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My husband and I went hiking on Saturday.  This is a panoramic shot that I  took with my new iPhone 5S. (Side note:  I love the panoramic ability with the higher quality camera on the iPhone 5S.  I just upgraded from the iPhone 4S, can you tell?)

Anyway, this was my first real hike in San Diego, CA.  The location is Mission Trails.  This picture was taken on the way to the South Fortuna Staircase.  I have (finally) purchased good quality hiking boots and was taking them out on their maiden voyage.

My husband and I have been so busy lately that we realized that we hadn’t spent any real quality time together in a while.  We cancelled all of our plans (a camping trip, a Saturday afternoon party, a Saturday evening party, etc) and decided to set aside this day for each other.

We think we hiked about 3 to 3.5 miles.  If you yelp! the hike (as I did on our way out to the trail head) you’ll find reviews saying that it is a fairly challenging hike.  I was a little nervous reading that as I’m not an experienced hiker or in incredible shape.  That being said, I chose to ignore the voice in my head that wanted to tell me that I would have a hard time with the hike.  Luckily, the hike starts out fairly easy.  There are a few hills, but nothing too steep – and most of it is down hill on the way out to the staircase.  The hardest thing is reading the map to make sure that you’re heading in the right direction.  It’s called Mission Trails (plural trails) for a reason.

We hiked about 2 miles out (the easy part) and then came to this:

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I have to be honest with you, I almost turned around before even starting.  Jeremy, very kindly, suggested that we could.  I’m pretty stubborn, though; and, while I feared I couldn’t make it, we had come out to climb this staircase and, “gosh darn it”, we were going to climb them.

We climbed, I stopped occasionally when I felt too out of breath, I almost fell once because my legs were getting tired, but we made it to the top.  It felt awesome to say that I had made it to the summit.  The view was definitely inspiring.  Here’s a picture from the top:

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It was a fairly clear day by San Diego, CA, standards.  In the top left corner those fuzzy buildings are the downtown area.  Just to the right and behind those – that shadow is Point Loma.  The wind was blowing pretty hard at the top – so much so that I actually got cold.

Scarier, for me, than going up is going down.  I have a “manageable” fear of heights; a fear I can always ignore when hiking up a mountain, but is harder for me to ignore when climbing down a mountain.  I faced my fear and we were down in no time.  Phew!  Jeremy kept telling me to “trust the hiking boots – they’re made to grip the rocks”.  While I knew that he was right, it was hard for me to trust – but with each step I got better at doing so.

Towards the end of our hike Jeremy pointed out a small bird.  It was a Gold Finch.

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I’m not always a big fan of birds, but this one seemed very nice (and small).  You can kind of see the bird’s golden belly.

That was my first adventure in hiking.  I loved it.  I felt accomplished all day!  My husband promises I didn’t slow him down too much.  I conquered my fears, completed a trust exercise, and loved the quality time I spent with my husband.  This, combined with the amazing dinner I made and wine I drank that evening, was the perfect rejuvenation day that I so needed.

Do you do any hiking?  If so, where are you favorite places to go hiking?  Please leave your favorites or any suggestions you might have for me in the comments below.  I’m looking forward to new hiking adventures and those don’t have to be in the San Diego area.  Thanks, in advance!

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