Laguna Meadows

The first few months here in San Diego weren’t always easy. Since my mobility was limited by the lack of a driver license that would be accepted by the car insurance company (which is just an example of the absurdity of red tape and bureaucracy of course – after all, I’ve been driving in Germany for more than 20 years), I stayed in close vicinity to home rather often.

A weekend outing to the Laguna Mountains in the east provided some relief to the cabin fever that was starting to built, and a change of scenery as well. Now in the lower elevations, trees only grow in canyons and ravines here where they can get enough moisture. Forests are entirely absent. My eyes were beginning to get sore from weeks of looking at the dry chaparral hills, so it was a great treat to drive up to the higher elevations in the east, and into the beautiful Black Oak and Jeffrey Pine forest of the Laguna Mountains.

Jeffrey Pines are the biggest pines I’ve ever seen. There is nothing like that in Germany or Austria. They’re huge. The forest they’re forming together with the Black Oaks is not dark and dense like European forests – it’s wide open, with plenty of light in it, and grass growing all around the trees (beige-brown and dry at this time of the year, of course).

Here are some mixed black & white and color impressions:

We hiked north from the Meadows trailhead at Sunrise Highway, and kept left were the trail forks, onto Sunset Trail and the little Water of the Woods pond. From there, we continued on the Big Laguna Trail to Big Laguna proper (the largest body of water in the area) and continued a little bit on the trail there. There’s a little bit of up and down on the Sunset Trail but otherwise it’s mostly level, easy hiking on a single track trail without any difficulties. We were late, sunset was early, and with the sun getting lower in the west, the temperatures dropped quite a bit – it can actually get cold in Southern California. :-)

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