The other morning, Ernesto and I were driving back from dropping papa at work (one car was in the shop) and we drove on Mission Gorge Rd, which not surprisingly, winds through Mission Gorge. We passed the Mission Trails Regional Park. We know the park because we have climbed Cowles Mountain many times. (It is only a 1.5 mile climb but takes us 30 minutes. Needless to say, it is a workout) We popped into the visitors center to see what else there is to do in the huge park.
We picked up a great map of over 40 miles of trails. We were not dressed for hiking so we came back the next day checked out the little Mission Dam and Oak Canyon Trail. (3-4 miles)
Besides the little dam area, I have 3 words about this park: "Dry, very dry."
The dirt trail is well marked with signs and offers amazing views of all the surrounding mountains.
On Friday we hiked again. This time we got a 7am start on the trails with Ernesto's dad and neighbor Agustin. We usually hike on Fridays, but they were happy to try a new mountain. A much longer route. 3 hours.
In addition to many bunny rabbits, I saw two animals I have never seen before. This horny toad......
and a road runner! Much smaller than I imagined. Of course my idea of a road runner was based on a cartoon. True to the cartoon though, they are quick! So much so that I couldn't snap a picture.
The last 10 minutes before we reached the top winded up a wood staircase, and really got us sweating.
We even had to do some climbing on huge boulders.
It was challenging, but we made it!