos
Looking South, towards Sorrento Valley
Looking South, towards Sorrento Valley

These two photos are taken from the same spot, I just turned 180 degrees. The south slopes of the canyon received more rain this winter, maybe?

One of the sages that grows in California. Smells soooo good!
One of the sages that grows in California. Smells soooo good!

This is one of the native sages that grows in California. I mentioned the chaparral in this earlier post- Two Mile Monkey is Off My Back

Purple Nightshade... don't eat it.
Purple Nightshade… don’t eat it.

Wildflowers, trees and scrub were blooming everywhere thanks to the earlier rains. We passed bunches of Purple Nightshade and Blue-Eyed Grass… fortunately, we didn’t cross paths with any rattlesnakes.

The Headache-Preventing Nice Guy Award goes to....
The Headache-Preventing Nice Guy Award goes to….

And all of these photos? Taken with my iPhone 5s. Because when I went to take the first picture of the waterfall, with my Christmas Nikon D3300… that’s when I figured out that the battery was dead. Duh. But what a nice guy is The Husband? He carried the dead weight the whole three hours so I didn’t get a headache from having it hang around my neck. What a guy!

View of Sycamore Crossing, looking west toward La Jolla and Sorrento Valley
View of Sycamore Crossing, looking west toward La Jolla and Sorrento Valley

The walk we took was about four miles starting at the western entrance of the Peñasquitos Preserve accessed on Park Village Road, and ending all the way west on Sorrento Valley Blvd.

West end of the walk. There is parking somewhere around here... look it up.
West end of the walk. There is parking somewhere around here…  go look it up yourself. Just kidding. Click on this photo and it will link you to a map of this area, parking, and trails.

The weather was perfect- lots of clouds, some sun and a nice onshore breeze. From the start of our walk to the end the paths were hopping with mountain bikers and other walkers, dogs and horses. It was a beautiful day! The round trip 8.2 mile walk totaled just over three hours. Did I mention what a beautiful day it was? Gorgeous.

The Two Mile Monkey is Off My Back

I did it. I finally did it.

I ran two miles. Straight. No stopping! Well, we aren’t going to count stopping at the water fountains at either end of the neighborhood park are we? No, we are not. This is my blog about my new things. I get to make the rules, so, shaddap. And yes, I want a medal.

At one point this summer, this guy was faster than me.
At one point last summer, this guy was faster than me.

The Kinesthetically Omniscient Husband commented on my morning run yesterday. It has taken me over a year of off and on practice- mostly on, thankyouverymuch, but I’m overjoyed to say that most mornings I run two miles. The problem is, after around the first mile I slow to a walk at a water fountain, stop for a good ten minutes of yoga(ish) stretching and deep breathing, then continue with the second mile. The Husband, a life-long active type, reminded me to be careful that I wasn’t just training myself to take a break at one mile… he also knows that I have the goal to run a 5K this year. Dammit. Should have kept my goals to myself.

All I can say is, it was still a beautiful and perfect day to step it up. The wind was blowing just right and instead of the aroma of my and every neighbor’s stale refuse (PSA- Don’t run on a trash day), the run was filled with the smell of sweet grasses and roses. Seriously, roses. Everyone’s roses are blooming profusely right now (sorry, Midwest and Northeast friends. Just stop reading now!).

Roses. In February.
Roses. In February.
So. Cal. is awash in chaparral of sages and indigenous oaks. The vegetation smells wonderful as you hike through it.
So. Cal. is awash in chaparral of sages and indigenous oaks. The vegetation smells wonderful as you hike through it.

All of the earlier winter rains we received in the Southwest have contributed to the most wonderful flowers and grasses in our canyons and natural areas. One good onshore breeze and you are in heaven, believe me. The chaparral here is full of different kinds of sage and herbs- The Husband has a friend who puts the local sage in his home-brewed beer. One fellow cyclist commented “Hey! It tastes like a bike ride!”

I’m just happy I finally broke that straight through the two miles barrier. Next goal: add in the hills. Am I going to regret sharing this? I hope not.