Monday, October 19, 2009


Mark and I spent the weekend up in Idyllwild for my birthday.

Tucked in the rural San Jacinto Mountains, it's an easy 2 hour drive north east of San Diego. At about 5,000 ft. and a population of just over 3,000 it's a great mountain escape, especially if you can only get away for a few days. We could all use a little fresh air!

We stayed at the Strawberry Creek Bunkhouse. Cute place, and our hostess Kathleen was awesome. We even got upgraded to a more spacious room with a loft and an air purifier, which we later discovered was a huge bonus. In the morning, we found outside our door a cute basket filled with breakfast provisions such as fresh fruit, juice, oatmeal and warm scones with this amazing jam.... it was the perfect touch!

The small town of Idyllwild is filled with hundreds of cute little shops and restaurants. I picked up a couple of treasures in a charming little boutique called Himalayan Treasures. We also checked out many of the towns eateries and watering spots, some with better service than others, but I guess we can't expect the best of everything, right? The beer selection and the "Polenta Pie" at Aroma Cafe deserves a "let's come back" with 3.5 stars.

For us, the main objective was to get out on some of the hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Perhaps the most popular attraction, for the more advanced climbers, is San Jacinto Peak, Tahquitz or Suicide Rock.

We did a grueling hike that I didn't think I would survive, Deer Springs Trail to Suicide Rock, kicked my ass, but it was awesome! Seeing all the trees changing colors, that amazing blue sky, squirrels, lizards, we even saw a garter snake. I was on the look out for a mountain lion, but no luck this time.

The hardest part of the hike was the 2,000 elevation gain, altogether over 7,500 ft. That's hard work for our sea level native lungs!

I love the manzanita, that red bark is mesmerizing!

Here's the ">whole slideshow!

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