Endless summers, snow peaked mountains, and palm covered deserts. There is only one place in the world that you can start on the road at the top of a snow covered peak and end with a sunset over the Pacific in a day. This is the magic of California.
I grew up in a little canyon above Malibu called Topanga that not many travelers know of when visiting California. It is a little village with 60 percent of it being protected state park so it is very untouched for Los Angeles. I grew up on a little ranch with many animals, running around barefoot in the mud. It wasn’t the typical childhood for a Los Angeles family and it was marvelous. I didn’t grow up with a television or many electronics, so my brother and I would spend hours running through the earth with the sun beaming on our backs in our own little world, instead of watching others on virtual adventures. We were busy checking for chicken eggs, racing horses bareback up the mountains and laughing so hard we’d fall over in fits. I am so grateful for my upbringing and its uniqueness.
I have always been very curious. Even as a little girl, I was the first to be willing to try something new and challenge my comfort zone. With each new experience, I always felt myself growing, even when I was scared I did it anyways because that was when I felt the most alive. This is why I think I am such a traveler.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” -Mark Twain
You don’t need to travel far to explore
People who travel, push the familiar, they are the wise warriors of our time. It challenges you to really go within yourself and be still, staying in the present, which is becoming less and less common in this virtual world. Life is a journey and it is too short to remain in the complacent ordinary. I always seek an astonishing adventure and push for the extraordinary. There are amazing adventures even right outside your door, you just have to be willing to set out on the road again.
This March my friend, another Cali native and I packed up the wagon and set for the winding hills. Our expedition was to witness California’s magic. Starting from the snow and ending with the sea in one day, that was our mission. Big Bear lake was our first stop. When we arrived in the village, it was like entering another world. The village was filled with snow covered hills and perfectly placed rustic log cabins on every crevice. You would never consider a charming little snow town this close to Los Angeles but it does exist.
As the early morning sun rose over the ridge, making the snow glisten, we buckled up and our adventure began. We were headed to the desert first. But not just any desert, we were on a mission to witness the super bloom. We didn’t know what to expect. We left the snowy mountains behind and pulled into the brightening Anza-Borrego State Park where we witnessed pure beauty. The entire sandy landscape was painted with magnificent yellow and purple wildflowers. We jumped out of the car and started to run through the sweet scented fields. It felt like we were in a dream, with the warm California sun on our necks, we rolled around like children without a care in the world.
But our journey wasn’t over yet. We were on a race against the sun, to make it to the coast before it dipped behind the sea. Cardiff State Beach was our last and final stop and we made it just in time. As we pulled the wagon up to the bluffs, we had officially completed our adventure. We had experienced California at its finest. We traveled from the snow, to the desert and ended at the sea in one day. That glowing pink sunset over the Pacific, will be one we will never forget. Even though I am from California, it always seems to exceed my expectations and allows me to continue finding the extraordinary right in my backyard.
If you are visiting California and want a unique adventure, hit the road:
- Wildflower super bloom Anza-Borrego State Park from mid March-April
- Julian, a small mining town that will take you back in time
- Big Bear Lakes, wintertime-hit the slopes, hike Castle Rock, an amazing view and so fun to slide down the snowy hills in your boots
- Best fish taco stand on the coast- Bull Taco Cardiff
- Topanga Canyon, hike to Eagle Rock and finish at the Topanga Living Cafe, for great smoothies, coffee and food.
Endless summers are forever!