Hiking La Jolla Valley Trail

Another week since we were on the trail and we needed to get back out. Simon selected the La Jolla Valley Trail from my Day Hikes in Los Angeles book. This trail was of interest because just two miles in is a camp. We wanted to pretend that we were backpacking and hike in to a camp to see what it was like.  This trail is situated in the Point Mugu State Park in Ventura County.

After a long beautiful drive with sweeping ocean views up the Pacific Coast Hwy, Gabriel had a full nap and we arrived. We both had to pee and found some thick brush to hide behind. That is, thick brush covered in poison oak! Whoops- lucky no one suffered any consequences (and now we can identify poison oak!).

We set out on the trail and just ’round the bend there were bathrooms (mental note for next time)! Gabriel was super excited to be walking on the trail again and pointed to this stick and that rock. But not far into the hike, the trail became so rocky it was difficult for Gabriel to walk in his bobux soft soled shoes. He had fun standing in one place swinging a stick for awhile until Simon and I decided to carry him along so we could make our way to the destination.

Instead of bringing the old faithful Tatonka (which also weighs a hefty 6 lbs!) we decided to bring our ergo-carrier. We had read in a backpacking book that it was the author’s carrier of choice because it was so lightweight, and describes using it in the backpack position with ease. Since we had one from when Gabriel was an infant we thought this would be one of many solutions for us in lightening our load for our eventual backpacking outing.

However when we put Gabriel in the ergo-carrier he was most displeased! Unlike the Tatonka which offers the rider nice views over the shoulders, the ergo held Gabriel tight against Simon’s back so that he had to turn his head either right or left to watch the scenery pass by. He grizzled at us and scoffed at our dried mango offering.

So we let Gabriel down again and contemplated what to do. The trail was simply too rough and rocky for Gabriel to walk, and he refused to be carried since he had a full nap in the car and was eager to play with sticks and rocks.

It occured to me how goal-oriented adults are. Gabriel was happy in the moment with the present stick or rock, whereas Simon and I wanted to get to the sticks and rocks that were two miles down the road at the La Jolla camp!

We decided to end our hike and turn around. Many lessons learned in this outing: 1) Don’t pee where poison oak is growing, 2) Bring the Tatonka next time, 3) Gabriel needs some thicker soled shoes for rougher trails.

Swingin’ a stick