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  • helentao 11:26 pm on August 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    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 :)]

    • cece 2:32 pm on August 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Wow Lennie I didn’t know you had a blog. Nice pictures!

  • helentao 12:15 am on June 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply  


    i had a busy, busy day today. some friends and i made plans to go kayaking in la jolla since we got a great deal. so i dragged dj with me so that we could make use of our zoo membership since we’d already be in san diego. kayaking was so much fun…jenn and sal probably agree :) the bad thing is that i dont have any pictures because it would be pretty amazing if i could kayak and take pictures at the same time. i have lots of pictures from the san diego wild animal park though! so onto that we go….

    finally there! it was so chilly while kayaking…but nice and sunny at the park. i was pretty excited since ive never been to the wild animal park. (sidenote. not a good idea to go anywhere that involves lots of walking after you’ve kayaked for 2 hours. apparently youre more tired than you think)

    going on a safari! the hats make it official.

    im pretty sure this is a toucan.

    crowned crane.

    blue macaw. love the color of the bird…its so bold! the macaw almost looks fake…but its real.

    hehe these macaws are hanging upside down and “kissing”. very cute.

    so dj and i were very tired from kayaking. so we decided we would go on the journey into africa tour which is included with our membership (saves money…and a great way to see the animals without walking). one of the great things about the wild animal park is seeing the animals in a somewhat natural environment. its nice that they have so much space to run around in.

    im pretty sure this is a deer. we werent on the tour yet…so i cant be sure.

    remember from my zoo trip i showed you the lesser flamingos? well these are the greater flamingos…gonna be honest and say that they look pretty much the same to me.

    rhino. i think this one is called the black rhino. yes, its not black. but i dont name the animals…i just attempt to take pictures of them.


    i think this is a heron of some sort.

    i think the tour guide said this was a gazelle. to be honest, the gazelles, antelopes, deers, etc. etc. all look the same to me :( and it doesnt help that they like to all be in the same general area…

    bison. the tour guide said they are the second most dangerous animal in africa. the first? the hippo of course. anyone who has watched congo knows that. haha who remembers that movie?

    giraffe. not as fun as seeing them up close and feeding them.

    pelican feeding another pelican. kinda cool and disgusting at the same time.

    zebras. they get their own area because apparently they are very territorial and get agressive/harrass the other animals if they are in the same area. who knew?? they looked so nice and friendly.

    lazy cheetah.

    lazy rhinos. everyone gets lazy when its hot…

    super lazy lion!!! can you believe its sleeping on the car? how cute is that??





    thats the end of our safari adventure. until next time!

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