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Casper’s Wilderness Park

I just had the bestest day ever.
Ever had that warm fuzzy feeling about a day; just feel happy as a kid and dont want it to end.

6:30 am there’s a knock at my door. M’s here. “Chal”. “Kahan?”.”Hike”.”Par kahan?”. Log on, search. Hmm.. there are infi places near Irvine. So which one to choose. They all look the same to me. “Yeh wala thoda theek lagta hai.” All the websites look the same to me. I wonder how this one looks better to him. “Ortega highway kaafi scenic hai. Tho is park mein jyada wildlife hone ke chances hain”. Hmm. Park. Wildlife. I need to reming myself that there are Wildlife Parks in the US. Parks are not playgrounds.
7:00 am we’re on our way to Casper’s Wilderness Park. http://www.ocparks.com/caspers/.
Its amazing outside at 7. The sun’s barely up. There’s enough light around. But there’s a cold wind and thick grey “clouds” covering the sky. Cool. Jyada dhoop nahi hogi. Just the right weather for a trek.
I’m yawning profusely. We head south on the 405 for 15 minutes and then turn left into the hills. The light’s alot better now. The road winds uphill a bit, through really upscale neighbourhoods and continues into the hills and seeming wilderness. Just driving thru these hills I think is scenic enough…
We reach the park in another 10 min. There’s hardly anyone there. The lady at the ticket counter has trouble understanding us. We ask her about the trails – she goes on explaining about the trees 🙂
We get a map and the brochure and after scratching our heads a while, choose the “Eastern Ridge Trail” which is supposed to offer ‘the most scenic vistas’ – as per the brochure. Drive thru the Park for another 10 min to get to the base. The speed limit in the park is 10mph. So its a slow winding drive thru the park, and rightly so.

——–

March 2009.

Never got around to finishing this post.It’s been a few years since then. But I remember the day clearly. Here’s a quick summary of the rest of it:

After a 2 hour hike, we headed back. Stopped off at the Marina. I forget the name of the place. Some sailing fest was on. The marina with azure blue waters was full of yatch. And the whole place was jam packed. Nice seaside fest feeling.

Then drove further along PCH1 towards Irvine. Stopped off at a number of the smaller beaches on the way. One of them had this sheer drop and absolutely amazing suring waves.We plunged in but the waves were way too strong.

Reached Irvine by evening.  Lazed by Irvine lake for a while. Followed by dinner at Olive garden.

Imagine – all that in one day. Hills, a yatch fest, srufing, beach, sunset by the lake – and Olive Garden – all in one day 🙂 Now you know why I was so thrilled!! 🙂

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