Friday, April 15, 2016

Springtime in Poway, CA

We've spent the last week and a half in our favorite driveway site in Poway, CA courtesy of Hans' brother and sister-in-law. This is the first time we've parked here in the spring and we've enjoyed the bountiful bougainvillea blooms, the trees in the canyon full of leaves and bird song all day long...we are so fortunate to have this space available to us!

Gorgeous springtime driveway parking in Poway!


Iron Mountain is a popular hiking area in Poway (a suburb of San Diego). The main Iron Mountain trail is always crowded so we usually hike the Ellie Lane section; we love its relative solitude, steep workout among giant granite boulders, and terrific views of north east San Diego county.

Everything is incredibly green this year because we've had a decent amount of rain.
It's wonderful to see water in this stock pond which has been dry for a couple of years.

Hans, Bentley, Valerie and Norm take a breather on this perfect spring day for a hike.

Another day we hiked Mt. Woodson, made famous in recent years for its Potato Chip Rock. The last time we hiked here was over the winter holidays and this difficult trail was mobbed with young people who waited in line 20 or 30 deep to get a photo on Potato Chip Rock! We swore we'd never hike it during a holiday again.

This is a 7.5 mile out-and-back strenuous climb from Lake Poway with no shade so when a cool weekday opportunity came along we hit the trail. We enjoyed green chaparral covered hillsides dotted with spring flowers, gorgeous views and only a handful of people wanting photos on Potato Chip Rock...a perfect day on the trail!

There is no easy way up or down Potato Chip Rock,
good grippy hiking shoes make it possible to scale the granite surface.

It's not graceful but I made it!

The three young girls on the right were taking so much time trying to figure out how to get over to the Chip
that I just blasted my way on up during their indecision!

Fantastic views of the clouds receding to the north as we made our way back down the mountain.

Lake Poway surrounded by spring flowers.
Monday and Tuesday the lake is closed to fishing and boating so it's quite peaceful.

On one of our trips to Point Loma to visit my parents we made a stop at Liberty Station to check out the much hyped new Liberty Public Market. Liberty Station is an incredible repurposing of the former Naval Training Center which originally opened its doors to naval recruits in 1923.

In 2000 the city of San Diego took over this landmark property and built a variety of housing options and park space around the existing historical buildings. Retail and arts businesses have gone into the revitalized Spanish Colonial buildings, San Diego history is celebrated throughout the vast property as well.

The latest addition to this beautiful, vibrant center is Liberty Public Market (LPM). Similar to Seattle's Pikes Place Market or San Francisco's Ferry Market Building, LPM is a celebration of local San Diego vendors of specialty food and drink. It's easy to see why it's been a big hit since the day it opened.

Though smaller than the venues named above, LPM currently has a couple dozen stations of eclectic foods to order; meats, oils and produce to take home; and wine and beer bars for sipping. The outdoor patio is dog friendly and the surrounding park land and Liberty Station itself, is an inviting place for a stroll after a meal.

This is a wonderful use of the historic buildings of the former Naval Training Center.

Tempting!

Pasta anyone?



Dog friendly outdoor seating.

Today we move to Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve for a month. If all continues to go well with my moms health we'll head north from there for a summer in Orgeon. Though we've changed our plans to assist our parents this year, it's been a real pleasure to spend the spring in San Diego in a year that's had a good amount of rain, she's looking her very finest!

Giant Swallowtail seen at our awesome Poway driveway site.





22 comments:

  1. What a perfect year to be in San Diego for the spring:) I love all the green and flowers. Water in a previously dry pond is certainly a good sign. Hope it continues!

    The market looks great. The pastries are too pretty to eat. And I am a sucker for pastas! I love all different pastas and colors...fun!

    We loved both of those hikes! You and Hans took us to Iron Mountain "your way." It was a great trail! We need to redo Potato Chip Rock one day when it isn't vacation. But it was on Jessica's list when she was out there. Anything for the daughter:)

    Enjoy Santee Lakes! Maybe you can hike out back again...one can hope:)

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    1. Unfortunately we won't be able to hike up the canyon, the military is definitely on patrol and ticketing people...such a drag. We hope that one day they will designate a corridor that connects Mission trails Regional Park with the Goodan Ranch/Sycamore Canyon Preserve...fingers crossed!

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  2. I thought I was the only one who used Ellie Lane! You've let the local secret out :) However I checked Afoot & Afield and Jerry lists it as an 'underutilized' alternative! From your lunch spot on the rocks there's a nice trail to the Ramona Overlook that is also underutilized. To your readers if you want to do this hike do it soon - Funding is in place to put a Park'n'Ride in!

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    1. Yeah, Ellie Lane loop is the best kept secret to this trail system! It's definitely not for everyone though since it's pretty steep and rugged.

      Isn't it amazing that all the parking they created at the main trailhead is still always full!?!?!?

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  3. As beautiful as San Diego is in the winter, it has to bursting out all over in wonderfulness! Your great hikes are going on the list for our return. Potato Chip Rick is coolant!

    I love Point Loma. We will definitely check out LPM.

    Enjoy Santee Lakes. So glad to read your mom is doing better. I know you are so looking forward to Oregon...

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    1. Also, Potato Chip Rock can be reached via a shorter trail on the Ramona side of the mountain, it would only be about 3.5 miles RT...but still steep!

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  4. We just arrived in Oceanside at Paradise by the Sea Resort for my 13 weeks contract at the local hospital and will have to check out these places. You always have the best suggestions. We missed so many good things when we were here 11 years ago.

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    1. I wish I was more acquainted with northern SD coastal hikes to give you more ideas! We have an awesome couple of hikes we do in Del Mar...but that's as far north as we usually go for hikes along the coast. There are plenty of great hikes in north San Diego county inland areas.

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  5. Love your power up on the potato chip (great name) while indecision gripped others. "Grippy shoes" sounds like a great idea. Where can I get some? Love the repurposing of Liberty Station. Very glad to hear about your mom's continued improvement. I'd love to be spending the summer in Oregon. Can't wait to go along.

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    1. Hiking shoes in general are grippy...it's shoes like Keds with smoother soles that are not "grippy".

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  6. I couldn't get up the nerve to go out on Potato Chip rock, but it was still a good hike. We'll be in Oregon in June and July. Hope to see you there!

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  7. So glad to hear that your mom's health has improved enough so that you're able to head to Oregon for the summer. You'll be on our home turf. :-) So fun to see your beautiful adventures around Poway -- we enjoyed so much our extended stay there last spring, and did some of the same hikes. Liberty Public Market looks very cool! We'll definitely check it out next time we're visiting family.

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    1. Fingers crossed on Oregon, but things are looking good!

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  8. Loved how you showed those young girls how it is done, by climbing up Potato Chip Rock! Your pictures of San Diego area are beautiful. We really enjoyed our few days there and plan to go back again and spend even more time there. The hiking looks fantastic and you have just showed us how beautiful it really is, thanks!

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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    1. :-) Age and experience over youth and indecision!

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  9. Love that potato chip rock! I'd totally climb it! Where do you plan to go in Oregon? You'll have to let me know if you venture close to Portland. :) I can show you lots of good hikes.

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    1. We're going all over OR from June through Sept. We'll be in Portland the last two weeks of August and I do intend to be in touch with you!

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  10. You've earned a break out :) Enjoy it!

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  11. So, so glad to see water an green in SoCal! It has been too long. Love that you passed up the youngsters to grab the "chip" :-) That market looks amazing, what a perfect use for the closed training center! I love artisan food stores - sometimes just to window shop!

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  12. Enjoyed seeing all your clipping. Wonderful view of the clouds. Tempting foods. Sounds great that you should have had a wonderful trip...

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  13. Would love to climb that Potato Chip soon.

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