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Los Angeles – Hiking, Sailing, Poppies, and Disneyland!

Travel Stage: After Temecula, heading north
Date Range: April 2 – 16, 2017
Summary:  Hiking the Angeles National Forest, The California Poppy Bloom, Disneyland, Sailing on the Pacific Ocean.

Our next stop was in Acton, CA at the Soledad Canyon Thousand Trails. We had stayed here a few month prior for a couple cold, windy, miserable days but now it was beautiful! Now that the weather was cooperating, we were able to do some more exploring!

Angeles National Forest

When you think of “Los Angeles” you probably don’t think of Hiking.

Between Acton and Los Angeles lies the mountainous Angeles National Forest. We met up with some friends for a day hike to Monkey Canyon. The trail was not easy, and involved steep areas with ropes plus taking off our shoes and wading/walking down an ICE cold mountain creek to get to the canyon. It was so amazing to see so amuch water flowing through the creek! The winter of ’16-’17 had so much snow in the higher elevations that brought water streaming down where water hadn’t been in a long time. The water level was up several feet on many trees in the canyon. Monkey Canyon Trail in the Angeles National Forest  

Disneyland & California Adventure

​One of the same friends from the hike worked at Disney and insisted that we go to Disneyland! Neither of us had ever been to Disney (World or Land) before, and had no real intense desire to. The closest we’d ever gotten was Disney Springs and Fort Wilderness in Orlando in 2015. But we never say no when it’s free!

  ​I must admit that we had a wonderful time there. Despite the hustle and bustle, the crowds and lines, the materialism and obvious aging of most of the rides, there was something charming about the place. It also helped that our guide, Tom’s friend Melissa, knew all the “good rides” and her way around the park like the back of her hand (they take friends and family there a LOT!). We rode It’s a Small World, Alice in Wonderland, the Little Mermaid, and more! I even got Tom to ride a few little “roller coasters” (he is terrified of roller coasters). The Cars Ride was probably the mutual favorite of the day. Cars was our favorite!  

Sailing From Ventura – Channel Islands

​One day we went sailing with some other friends out of Ventura Harbor. While we didn’t go very far, we had a lovely day of waves, sunshine, and sails. We could see the Channel Islands poking up from the horizon in the distance and my friend Kate told us about the unique habitat preserved there as a National Park. If you get a chance, you might want to check out the ferry ride out there. If we’d had more time we would have! It’s on the bucket list now.  

Poppy Bloom

​North of Acton where we were staying is the Antelope Valley California Poppy Preserve. We heard about this from some other RVer friends of ours The 365 Escape, or else we would have completely missed it and the bloom! Springtime is simply amazing in the desert. From the blooms in Anza Borrego, the Balboa Park gardens in San Diego, the Jasmine in Temecula, and the water where there usually isn’t! And then we got to see the poppy bloom – the carpet of orange sprawling across the rolling hills of the Mojave Desert. Poppies blooming in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve ​The California Poppy is the state flower, and the Antelope Valley Preserve is California’s most consistent poppy-bearing land, so it’s a big deal. The pictures of it are stunning: (*not our pictures*)  

  Unfortunately, when we went it was crazy windy (not uncommon) so all the poppies were closed up. Still orange and still impressive, but not ideal. Plan your visit on a calmer day, or try to go in the early morning before the winds pick up.   

Heading for the Sierra Nevadas

As you guys know, we aren’t big city people, so we actually spent very little time in LA the city. Nor did we have the desire to. We are much more interested in the great outdoors and adventures, and for being right next to the 2nd biggest city in the country for a few weeks we felt like we did a really good job at seeing the nature beauty the area had to offer….plus a little Disneyland. It was time for us to head back out into a more rural area: the Eastern Sierra Nevadas! When the mountains are calling, we must go…

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