Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Our Trip to the Channel Islands

This past January, Andrew and I headed for a camping/anniversary trip out to the Channel Islands. AND IT WAS GORGEOUS! Truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and incredible that this completely unplugged, untouched by civilization island is less than 50 miles away from hectic LA. I warn you, my photos simply do not do it justice, but you'll just need to get over that- and then go see for yourself! So much of the geography of the island reminded me of Ireland, but with distinctly Californian weather. The rolling hills, the clear blue sea- I was at home.

For some background, the Channel Islands are a group of 5 islands off the coast of Ventura, CA that form a National Park. Some of the islands are off limits to... everyone, some have a handful of NPS employees, and a couple are available for visitors. We camped at Santa Cruz island's Scorpion Harbor (no, there are no scorpions... that we saw) for a quick weekend trip and it was spectacular. Around 25% of Santa Cruz island is National Park land with the rest being owned by the Nature Conservatory. The official population on the island is a whopping 2, but boat concessionaires bring groups out daily. I would highly recommend camping, but if you are going just for a day trip come prepared. There is no food, no trashcans (you must pack everything out with you), and no paved roads. We saw a couple people with sandals and baby strollers. I'm going to go out on a limb here, but they didn't look like they were having the best time.

Those that live in glass houses, though... We had one hell of a morning before we were even ON the island. Andrew- I'm speaking to you here. I promise to do my best to try to keep my head on straight before our next adventure. Because the scene was not pretty. There was a complete lack of sleep due to the boat company stressing how imperative it was to get to the boat an hour early (completely and laughably unnecessary- literally it wasn't even open yet), the harbor being 2 hours from our house, and going out for a big celebratory dinner for our 1st year wedding anniversary the evening before. To say we were a little bleary eyed would be a massive understatement. The boat ride was beautiful though and for about an hour we chased sea lions, dolphins, and a couple whales.

Once we were on land, we headed to set up our camp site and this photo just makes my heart happy. Andrew and I spent the day of our actual 1st year anniversary out on the island, so this photo will live in my heart. It is definitely a difference from what we were doing 365 days before.

Our main reason for going out was the hiking and it did not disappoint. I may be prejudiced, but since we had received some rain (basically a miracle) the week before, the island was stunningly green! I would absolutely recommend checking out this hiking guide. We did the 7.5 mile strenuous hike to Smugglers Cove backwards- meaning that instead of hiking down the really steep part, we hiked up. Oooops- I shouldn't be in charge of the map. 

This photo is for my mom. She gets upset if you just post pics of things and not people. Here you go, Janny!

Then the next morning after some delicious dehydrated food (THIS IS SARCASM, FOLKS), we headed to Potato Harbor. This hike had incredible ocean views and was much more of a moderate intensity level. We got adventurous though and had our lunch on a cliff overlooking the Pacific... won't lie, I was terrified the whole time. We were even able to spot a couple of blue whales off the coast- incredible.

 So a couple days letter, very sweaty and even more in love, that was the end of our Channel Island anniversary weekend.

Happy Thursday,

1 comment:

  1. This looks so beautiful. It makes me anxious for Spring so I can put my hiking shoes on again! I've done some winter hiking here and there but it just isn't the same.