Friday, April 3, 2015

The Mushroom Caves

This morning I had 13 miles on the calendar. A friend was down from Irvine and invited some folks to go hike. I figured I would try and fit in my run before meeting up with them around 9am, which meant early to bed and early to rise!

I got up at 5 when my alarm abruptly woke me from my slumber (how rude!). I had a text from my friend that they would just pick me up from where I was running instead of having to meet them, which meant I didn't have to start as early - YIPEEEE! I knew I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep, but I still got to snuggle on the couch with the pup for a bit before heading out (Who turns down time for puppy cuddles?! NOT ME!)

I got down to Carlsbad around 6:15am. The sun was just starting to come up, but there was still a slight "chill" to the air (chilly for us since it was only 52* :)).

Sunrise from the car on the way down to Carlsbad
(Don't worry, I took this picture when I was stopped at a stop sign)

I wore a light jacket (it is florescent green so I thought not only would it help with the cooler temps it would also help folks to see me), a tank top and a pair of capris.

This was before I started running - but you can see how thin
it is... So once I started sweating it was VERY apparent!

I had to take off the jacket around mile 6 because it was DRENCHED in sweat - yummy, huh?! I mean it literally felt like I was a wrestler trying to cut weight and wearing one of those sweat suit things. The sleeves were soaked and sticking to me (not a pretty picture, right?) and I just needed to take it off.

A sign near my turn-around spot (at Spy Optic)

Another business sign

Hard not to enjoy the views when running along the coast

It was still a little chilly out, but the cooler temps made it so I didn't have to bring water with me (there are plenty of drinking fountains along the beach and in the camp grounds I was running in). It also helped me keep my pace faster (my last two long runs had pretty slow paces because the temps were in the 80-90 degree range).

I park near a rose garden, so while I cool down I check out
all of the pretty flowers

Not too shabby. AND I hit my step count goal by 7:13am ;)

I made my way back to the car, drank lots of water, and ate a Mint Chocolate PROBAR (holy yum!). Once I finished I got to hang out on the cliffs and watch the surfers for a bit. (As Brian said, Carlsbad? More like CarlsGOOD!)

Ignore the weird face (the sun was bright), but this bar is DELISH!

What a rough life we have, huh?

The ladies came by and grabbed me around 9:30am and we made our way down to Solana Beach to find the elusive Mushroom Caves. Let me be honest - although it was supposed to be about a 3 mile hike we weren't exactly sure where we were going and it turned into more of a 5 mile hike (oops). We tried to follow the "directions" from this blog, but they were pretty generic since so many people go and destroy the area.

We ended up parking here, but it probably added an extra mile to our hike

The weather was absolutely perfect!
Not too hot and an amazing sea breeze coming off the ocean.

Obviously Carlee is ruining the picture... SORRY!

No trail? NO PROBLEM!

One of the "bridges" we had to trek over

The views did NOT suck!

Pretty perfect if you ask me!

WARNING - We did have to trespass (apparently if you are following the No Trespassing signs you are on the right path), but thankfully no one was shot on sight ;) We were very cautious and made sure to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures.

Oops... It was sort of like "Follow the yellow brick road"

With the limited rain we've received lately it is still pretty green out there

The "caves" are pretty awesome. They are made of sandstone so they are pretty easy to carve in. This tons of graffiti all throughout the area. We didn't go back very far (due to our extra mileage we were running short on time), but what we saw was still cool (and shoot, now we know how to get there for future trips, or at least I hope ;)).

I'm not sure how long these carving take, but some were pretty intricate

Some of the areas get pretty skinny

Some areas would open up more than others

Entering the labyrinth 

It was like they really did NOT want people going up there...
They had chopped down some trees and put the branches all
over the different paths... WON'T STOP US!

It started getting warmer the longer we were out exploring

Some of the art was cool, some was just lame

A singing angel?

Scary but awesome

Obviously the cacti wear sombreros in the mushroom caves!

Who knew all this was back next to the lagoon? 

There were a few tight squeezes

A fellow trespasser was hiking by and offered to take
a group shot for us! 

Squeezing through the sandy maze

After a morning of running and hiking, an Acia bowl was JUST what the doctor ordered! We made our way over to Sambazon and got our grub on!

It was a super fun (and pretty active) morning! I'm stoked to bring the hubby back to the caves! Oh yeah, and get some good sleep tonight ;)

Do you ever trespass? 


Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm I seem to remember a "family trespass" at maumee bay state park. 😁

Run with Sole said...

What an awesome hike! I may have to join you the next time you go 😀