The hike I did last week proved quite beneficial to my state of mind, so I decided I’d do it again this weekend. This time, I headed for the coast line. I drove along Pacific Coast Highway until I reached Laguna Beach. Initially I’d planned to hike Laguna Coast Wilderness Parkย to do the more strenuous hill climbs but Crystal Cove State Park is less than a mile away and I was hoping to see some tidepools anyway. So off it was to Crystal Cove, where a quiet shoreline greeted me:

There were a few groups out and about, but the unusually overcast morning kept people off the beach.

I walked in spurts and would stop to shoot if I saw something neat. I tracked my route with the Runkeeper app for fun, just to see how far I could go before tiring out or getting too hungry. I suppose it wasn’t really too much of a serious workout hike, but isn’t that the point of weekends? To let yourself relax and unfold from life, even just for a few hours.

The remains of cottages from Crystal Cove’s historic district.

Crystal Cove is great for nature photographers. I saw several folks out with big telephoto lenses. It looked like fun because there’s a lot to see–I believe most California state parks are protected wildlife reserves as well. There are many interesting looking birds that call the beach their home.

Barnacle-covered rocks dot the shoreline.

There’s a section of the beach where tidepools form during a certain time of the day. I didn’t really plan my visit specifically for tidepool observation; rather, I just crept out onto the rocks to see what was around in the crevices.

I captioned these but I’m not entirely sure at what we’re looking at. All I know is the hermit crab did scuttle about and that was fun to watch. You don’t really see anything but his little legs. People are warned not to disturb the tide pools, so I tried my best to step around carefully.

The REI fleece jacket from my DC trip was good at keeping me warm. It’s not sweat-wicking, so I did shrug it off midway through the hike. I brought it along for the zippered pockets and the tall collar.

I feel restored when I come back from days like this. The combination of physical activity + challenging my photographic creativity is the best stress-reliever I’ve discovered for myself. It also makes me appreciate my home region a lot more. There is a lot to experience in Southern California, and it makes me proud to show it off. We are known for Disneyland, Los Angeles, Hollywood, bad traffic, and earthquakes (ha!) but there’s so much more to the area than its reputation.

Thanks for dropping by today–keep your eyes peeled for a March Acquistions/OOTD post later this week. See you soon!


10 thoughts on “Coasting

  1. Beautiful pictures! I like how the beach looks on an overcast day, the sun is overrated and distracting, haha. I’m definitely going to drive myself to the seaside to unwind after I get this paper out of the way.

    1. Thanks Roxy. They’ve also increased parking fees! It makes more sense to get a year’s access pass now at $15/day. It’s just like parking at Disneyland…

    1. Thank you! In Southern California, the tourists (and locals!) are never far away. It was a random overcast morning that thinned the otherwise omnipresent crowd at our coasts. Somehow it’s still beautiful–just a lot more challenging photographically because of the lighting situation.

    1. It is chockfull of wildlife! I’m not well-versed in aviary so I can’t tell you what was there, but there were BIG birds hanging out on the farther rocks (maybe 2-3 ft tall on their legs?) and small ones that walk funny (think the Roadrunner’s mincing little steps, if you’re familiar with that cartoon.)

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