Shh… Secrets…

Like a thick blanket
her words comfort me
on a chilly night
the secrets entrusted to me,
warm.

I found them! Secret Swing two and three. It was a fun adventure treasure hunting around La Jolla for these. I wonder if there are more… I found the single-rope swing first. The view from it is dreamy… mesmerizing and the constant rhythmic crashing of the waves is a gentle reminder to take the time to listen and unwind. I could spend a whole day there swinging back and forth, hanging from that palm tree, leaning back and looking up at the fronds for a few moments and then resting my eyes on the deep blue of the ocean.
This swing is a little hard to get to. Not only that, expect to get muddy. Really muddy. The rope under my feet in the picture below leads down to the water. Grab it and keep going (you’ll get muddier).

No secrets could be told on a swing like this because there’s only room for one so it’s a good time to quietly think of those secrets only you know… deep down. A moment alone is so rare in our non stop lives.
Are you good at keeping secrets? I try my best to never tell anyone anything, but just this once… okay second time (that is if you’ve read my first “Secret” post https://vikinggirladventures.com/2019/06/10/secrets/) I might give a hint or two as to where these can be found.

Secret Swing 3…

I found Swing 3 by accident as I was walking by the edge of the cliffs and happened to see something moving out of the corner of my eye. We found a little path and followed it to where it was. This one is more secluded and untouched than the other two. It’s hidden in a small groove of trees, but you can still see the ocean from it.

If you were to visit Sunny Jim’s cave in La Jolla, which is a fun experience, you could go out and around the building to the back and find a little path leading towards the La Jolla Shores beach. The view from this path is pretty amazing!

There you might see that bench in the picture below and those stairs, climb up… and then that opening in the bushes will appear. Something cool might be found at the end of that path.

You could follow the main path a little further and if you did, you’d see this bridge. You could look down and spot a path… between the trees, and find a rope that leads to a little treasure.

Above I mentioned following this rope all the way down to the shore. Below are a few photos from there close to sunset.
I did talk about getting muddy above, didn’t I? At least there’s a (muddy) ladder that helps a little.

A little mud is nothing when you get to see the (culprit) perfect little waterfall dripping softly and that view up close. The water is clear and beautiful, but there’s no sand so if you want to swim bring good water shoes.

Have fun hunting for secrets…

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Bean Hollow Beach

There are so many incredible beaches to visit when driving up Pacific Coast Hwy. Choosing which to stop at is not exactly easy, but we decided to leave the beautiful sandy beaches alone this time and aim for the more rocky and different ones, and I’m glad we did, because Bean Hollow really stood out.

Appearing to be marching onto the shores of Bean Hollow from the depths of the ocean these cute green haired inhabitants makes you feel like you’re visiting another universe.

But what makes the beach really different is the Tafoni. Tafoni is a weathering of stone that creates the formations in the photos below. These windblown rocks have amazing patterns and holes and if you spend a little time staring at them you can find many different images in them, like dragons…

The tide pools are a lot of fun to explore. You can find sea urchins, crabs, anemones and small fish. If possible, try to time your visit during low tide.

The rocks can be pretty slippery, so wear good shoes or go barefoot.

This beach is about 20 minutes south of Half Moon Bay, and near Pescadero and it’s surrounding farmland where you’ll see rows after rows of artichoke. Be sure to stop in town for some fresh artichoke and artichoke bread.

A gorgeous sheltered waterfall hidden between trees and boulders.
It’s a little treasure you might get lucky to have all to yourself only because it’s not marked well and most pass right by it not even knowing it exists. But there it is, in all it’s glory, just feet away from PCH. Waterfalls have a very special place in my heart and I could have spent a whole day at this spot!

The water is clear, clean and so inviting. Don’t be afraid to jump in for a swim and a climb up to see that famous backside of a waterfall!

The waterfall is located right by a tight horseshoe shaped curve north of Rugged Point (picture below). Park on the side of the road.

We had a hard time figuring out which path to take and after a group of people told us not to take the trail to the right we went on the grand adventure of the “trail” on the left. This “trail” had us climbing and jumping over rocks and boulders, along and across the creek, and had us doubting we’d ever find the waterfall. But we did! And it was an adventure in itself getting there especially wearing well used flip flops. So I’d recommend taking the trail to the right if you’re looking for an easier way in but watch out for Poison Oak. You’ll still be climbing over boulders and across a log to get there, but it’s totally worth it. I wouldn’t recommend it for the elderly and really young kids unless you’re ready to lift and help them climb.

Comic-Con San Diego

Comic-con is a colorful circus of imagination, the totally unexpected and bizarre, mixed with books, toys, gadgets, meeting favorite characters and the freedom of expression. It’s about the comics and everything related to this culture, including meeting creators, authors and artists.

2019 was the 50th anniversary of Comic-Con and it seems to grow larger every year. This year approximately 200,000 people were expected to attend bringing a $150 million profit to the city! Crazy crowded and throbbing with life, massive, I know…I’m not a crowd person, but I still go.

Get your costumes, face paint and badges ready because you’ll be drawn into everything pop culture, imagination and art. Every star and talent behind every big movie of the year will be there. But… tickets are super hard to get. You’ll have to register now to be allowed to try to buy tickets in a few months (they’ll send you an email with exact date) for next summer. You’ll spent a few hours in a online waiting room, biting your nails while watching specific days get sold out, but with some luck you might get to buy that Golden Ticket.

It’s so worth it!

There’s so much to see and do, like play patty cake with this guy.

…and going to panels like Scooby Doo where you can ask the crew anything you’d like and watch exclusive trailers, previews and actual footage of new movies/ shows way before anyone else.

Shop for anything comics related, shake a few hands, try new games and learn how it’s done …

Say hi to a few famous people if you’re into that sort of stuff. People wait in lines overnight and for several nights for their favorite panels. There are also long lines for autographs with the stars. I haven’t had those experiences yet. I mainly wander around the exhibit hall and check out books and attend panels with short lines. Maybe next year I’ll try camping out for Hall H where all the big movies are… that’s a pretty big maybe.

If you don’t get tickets there are a lot of things to do outside the convention like visiting the Walking Dead experience this year.
I got a few hugs!

Some of my favorite costumes…

What would you dress up as? Next year I might be a little more fun and go as something… Any suggestions?

A few things…

-Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be walking and standing a lot.
-Bring lots of snacks. The convention center’s food isn’t the best…
-The bags they give you can’t hold much. Mine ripped this year. Bring your own backpack.
-Plan ahead especially if you plan on attending specific panels.
-Get that registration done. This is something that is fun to attend at least once in your lifetime.

The Famous Joshua trees … their adventurous spirits are in a constant dance of trying to figure out which direction would be the very best to grow their branches and outdo their neighbor. Which kind of ends up looking like a dysfunctional struggle of trying to find the right direction… but it is exactly that, that makes them so beautiful.
They’re slow growing and some years they may not even grow at all. Their age? Impossible to tell as they don’t grow rings. On top of that, they aren’t actually trees! They are a kind of yucca, a succulent that stores water. But not just any yucca, they are the largest yucca and they grow only in the Mojave Desert.

The Joshua tree got its name from Mormon settlers who crossed through the area in the 1800s. The shape of the Joshua trees reminded them of a story from the bible in which Joshua lifts his hands up to the sky in prayer.

But it’s not just the yucca that make Joshua Tree National Park so amazing, it’s also the massive rock formations that are arranged in such a way that it looks like giants carelessly scattered them around in fun patterns and shapes. But, of course, the truth is that these rocks were formed over the course of millions of years. Great information can be found on the geological formation here https://www.nps.gov/jotr/learn/nature/geologicformations.htm
I love spending time climbing the rocks, finding amazing creations resembling faces, bizarre fantasy creations and animals in them and exploring the vegetation that lives around them. A favorite stop is Skull Rock and Grumpy Guy across the street from him.

I probably shouldn’t admit this… but I got lost. But sometimes getting lost can lead to great things and it did. I ran into a Frenchman who had been coming to the park for over 16 years who helped me back on track. And then we saw this…

Desert bighorn sheep. Supposedly between 200 to 300 of them live in the park but the Frenchman told me that in the 16 years he’d been in the park he had never seen one before. We watched this lady in silence for a long time while she stood there posing perfectly like the queen she is, then we went and saw the petroglyphs (below), when we came back we were surprised to see the baby right underneath trying to find it’s balance on shaky legs.
What a treat!

The Petroglyphs give you an idea of what Native Americans once created there, but the spot seems pretty ‘updated’ and painted over in a kind of wanna-be graffiti that is obviously new. A shame… but you’ll just need a little imagination to think of what once was.

If you like rock climbing like I do and venture out on hikes, be aware of snakes and spiders. Bees can also be pretty intense. At one point, by the Keys View outlook below, my car was surrounded by a large swarm. Keep an eye out for signs warning of bees and stay away from those areas if you’re allergic.
Coachella valley and the San Andreas fault line can easily be spotted from Inspiration Peak, Keys View and you might also get a glimpse of a little snow far away from the hot desert.

A short 1.3 mile hike that is worth going on even in the middle of summer is Barker dam. Bring water with you and make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes. The hike is breathtaking and the path is easy to follow.

There’s not much water left…

If you have a little more energy left then there’s another really great spot in the park to visit. The Cholla Garden. Also known as the Teddy Bear Cactus but don’t let that name fool you into starting a cacti hugging habit. It will be unpleasant… really unpleasant! This is also known as the ‘most dangerous trail’ at Joshua tree because these teddy bears will pretty much throw those spines at you if you get near them. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration but stay on the trail and if you’re bringing children now would be a good time for that piggy back ride! Don’t let all that stop you from going though. It is incredibly beautiful and peaceful.

A few thing…
– wear good shoes. (cacti/critters are everywhere)
– bring lots of drinks and food in a cooler. You will need it.
– we had absolutely no phone signal anywhere in the park

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