Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hiking San Diego's Highest Mountain

In honor (or in spite of) Valentine's Day, I decided to tackle the Matterhorn of San Diego. Duhn duhn duhn....Cowles Mountain. At just over 1.5 miles, it's our own little version of Mount Everest.

So gathering up Lil' M (plus a plastic dog bowl and doodie bags for her), bottled water and plenty of sunscreen, my little sister and I headed out to East County.

On-street parking was pretty easy, considering how crowded it was. There were people carrying babies vying for trail space with serious fitness nuts who were trying to jog up the path. There were the couples out for a Sunday stroll squeezing past the octogenarians with their walking sticks. And there was every shape, variety and mix of dogs bounding around and tangling the leash up between their owner's legs.

Ok, so this isn't the most flattering shot but considering we were hot and sticky and had to hold the camera ourselves, I don't think it turned out too bad.

Since San Diego is basically in a desert, the mountains here are very dry and look like God or someone up above got mad one day and rained rocks down on the landscape. (I've been way out in the desert, near the AZ border and it looks like Mars--the only thing you can see for miles are rocks).

The climb up is pretty steep and you will get winded (although there is a taco shop at the bottom of the mountain for that post-workout snack--although word to the wise on something I learned the hard way, the Spanish word for lard is manteca and in a lot of the mom and pop taco stands around here, they love them some manteca).

Supposedly, on a clear day you can see all the way to TJ (Tijuana), although truth be told, I'm not sure why you would want to see TJ, on a clear day or not.

We only made it about a third of the way up because little sis needed a potty break and trying to be a good role model, I didn't want to suggest that she squat behind a rock (even though I had napkins in my backpack, lol).

The climb kind of reminded me of Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica., except this was a lot hotter and drier. But you still had to climb up a mountain of rocks to reach the top (although this time tour guides didn't make you hold hands with the creepy tourists behind and in front of you--the idea being that they could steady you if you fell. But the reality being if one person fell, they would take down the whole line of tourists like a stack of dominos).
See picture to the left.

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