Saturday in Julian (Hiking Volcan Mountain)


Heading outside on the weekend, grabbing our hiking boots, sunscreen for me, and water, is one of our favorite things to do. They call it “active recovery”. 

Depending on the hike and the weather conditions, it feels more like an actual cardio workout, but that’s another story. Fact is: We greatly enjoy being outdoors, away from the city for a while, and re-charging for a few hours. 

So, a couple Saturdays ago, with gorgeous weather outside, all three of us jumped in the car to go up to Julian, about an hour drive, further up in the mountains. 

After 30 minutes or so on the freeway, we hit the winding mountain roads. My favorite (- absolutely not). Rickey knows me well enough so that he always keeps the motion sickness pills in his truck - just for me to take one when the ride gets rough for my stomach. 

We made a quick stop so Rocco could stretch his legs. 

Boy, I forgot how much of a temperature change it can be, from seaside to mountains. It felt like a 100 degrees that day. Whoops. Smart us. 

Right here, though, is where I step out of the car, take a deep breath, and will just be silent for a few seconds. It’s so serene. No people. A car driving by down the road every once in a while. Birds twittering here and there. A soft breeze. 

This is happiness! It also always makes me realize how amazing this state is. California has so many faces. From ocean, to mountains, to desert - and from the greener places, national parks further up north. And then, again, more mountains and sea, the further up the coast you go, just rougher weather, different wildlife and flora. It’s such a diverse, wonderful place to live at. 

I had a little moment here.

We continued driving, windows rolled down, and I was half hanging out of the truck to capture the scenery as we were rushing by. 

^ We passed this lake with a campground. It would be cool to come up here for a weekend, completely unplug, read, hike, kayak on the lake. Just completely unwind. I’d like that. I am pretty positive my two boys would be happily joining me, too. 

After a good hour’s drive, we made it to our destination: Volcan Mountain Trail.

We were ready to go.

After a quick photo, of course. 

Wait, another one. 

Now we’re good. 

To be honest, it felt more like being somewhere in Tuscany, on a huge vineyard. 

The smells were intense, too. One scent that was rather dominant was rosemary. 

The trail has a pretty good incline, so we got our quads and hammies working. 

It was so warm though. I guess we underestimated it a little, but carried enough water for the three of us, so that helped keep us all hydrated and going. 

We made several stops along the way, mainly to give Rocco a little break. Gotta make sure your little buddy is okay when hiking, especially when temperatures are high. 

By that time, we had our sweat going on - oh well. I told you it would be more of a workout than recovery. Haha. 

And another water break. Little man still smiling, though. Hehe. 

A quick selfie and CrossFit Humanity representation later, we decided that it was time - as it was around noon also and the heat was taking a toll on our bodies - for the descent. 

Peace you beautiful world. 

Eventually, we parked the truck in downtown (like…one main street) Julian, about a 10 minute drive from the trail. 

I love this quaint little town. It’s so funny how in the summer it’s so warm, yet, in winter, you come up here and actually get to experience snow - roughly an hour from San Diego. Pretty impressive if you ask me. 

We walked by all the cute little places, on a mission to find food. 

It’s not like we didn’t have any options…

Julian is known for its apple pies and apple picking in fall is a real family activity up here. 

…but the BBQ place sparked my man’s eye, and so we ended up here on the patio, with a nice breeze, cool drinks, and a hot dog and burger. Guess who the burger was for? Ya, go figure. My all American guy. Haha. I didn’t do too bad with my “dog”, though. 

I told you in a previous post: Dogs are kings and queens here in California. Thus, even restaurants take good care of them. 

Naturally, dessert was at Mom’s. Apple crumble with vanilla ice cream. Yums! All the calories we burned during our hike we, of course, had to take in again. 

It was afternoon already and we waved goodby to Julian, slowly but surely embarking on the drive down to San Diego, stopping at this vista point on the way out. This picture doesn’t really do it justice but the scenery was awesome. 

One for the family album…

…and one more. 

And we were seaside bound again, full, a little tired, but very happy. Nature does that to you.