Thursday, June 30, 2011

A walk in Crystal Cove

My friend had a great idea to hike the Crystal Cove State Park bike trail today with our dogs. Although we usually go for a more strenuous route, we decided that it was such a lovely day, and it would be great to be close to the ocean, so off we went.

We were greeted by the most gorgeous views of Pacific meets golden So Cal coastal chaparral. Just amazingly beautiful...

We couldn't have asked for a more picturesque day. Birds, lizards and squirrels were everywhere, darting about looking for shade, or a little morsel of food. We even saw a couple of endangered birds, but heck if I can remember what they were.

Here's the part of the park where the old cottages have been restored. It's a really cool place to stay if you are lucky enough to get a reservation through the California State Parks.

We walked past the old Date Shake Shack, which is now owned and run by Ruby's Diner.
Ruby's has restored the shack, and painted it in the old familiar yellow paint.
Here's a pic donned in white, from a few years ago.

Photo by: JaimeD.
Originally, it was painted yellow, then somewhere along the way some brain surgeon painted it white. Here it is today.

We walked right past, noticing that the place was opened for business, but not ready to slow down for a better look.

Here's a view from the highway, looking down on The Beachcomber Restaurant and the beach goers enjoying the park and beach.

Onward we trekked. We took the stairs beside the Date Shake Shack down behind the Beachcomber, then back up to the trail, just for a little leg-work.

Here's the view from the cottage that is now where guests register for their stay at the park.

Too many of the original cottages are crumbling away, waiting for renovation.

Intrepid hikers that we are, we kept up our pace, and kept moving forward. We saw a momma quail with   her brood. See the momma on the left? Yea, I know, I'm an amazing photographer!

And, check this out! A young Roadrunner, couldn't quite figure out where to dash off to, so stayed around for a lame photographer to snap a couple of pics.You're not going to like this, but that's a lizard in it's mouth. Lizard for lunch! Hey, roadrunners have to eat too, y'know.

At the end of the trail, we turned around and went back the same way we came, appreciating views from a different perspective.

That's when I felt my stomach begin to grumble and gurgle, a little reminder of just how damn hungry I was. We were still pretty far away from the car, so I was hoping I wouldn't faint dead away before we got back. That would have been just a little bit awkward for my friend.

As we walked past the Date Shake Shack, some nice person told us that it was free to eat today. That they were kicking off opening day by giving away free food and drinks. Really? We looked at each other, no joke? The fact that I was literally starving, and dreaming of something greasy to eat, I couldn't believe my luck! Yay, free food!

Here's the deck. They've just expanded it to fit 60 people.

The Park Rangers were in on the deal, too. Smile, guys!

Here's my friend's turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce, it looked delish. I'd show you my BLT with avo, but damn I was hungry, and I ate the whole thing with nothing to show for it except greasy napkins. 

The good news? I love free stuff, and food is about the best free stuff there is. The bad news? I'm so stuffed, I need to go home and take a really long nap. Ugh.


  1. I can't believe they had free food! Lucky you and you had a gorgeous day!


  2. sounds like you have a really cool friend!
    (and the endangered bird you saw was a california gnatcatcher--and it's nest!!) your pics of the tiny, baby quail and roadrunner turned out great, too!

  3. It's as if I was there with you. Love the wildlife! Love the free meal! That'd never happen in Australia!!

    You live in a beautiful part of the world ... so glad I get to see it through your blog.

  4. i want to do this!!!!!!!!! i don't know how far this is from me, but i am going to find out RIGHT NOW!

  5. What a great walk! The free food reward wasn't half-bad either!

    Happy, Waggin' Tails, FUREVER!
    Stumpy and me