Monday, November 18, 2013

Cali Coast Road Trip Part 2: Moab to San Diego

After a solid three days of intense non-stop hiking, cycling, and trail running in Moab at a lovely and very cheap hostel (Lazy Lizard- $11/nt), I hit the road again. 
 This is one of my favorite stops along I-70 east. Took a nice little nap in the parking lot before heading on.
Past there are tons more great scenic stops right on the highway. This is just one of them.

Heading south on I-15 towards Vegas, mountains were once again in sight.

Incredible lighting from this sunset.

Outside St. George, this tough hike up to the top of Signal Peak provides views of the Grand Canyon far off on the right and Zion National Park on the left. It's a long, rough off-road drive (ground clearance required) to the trailhead, but there are lots of nice, free camping spots along the way, and the views even at the start of the trailhead are quite spectacular. The hike itself is quite rough as well with lots of overgrown trees and foliage blocking the trail, and climbing quite a bit with a few sketchy sections of loose dirt and rocks to cross, but the payoff is well worth the effort.

The leaves were changing at the time and made the Signal Peak hike quite a beautiful one.

In total, the hike took a bit over 3 and a half hours at a brisk pace. One bottle of water was certainly pushing it...

A quick stop was made in Vegas for a big buffet dinner after the rigorous hike. I went to the Bellagio for an approximate $45 dinner and loaded up on fresh sushi (with excellent spicy mayo), prime rib, various vegetables, and incredible desserts. I had orange juice with dinner and it was deliciously fresh squeezed. The crab legs were quite disappointing, however, as they were cold, hard and not too tasty. Overall? Well worth it.
After Vegas, I stopped overnight at the first rest stop I hit in California. It was, luckily, still far enough away from LA that it allowed overnight parking. The next morning, I made it into San Dimas for the Bonelli Olympic Distance Triathlon which included a beautiful swim in a clear lake with a view of mountains in the background transitioning into a tough 3-lap bike of climbing and descending followed by a tough run around the lake with a lot of nice off-road sections. My swim and run fitness weren't great at this point, but the bike power was good and it set me up for a top-10 finish and age group award. 

On arrival in San Diego, I headed to the suburb of Chula Vista to hang out with my old roommate. Because of his work schedule, I spent a good amount of time hanging out at this park, reading and enjoying the view.

The sunset over Chula Vista.

The next day we went for sushi and some down time at the beach in the Sunset Cliffs area. This was a nice, quite spot in relation to the other beaches around. With cliffs.

Got a couple nice shots of the sunset here.

Finally, after attending his bible study group, we finished off the night walking around the Gaslamp district. Was surprised to see how busy the place was on a Monday!

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