22 June 2010

Walkabout No. 33 ...

Walkabout No. 33 - Torrey Pines

- Torrey Pine -

On Sunday, for Father's Day, I decided to take Mike outside and enjoy some of the endless sunshine that makes San Diego famous.  

We headed over to the Torrey Pines State Reserve which is located very near our house between La Jolla and Del Mar.

I was very interested in seeing the Torrey Pines because I had read a bit of information about them earlier in the week.

'Torrey pine trees are the rarest native pines in the United States. If you take the Torrey pine growing in one small grove on Santa Rosa Island as being distinct, that tree could possibly be the rarest pine of all.'

First we explored the Lodge which now houses the Visitor Center / Ranger Station.

The Torrey Pines Lodge was built in 1922 by Ellen Browning Scripps (who apparently built about half of San Diego) and was then used as a restaurant and rest area.

If you would like to read more about this fascinating woman just click on her name above.

It was a beautiful sunny day and while the park was not empty it was not crowded either.

I think that is one of things about San Diego that Mike & I marvel about the most - how 'uncrowded' it is around here.

The beaches, parks, baseball game (we parked right beside the ballpark for only $10), the roads or the freeways (although there is some crowding at rush-hour it doesn't seem half as bad as Seattle traffic).

And I must say, that after a month of living here, we are getting a little better about 'dressing for the weather' than we were at the beginning of this adventure ...  

This is what we've learned so far:
(don't bother checking the weather by looking out the window ... it's always sunny in San Diego)
  • 95% of the time  - T-shirt & shorts
  • 3% of the time - long sleeves & shorts or pants
  • 2% of the time .... grab a hoodie just in case
  • And, if you are going near the water throw a hoodie in the car ... just in case
  • Also, if your outing will possibly spill into the evening - bring a hoodie or sweater

We puttered through the Lodge and then went on the Discovery Walk which is an interpretive walk through the park around the Lodge.

We (okay, I) enjoyed reading about the different native plants found in the reserve.  

While the landscape here is not as lush or green as in Washington - it is very unique and has a beauty all its own.   I thought that it would look a lot like eastern Washington but it doesn't.  It is very different.

There are a lot of red sandy rock formations called the Lindavista and while it looks soft and crumbly (like sand) it is actually very, very hard.  Much of it is covered with blooming wildflowers.

We took a long walk along a trail that weaves through the top of one of the ocean bluffs and showcases the diverse array of geological and botanical features of the park.

- cactus graffiti -

It was so nice because we could feel the heat coming up off the sand of the trails but the ocean breezes kept us cool. 

It was Perfect!

There is no doubt that the views of the Pacific Ocean from this park are incredible.  The hills are covered with blooming wildflowers and the air smells so good.  

While we were standing at the top of the bluff looking out over the ocean we spotted 3 bottle-nose dolphins swimming just off the shore. 

We watched them in the water for about 5 minutes until they swam out of sight. 

Large portions of Torrey Pine forests at the reserve have fallen prey to the bark beetle which have left portions of the woodlands dead.  

I think it is a different species of the bark beetle which have devasted much of the forests in British Columbia.

A beautiful day!

I am thinking about volunteering with the Torrey Pines Organization. 

“You never know when you’re making a memory.”
-  Rickie Lee Jones -

Bookmark and Share


  1. sounds like you guys had a very enjoyable father's day.
    the ocean view from that park trail looks amazing in pictures must be wonderful, in real life.

  2. That looks amazing!! It is finally starting to get a little bit warmer here.

  3. amazing pictures... I would enjoy exploring with you... hope Mike appreciates the walk abouts...



garden thoughts ...

'I sit in my garden, gazing upon a beauty that cannot gaze upon itself. And I find sufficient purpose for my day.'
- Robert Brault -