channel islands: santa cruz 

sal, jenn and i had decided we wanted to go on a photography trip. so we picked a weekend and planned. i invited my parents along since i was supposed to vacation with them but didnt have the time. so it ended up being my parents, my younger sister, two cousins, sal, jenn and me.

destination? santa cruz island of channel islands national park. most of the sites were booked, so i ended up reserving the del norte backcountry campsite. not gonna lie, it was pretty tough carrying 25-30lbs on your back…especially since there were some pretty intense ascents and descents.

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we hadn’t even left yet and sal’s already trying to kill jenn.

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luckily this was before i fell asleep on the ferry (i get sooo seasick). look how cute they are!

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then i woke up just in time to go out and get some shots as we came up to the island :)

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finally there. landed at about 2pm

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took this pic to show you what the first mile was like. 600 feet elevation gain…it was horrible. then we thought it would be easier the rest of the way…but instead we just went downhill…then uphill…then downhill…then uphill……….

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so on the channel island hiking guide, it just said 600 feet elevation gain in the first mile. it didn’t mention anything special about the other 2.4 miles…so we thought it would be pretty easy. but we were wrong.

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my parents were such troopers. they did every single hike that we did. and they brought a lot of food for us (we didn’t think we needed it, but we were so grateful later). my dads backpack mustve been like 35+ lbs!!

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here we are at chinese harbor. the bottom is actually a cobblestone beach. we didnt actually make it down there because it was getting really late…and some experienced hikers told us that is was a very, very steep climb down. probably good that we didnt go down there because i dont think id be here typing this blog if we did. out of the 6 miles to chinese harbor, i think we did around 4…and we did it right after we set up camp!

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fox. they were really little. i had to chase it just to get a picture.

the next morning we started hiking again at 6:30am to make it back to the dock for our guided hike at 9:30.

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dont we look like such happy campers?

you know how in movies when people have a revelation or something and they play that music that just goes like “ahhh” (in an angelic voice?)

well this is how i felt when we reached the dock.

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(just follow the light!)

okay actually the picture was a mistake. i was playing with my camera settings and accidentally did this.

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this is what the dock really looks like.

some detail shots:

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a giant log by the dock.

we waited for a while because our guide was late. luckily that gave us some time to take a lot of pictures.

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this picture calms me. sal, this could be you someday…haha

so before we found out that the guide was on his way, we were pretty ready to leave. but its a good thing we didnt. the pelican bay hike was probably my favorite. i was so exhausted but the views were absolutely amazing. the hike had to be with a guide because we were walking into the nature conservatory land.

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we saw a santa cruz island scrub jay.

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the guide showed us these lemonade berries. we got to try it…they were delicious! wish i got some to bring home.

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the bay. look how blue the water is. i just wanted to jump in and swim back to the dock…totally over hiking.

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starfish! one of the few things in the bay.

overall, approximately 20 miles in 26 hours. pretty proud of us!

hopefully we’ll get to go on another trip soon [but not too soon :)]