As promised before I went again to Poway Lake and dared Mt. Woodson for the second time, and this time I made it all the way to the summit. The hike took about one and half hour, but at the summit one is rewarded with amazing views from the top and ... the potato chips rock, which you see on the picture to the right. By far this was the longest, highest, most difficult, and most fascinating of all hikes I have done in my life so far.
I wanted to stand on the ledge and have a picture taken there, but I found a very long line of people waiting to do the same, so after waiting for thirty minutes, I decided to move on again. With the way back the whole hike took me four hours, from 11:25 am to 3:25 pm.
Needless to say that by the end of the hike my whole body was sore and tired. I had water with me which proved to be a life saver, but I did not carry any food, and believe me, after reaching the top I was so hungry and tired in spite of my heavy breakfast which consisted of three eggs, half a French baguette, honey and coconut oil, and a few almonds. O and a coffee with whole milk. Remind me next time to carry food as well as water if the hike will take more than one a half hours.
Like I said the scenes along the hike were just out of this world. I can't describe them well enough, so the best thing is to show pictures, although I believe that even the pictures don't do them justice. Look for example at this scene from about half way to the summit looking down. You see the lake below and an infinite series of other mountains all around, with blue sky and scattered white clouds. And the rocks that are strewn all around, different shapes and sizes. The whole trail is just littered with all sorts of rocks, some small and some as big as ten story buildings.
The weather was almost perfect but got a little chilly on the way back probably because of my sweat evaporating with the slight wind. The temperature was between 68 to 72 F during the hike, and it was mostly sunny. The mountains were green because only the day before we had good rain throughout the day, so it couldn't be better conditions for a wonderful hike.
The last picture to the left shows the rocks I was talking about, and the far away mountains that appeared as far as your eyesight could reach.
There were many people on the trail, and even though the park closes at 5 pm, I found people were still climbing up as I was coming down near 3 pm. Some asked me how far to the summit, and when I said one a half hour they would say: "You're kidding!" I answer: "No", then they ask: "Do you recommend we continue up knowing that the park closes at 5 pm?" and I answer simply: "No!", followed by laughs and thanks, but they continue on anyway. I remember also on my way down, about half an hour from the summit, I met a Mexican woman and her mother, and she asked me: "How far to the summit?" I said: "half an hour", and she said with great disappointment: "really?". The poor woman thought that after an hour of climbing she was almost at the top already. Her mother asked her in Spanish how far, and she answered her: "treinta!" and I could see the disappointment on the old woman's face. I had to encourage them by saying: "You're almost there!"
Well I am glad I made it to the summit and back safely. This was a great hike and it might not be the last time to this summit. It is just too wonderful to try only once.
I discovered that while climbing up from Lake Discovery if I go to the right I get to a side that has a fantastic overview of the ocean as seen in the picture. I could keep going around the loop to eventually reach the same point after about 10 kilometers.
So far this hiking trail has been my favorite because of its scenery and also because of its steep climb that makes for a good exercise.
The lake you see in the picture is San Marcos lake. The side of the ocean you see is that of Carlsbad Blvd. It is my favorite beach so far because of its proximity to where we live and because it is quiet and not that crowded.