Throughout the hike, Erina and Marc were shooting footage. Afterwards, they shot interviews. This is the result!
Edweek commissioned Erina Chavez (noted contributor to this blog) to write a piece about our hike. You can read it here.
Erina's post was also printed in Unboxed, High Tech High's own journal. You can read it here.
Of these two options, the easiest way to read it is on the Unboxed site, because Edweek requires you to register.
San Andres Drive to Dog Beach, Del Mar
With only a mile and a half to go, everyone congregated just east of the 5 freeway on San Andres Drive. Once everyone gathered at the trail head, including Ranger Dick, we started our final stretch while cheering. The sun was bright, and many students were in beach attire, ready to jump into the ocean once we reached Dog Beach. Even a few students brought their own dogs to join in on the fun.
Although short, the trail was beautiful. We were always in sight of the river and it's mouth that opened up to the ocean. The water glistened under the bright sun, and the sky was a cloudless blue. We walked along the salt marsh borders where amphibians, birds, and insects of all types lived. We even saw a great blue heron in flight! We followed the trail all the way down to the beach, where everyone celebrated- students and dogs alike ran into the ocean or chased each other in the sand. Group photos were taken, and everyone began reflecting on the past week's journey.
Everyone was elated about our accomplishments and new experiences we had gained. The Crest-to-Coast trail was an amazing journey that has made all of us witness new parts of San Diego, become more in touch with nature, and want to protect it. As much as we love the adventure, we are saddened that it has to end. Through this blog, our future writing, and new projects to aid the SDRVC, we will preserve the memories of our hike. Yet for now, we celebrate!
- Erina Chavez
A Student of the Adventure Team
Day 7 was a really easy day of hiking. We got dropped off right by the Del Mar Fairgrounds, and we only had about half a mile to hike. On the way over, we just looked out across the salt marsh and looked at great blue herons and other animals. The great blue heron stood out in my mind as one of the more interesting animals of the day. We walked through the fairgrounds. I was talking to my teacher about Tim Minchin and other English entertainers.
We walked out of the fairgrounds and into the parking lot. We went too far in one direction so we had to turn back and walk on the racetrack. After we got to the top of the hill from the racetrack , it was a straight shot to the dog beach where the hike ended. When I was at the very last part of the hike, I remembered when I watched the first guy walk down on the day that we visited the dog beach before the hike. I felt very satisfied to complete the hike, and it felt surreal to know that I practically walked from Julian to Del Mar.
by Cori Strell
Today's Hike was one of my favorites over all. The drive to the trailhead, was about an hour away in Julian. The car ride was long, but beautiful. I saw a lot of wildflowers growing along the road, they were white and gold daffodils, these really interested me and I kept an eye out the entire hike for more.
The walk up Volcan Mountain was steep and it felt that there was enough of an altitude difference that it would be harder to breathe. I think I might have made that up in my head. The higher we traveled the colder and windier it got. Ranger Bill told us a story about chimney remains at the top of Vulcan mountain. All that was left of a cottage was a tall stone chimney. Ranger Bill told us it was built for space research, but was abandoned soon after it was made. It is thought that around the time of Prohibition, drinkers would brew in that house; until their wives found out and burnt the structure down.
I noticed a lot of little purple or blue wild flowers. There were no daffodils this high up, but there were wild Purple Lupin, Yellow Wallflowers, and California Poppy!
After this first trek we drove about a mile down the road to where we will finish our trails and end our hike for the day. This area was fully of grassy and woody rolling hills. There were cows and their calves on all sides of us, not fenced-in but free to roam the meadows. It was nice to see cows like that, and even though they weren't fenced in, they seem to stay relatively near one another. At a later point in the hike we found some shinny white animal bones. They were very large, aand neatly paced around one of the fields we passed. It almost looked like they were placed there. I identified one bone to be one single vertebrae.
The hike overall was great. I think today's hike had the steepest climbs, but the best views. I'm so happy to finish the hike off tomorrow.
Volcan Mountain in Julian to CA 79 in Santa Ysabel
Thanks to the rare San Diego rainstorm that hit just before our hike, our hiking schedule became totally out of order. Day 6 of our hike, our last long hiking day, was actually day 1 of our original plan! In other words, today we scaled Volcan Mountain, and some trail just below it.
Volcan Mountain was the highest point of our hike, climbing to an elevation of 5,300 feet. Although the class was excited to accomplish the feat, we were nervous about how much energy it would exhaust from us. However, when we arrived, the weather was cold, with large gusts of winds often sweeping over us. This gave us energy, rather than exhaust it like the hot sun would. The class trekked up the mountain in great time, reaching the summit in about an hour and a half. The view was gorgeous, and students ate their lunch in the meadows overlooking the farms, desert, and other mountains. When it was time to continue the hike, student's reluctantly left the summit and it's amazing view. Upon reaching the bottom of the mountain, we were shuttled to the next portion of the hike. This portion of the hike took us through wide meadows, cows, archaeological sites, and under the large sky. It was unique from the other days because of how much more clear the land around us was. Rather than thick forests of trees and shrubs, we were surrounded by wide open fields. The sky looked enormous above us filled with the bright sun and wispy clouds. Plus large boulders would sometimes sit in the middle of these fields. It was an awe striking contrast to the days before. It led me to realize just how many diverse biomes I have hiked through during this week.
Today's last large hike went extremely well, and caused me to natural reflect on my experience so far. The final mile and a half we need to complete tomorrow, and the celebration at dog beach, will be extremely fun and wrap up the entire week well! I'm looking forward to document tomorrow!
- Erina Chavez
A Student of the Adventure Team
Day 6 was the last “real” day of hiking. We went to the top of Vulcan mountain and then walked down around the loop, and then we got picked up and taken to a different part of the trail. The top of the mountain was pretty incredible. I could see the mountain that is across the street from my home in Ramona. On the way up the mountain, we walked by more native american grinding sites. I learned that if you spot cactus near a bunch of holes in rocks, it’s one of the larger sites. The natives would use the cacti as a water source for making their maize.
After the mountain we walked through a cattle ranch. The cows were probably the most dangerous part of the trip. The baby calves would walk about three feets close to us, and no more. I saw one person move closer, and the cow retreated. During the classes in Biology before the hike, I learned about the Rule of 10.. rule. Basically, every animal only gets 10% of the energy of what it eats. The Rule of 10 helps give us a good idea of how much land it takes to sustain an animal. I saw a few cows on that hike, but the cow to acre ratio was a lot higher than I anticipated. Hearing about the rule of 10 in class was ok, but I didn’t actually believe before I saw it. After that, we walked down the hill and back to the cars. Again, I was one of the lucky ones that got to stay behind and wait for a shuttle. However, I was getting a ride to my dad’s house from my teacher, which eliminated hours off of my commute. I waited there for about 30 minutes, and nothing notable really happened between then. After that, I was driven home by Dr. Patton.
What happens next isn’t exactly a part of the hike, but it’s still an interesting part of my day so bear with me. To show my gratitude for getting a ride home from Dr. P, I wanted to give him some of my homemade beef jerky. It’s really good. I don’t have a key to my house, so I went in through the dog area. After I exited the dog area, I forgot to close the dog door all the way. As I opened the garage door, Lars, my greyhound, bolted out the door and made a run for it. I quickly set my bags down and sprint after him. We were both at full speed in the beginning, but he was able to get some distance between us. I was chasing him through the orange grove near my house. I had to run in between rows to see which row he was in. I finally saw him, and he was walking now. I sprint as fast as I can toward him, screaming “Lars! Lars! Get back here now”. He thought this was all just a fun game, so he gives me a cocky dog smile and runs off again. This time, he was running through one of my neighbor’s garden, and it was a nice one so I felt bad if I were to run through it and destroy all the plants. I double time it around the garden on their sidewalk while hoping they didn’t think I was an intruder. I chased Lars down the street after I got out of the garden. The street ran out and then I was chasing him through the chaparral near my house. Instead of defensive neighbors, I now had to worry about snakes. Lars was panting now, and I was nowhere near exhausted. I chase him around for a few more minutes and finally he gives up. I grabbed him by the collar and called my dad to let him know that I caught the dog. He told me to wait where I was so he could give me a leash. My dad finally gets over to where I am and he drops my little brother off with me. At this point we were all walking, but because I’m a bit of a psychopath I decided to run with the leash. Lars was thinking, “Really, I have to run some more”. I yell out, “Come on Lars, what’s the big deal? You wanted to go for a run.” For a while, Lars decided he was too tired to walk, so I pick him up and carry him for a little bit before I got tired of carrying him. I set him down and he was ready to walk again. After that, I was practically home and I put him back in the dog cage.
Pamo Road Trailhead to Bandy Canyon Road
One of the most exciting and challenging day of hiking so far! Today's hike began under bright sun in Pamo Valley, assisted by Ranger Bill from the San Dieguito River Valley Park. He was extremely knowledgeable about the trail, and showed us many things about plants and animals along the way. The day's weather was perfect for this, as everyone comfortably marched on.
Yet, today's hike was completely unique from the others. About 7 miles into the hike, our class began to descend into the untouched nature. This was because there was simply no more well-maintained trail to follow! We trekked through streams, boulders, plants of all types, bugs, some animals, and hills. When not focusing on my footing, I would look up at the beautiful scenery around me, full of green and blooming plants, peaceful streams, idling bugs, and monstrous boulders. The path was definitely gorgeous, but obviously not the safest. Humans are foreigners there, and my peers and I had to be very wary of dangerous plants, bugs, and rocks. If it weren't for the guidance of Ranger Bill, I doubt our class would have done as well as we did. This again lead me to the point of our hike: to create trails along the entire length of the San Dieguito park, so that everyone will have easier access to hike along it's beautiful scenery, and gain awareness of the nature within it needing to be protected and preserved. Having a true purpose behind this trip has kept me going throughout the struggles! As we reached the end of this wild stretch, our class applauded ourselves on our difficult trek.
I thoroughly enjoyed today's hike, for I felt the most adventurous and exploring yet this week. We only have 1 full day of hiking left before our completion at Dog Beach in Del Mar. I am so excited by my experiences so far, and ones to come!
- Erina Chavez
Student of the Adventure Team