Years back I would run this path about 3 times a week with my friend PD. He would drive in from Mission Viejo (I never really appreciated how far a drive that was) and we would run the 5 mile out and back that would take us from the first parking lot out to the observation point pictured. He always referred to it as ” oh dark thirty” as we arrived super early while the skies were still dark. At the observation point we would rest for a few minutes and marvel at the beauty of the moon dipping below the horizon as the sun peeked over the hillside. It was, and is, a spectacular sight, seeing the moon and sun simultaneously and the glow of the morning as it begins to kick off – one that I miss. The experience of the walk made me nostalgic for those early morning runs – the joy of the camaraderie and the thrill of early mornings by the beach.
The next few days will feature shots of my walk through Crystal Cove – a state beach just north of Laguna. You can walk along the trail and have no sense of being in one of the most populated parts of the California coastline – the area between Newport and Laguna Beach. For the many years that I have walked or run this trail I have never really noticed the cactus blooming. These were spectacularly beautiful. Almost like roses – thorns and all.
As one walks up Thalia street from the sea and crosses Highway 1 on the left is a small red stand and usually a line of hungry humans. A vegan restaurant, The Stand, has been a Laguna institution for as long as I can remember. A great place to find that healthy juice you have craved (I am a fan of the carrot, beet, apple combination), a wheatgrass shot to set you right, or a delicious vegan sandwich wrapped up to take back down the street for a beach picnic. Or you can just sit, as I did snapping this photo, under the large tree at the community table.