Monday, January 4, 2016

Wrapping up 2015 in Poway, CA

Our terrific month at Santee Lakes was followed by two weeks parked in Hans' brothers' driveway in Poway, a city in North San Diego County. Part of our stay was spent house and pet sitting while the family jetted off for their annual Christmas ski trip; the last few days of our stay included some good family time once they returned.

We were spoiled to have unlimited use of their big kitchen, washer and dryer, and a large shower with amazing water pressure! Oh, and a big, beautiful bathtub was a nice treat too!

We're tucked into a corner down a long driveway so you can hardly even see us from the street.
There's a small canyon behind us and a view of our hosts lovely back yard on the other side.

One of the extra special perks of house sitting!

Coyote in the back yard.

We still managed to get together with RV friends at a pre-Christmas gathering at Mission Bay RV Resort. Thanks Kate and Iain for putting together a fun evening in your lovely water front site!

We made new friends and reconnected with others over tasty appetizers and beautiful views.

Sunset from Kate and Iain's prime waterfront site at Mission Bay RV Resort.

Lake Hodges was just a few miles from our driveway site in Poway so we did some hiking there one day on the San Dieguito River Park trails.

Lake Hodges from the Piedras Pintadas Trail.

We also did some mountain biking at Lake Hodges.

Easy single track near the Lake Hodges dam.

RVing friends Rick and Trudy, whom we met in Red Lodge, MT this past summer, were staying in Oceanside. We met up with them in Del Mar for a nice five mile loop along the beach, up Crest Canyon, through fancy neighborhoods, and a delicious lunch at Board and Brew.

Hans and Trudy and Rick at Del Mar.

Hellhole Canyon Preserve is a remote north east San Diego County hiking destination. There are 13 miles of trails through the chaparral covered hills around Paradise Mountain and (currently dry) Paradise Creek. We hiked a strenuous eight mile lollipop loop that took us to the top of Paradise Mountain with impressive 360 degree views.

View of Paradise Mountain from the trailhead.
We had to drop several hundred feet to the creek bed before climbing to the summit...
lots of steep up and down on this hike!

Fantastic views for your efforts!

We had a delicious dinner and brews at Ballast Point Brewing on Miramar Rd. (they have several locations and this is the main brewery) along with Hans' brother Norm and wife Valerie. The Black Marlin Porter, Grunion Pale Ale and a unique kale salad were the highlights of our visit.

Ballast Point had a HUGE selection of beers on tap.
Our waiter even gifted us a dessert beer at the end of the evening,
a delicious orange/chocolate version of their Victory at Sea Imperial Porter.

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve is a popular open space preserve running between Interstates 805 and 15 in San Diego. We hiked a very pretty four mile out and back up the lightly traveled Lopez Canyon arm of the preserve with Norm and Val and Bentley right before we hitched up for our move to Mission Bay.

One last hike with Norm and Val and Bentley before we left their very pleasant driveway site.

Our driveway stay was a perfect ending to a really fantastic year of travel. Many thanks to Norm and Val for their hospitality!

2016 is shaping up to be a little different for us...but the details will have to wait as our plans evolve in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Metamorphosis Road!

A big Thank You for reading our blog and sharing the journey with us!


  1. Wondered what happened to you two since I hadn't heard from you in quite a while. Now I see how busy you were. Sweet to have relatives with such a nice big FLAT driveway to park in while you house sit such a great place. Love that fantastic sunset from the Mission Bay site.

    1. We have a lot of variety in the places we stay in San Diego...I love that!

  2. You're killing us with all the beer drinking! We haven't found any as good as what we had in San Diego.
    Hope you have a great 2016!

    1. We really are fortunate that our annual home visit happens to be in a great beer city!

  3. I love your journey! And it's always a treat to read about them and see them thru your lens! Looks like some great hikes, tasty brews, yummy food and best of and friends to share them!

    I will be " googling" those hikes!

    1. You two would probably enjoy Lake Hodges and Los Penasquitos canyon hiking. Oh, and Crest Canyon too!

  4. Looks like some great hikes and brews! And fancy digs. I enjoy reading your blog and seeing where the road takes you. Hope we get to meet up someday - if you do pass through Portland this year, let me know!

  5. Well, it sure looks like a great time on Santee and Hans' brother:) Nothing better than meeting up with friends for hikes, beer, and food:) I did love our waterfront site at Mission Bay. That alone would be enough to bring me back. Looking forward to seeing you in February. Enjoy Mission Bay!

    1. Maybe next time we'll splurge for a bay site at Mission Bay...

  6. Happy New Year Lisa and Hans!
    Thanks for catching us up and I hope we cross each other soon… preferably at a brewery :)
    Box Canyon Mark

    1. A combination of trail and brewery would be the perfect way to meet up!

  7. What a fabulous place you have to park in Poway -- that bathtub looks sooo luxurious! Eric's sister and bro-in-law have a beautiful home in Poway, but the driveway is a long, steep hill so no driveway camping for us. :-( Love those trails around Lake Hodges -- next time we're in San Diego, we'll have to try out some of the other beautiful hikes you suggested. Looking forward to following along with you in your 2016 adventures, and hoping we can finally meet up in person! Wishing you all the best in this year!

  8. Cliffhanger! Breathlessly awaiting .... Kim

    1. Ha! It's not that exciting...there will be lots of San Diego.

  9. Replies
    1. I know, right? I loved a long hot bath after a stressful day when I had a house. Of course now that I am retired there are much fewer stressful days!

  10. Wow, look at that bathtub! how luxurious! I think it is a treat to be in a stick house even for just a week.
    We are looking forward to our winter there next year and i will be busy culling your archives for hikes and beer and rv parks. For sure Mission Bay is in our sight too.
    Hope we can meet up in Feb if you are swinging by in Tucson, if not hope to see you in SD in winter if you will be there again :)

  11. A big tub is definitely one of the few "misses" for me! Love the local coyote :-) What a great time you're having - looks like you've been dodging all the rain. Love the pic of the lake from the trail. Happy 2016 to you and Hans