Journal entry – 10 Mar 2016, Thurs – Channel Islands (and the Switchback Kids)

Up early (well, right on time instead of hitting snooze) and headed for the harbor. Pulled into the parking lot with plenty of time to spare. We noticed a car in the parking lot with the Switchback Kids magnet on the side door, which made us act like giddy fans who ran into a star. They were busy packing and we didn’t want to interrupt them.

Once on the ferry we went over to say hi – we’d run into them in Capital Reef in Utah and afterward looked them up online. They’ve taken a year off and are visiting all of the National Parks, so we were able to have quite an enjoyable discussion about pursuing similar goals (though on a separate time-line). How fun! Hopefully we’ll be able to meet up over the next couple of months, as we’re going to be travelling in the same direction.

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Stopped on the ridge for lunch and then it’s time to head back down the trail to meet up with the boat. As much as we want to stay longer, we don’t want to miss our ride back to the mainland. Watch a fox watching us come down the trail – he wanders off as we get closer. Another is spotted on the ridge parallel to ours.

Less exciting, but inspiring, we a park ranger is along the trail. That’s a job we’d love to have, and what a fabulous setting to work in!

We get back to the visitors center and the boat is not yet in sight, so we pause for an afternoon coffee. Boil water in our backpacking stove, brew using our drip cone, and sip the last few drops just as the boat pulls in. Perfect timing!

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The ferry ride was quite enjoyable, not just because of the delightful visit we had. With a nice, sunny day the water was sparkling blue and beautiful. A couple of gray whales were spotted, as was a Stella seal – huge in comparison to the California Seals – and a few random dolphins were playing in the water nearby as well. A couple of swells splashed up and got us, even on the upper deck. So glad I had on my rain jacket! We passed by Anacapa Island and pulled into Scorpion Bay on Santa Cruz Island – the pier was damaged last year in a storm so we were skiffed in to shore, 6 at a time. Though it took longer, we landed safe and dry on the beach.

A quick loop through the campground to fill up our water bottles, where we paused to check out one of the Island Foxes that only live on the Channel Islands, lying on the path’s edge. Then a quick loop on up to Cavern Point to check out the views. We took a quick break for a snack before heading up the Scorpoin Canyon trail to the Montañon Ridge. What fabulous views! We’re definitely kicking ourselves for not spending the night… Blue oceans, beautiful beaches, fabulous vistas of the rolling mountain ridge, and still more trails to explore!

Island Fox Island Fox

We’re definitely going to have to return and visit another trip.

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Back on the ferry, we enjoyed the trip back to town. The seals were still laying on the bouy, enjoying the sun. Back on the motorcycle, we headed home to change. Once comfortable we didn’t feel like heading back out (Jennie and Jake recommended a great-sounding place there in Ventura) so we grilled up the pork chops that we’d thawed out but not yet cooked and had a delicious meal at home.

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