Beautiful Day

It was a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
Beautiful day
Touch me
Take me to that other place
Reach me
I know I’m not a hopeless case
What you don’t have you don’t need it now
What you don’t know you can feel it somehow
What you don’t have you don’t need it now
Don’t need it now
It was a beautiful day
by U2
Quick update on my journey in life. Carolyn works for Southwest Airlines and I do a part-time retirement gig for Hilton and we have been enjoying the hookup. So a new year, a new day, and it was a beautiful day.
Some time early in the week, I had mentioned that we should go to San Diego and escape some of the wintery colder weather in Arizona. Carolyn responded that sure lets jump on a plane and go but only if we hike Mt. Woodson a place that harbors the infamous “potato chip rock”. I get the hotel and Carolyn lists us on the flight. Traveling light with backpacks that contain backpacks for water plus one change of clothes and deodorant, etc. We have got this down pretty well.
I’m always a bit hesitant flying standby but Carolyn has us listed on a plane that actually has some vacant seats (7:00 am departure). The first hurdle is done and we arrive in San Diego at about the same time as we left. Our next adventure is to ride public transportation (the bus) to Poway, CA and our hotel where we can keep our stuff and head on over to the hike. After a couple minor missteps, we catch the first bus and head to downtown San Diego, make our bus connection and we arrive at the Karlan Doubletree around 9:30. Brian checks up and he is about as pleasant a young man you could ever have. We get our room, eat breakfast, call Lyft and take our eight mile drive.
We are on the trail by about 10:45 and with the schools being on break, we expect some crowds around the summit and potato chip. From Lake Poway we hike around 4 miles with a total elevation gain of about 2100 feet so it is challenging. The scenery is fantastic as you can see all the way to the Pacific, into downtown San Diego, and looking north, you can see some snowcapped mountain which just might be San Jacinto Peak. The very top has many antennas for radio, etc but you just have to get over that. It would be sort of like South Mountain in Phoenix that has multiple antennas at the top.

The crowds aren’t to bad but of course there are 30 to 50 folks hanging out to get their photo taken on the potato chip. I have to get my photos and it is a bit intimidating to get to the chip as you have to jump out to it. Carolyn opts out.

We have made to “Potato Chip” but we still have a short walk to the summit. So up we go to the top of Mount Woodson. No crowd here as everybody is hanging out for that perfect photo op. Nice and quiet with views everywhere.

As we have conquered the summit before 1:00 pm, and considering we started in Phoenix, I’m thinking we have done a whole lot for a day but the whole afternoon awaits. As we descend to the Mt. Woodson trailhead we make a decision to hike the long way back by continuing on the Lake Poway trail that circles the reservoir and adds two more miles to our hiking adventure.

On to our next Lyft and this time we get a retiree from Scottsdale to drive us to a well deserved small close by brewery: Abnormal Beer Company. Very appropriate for me being an abnormal individual. This is all part of the Cork and Craft which a very cool setting for beer and wine. You know the place must be good when the head brewer once worked at Green Flash. I go with the Mocha Stout and Carolyn snags their the Abnormal Blonde Ale. By the way their poutine was very good and it filled us up.

Next brewery stop on our way back to the hotel is Second Chance Beer Company. From their site it states, “Every day is a second chance, so get out there and seize yours. Build the world you want. Strive for greatness and forge your own path. Possibilities are endless. Start your journey and come raise a pint with us.” That my friends, that fits me perfectly and is the perfect spot to end our day’s adventure. The place is crowed, the bartender is friendly and informative and the locals include a school teacher that I got to visit with.

What a day, but we still have to get home. We start out our day with a walk to Costco. Why not? I love Costco and we find a couple clothing buys to bring back home. Once again we take public transportation (the bus senior fare $1.25 and Carolyn’s fare of 2.50). Sure saved us a whole bunch of money. So to make up for our saving money, we hit several happy hours. First up Barleymash. Great happy hour with a great bourbon and whiskey list and most are half off during happy hour. So I tried the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon and it did not disappoint. Smooth, smooth, easy sipping bourbon. The quail wings were fantastic and they even bought us beer. Server was outstanding, friendly, and what a pleasant surprise with a free beer. Our last stop before the airport has started to become a tradition for us. Ironside Fish and Oyster is a favorite as we pick up some oysters for a buck each during their happy hour and their clam chowder is so good. Bartender was great and gave us some more hiking ideas for when we return. From Ironside, we walked about a mile and a half, got on our flight with no problem and were home and in bed by 11:30.

Not a bad start for a new year with a new adventure. It really was a Beautiful Day.

 

About timfruth

Longtime public educator who recently retired from public education. Messed around in politics as a town councilor and vice mayor. I am a father and a husband who drives a shuttle van for the retirement gig. Love the outdoors and rapidly adjusting to a new me.
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