Channel Islands // SB 2
Everyone was freaking out like the apocalypse was about to happen.
Oddly, I feel like this always happens, where we have a collective panic as a group. Day 2 in Santa Barbara consisted of a day trip to Channel Islands National Park. I was stoked. I love national parks and it's one of my life goals to hike in each one.
However, the details of the day were a bit murky. All we really knew was that we were going, to get to the actual island would take an hour, at some point we may get wet riding in a raft, and we had to pack lunch. This all seems pretty straight forward, but we somehow we twisted it into the extreme. We started reading reviews online that said to wear old tennis shoes that you don't care get damaged/wet; we all only had one pair. It was little things like this that set us off into fits of laughter and fear, reminiscent of some of our time in the Philippines.
Well, there was no turning back since we had bought the tickets already. We were going whether we all wanted to or not. Sandwich making commenced in the morning. We brought extra muffins and food to ration if for whatever reason things went completely south. Everyone had one muffin, so we had to eat it wisely.
To get to the ferry, we had to drive 30 minutes south to Ventura and pick it up there. I must say, Ventura was beautiful and the little marina was gorgeous.
We wandered around a bit, awaiting our impending excursion (or doom), still uncertain about the next few hours.
12 pm rolled around the the ferry pushed off. We managed to snag a few seats on the upper level to get a breeze and view. The ferry would be an hour long ride to an island called Santa Cruz full of water activities and hiking. I won't lie, when we first pushed off I was a little queasy, but I (thankfully) got over it pretty quick.
We were all leery; here's Chris regretting everything and contemplating what he had gotten himself into.
As we made our way through the ocean, we were treated to some marine life! Right as we left the marina, we spotted some seals relaxing on a buoy.
Later on, a huge pod of dolphins were swimming along with the ferry, and Gina and I went to the lower deck to get a better look.
LITTLE DOLPHIN FRIENDS!!
It was great to be out on the open water. To round out the wildlife, there was a whale spotted as we neared the island. Everyone clamored at the front deck to catch a glimpse. We were lucky enough to spot its tail before it dove down into the depths of the ocean for the next few minutes.
The ferry began to slow as the island came into view, and we were treated to incredible views. Sailboats bobbed in the water with large rocks jutting out of the land and ocean.
To get to the mainland, we had to take a little motorized boat. This was one of the parts we completely blew out of proportion.
1. We didn't get wet at all.
2. The ride from the ferry to the land via the raft was less than 60 seconds.
3. We're idiots.
One thing I don't think we were quite prepared for was the heat. IT WAS HOT. I mean, we all knew it was going to be hot, but not this hot. Right as we stepped off the raft we lathered up on sunscreen, threw on hats and sunglasses, and scouted out our hike.
Like, look how dry it is. Welcome to California. There's no water. Except in the ocean. But it's salty. So no water.
When we were reading reviews, the hike to not be missed was Cavern Point Loop. With only about 2-3 hours on the island, we made the collective decision to embark on this hike.
Even though the hike just started on a disgusting incline, the views were amazing. Smuggler's Cove was in our view on our whole ascent.
Gina, hiker extraordinaire and frequenter of Rocky Mountain National Park, lead the way. Once we reached a corner of the trail, we were treated to spectacular sweeping views Santa Cruz Island. Now I understand why this wasn't to be missed.
The great ocean blue. And all the vastness.
After admiring the view, we continued on the trail through the driest land I've ever seen. Also, mom upgraded her hiking purse. This is an ongoing joke since we went to Arches earlier this year. We had been in the car for a few hours and spontaneously decided to hop out of the car for a hike to Delicate Arch. We weren't super prepared, and couldn't leave valuables in the car, so mom brought her purse. Unfortunately, it's become a thing.
I wasn't really prepared for this next viewpoint. We peeked over the edge and we absolutely floored. SPECTACULAR. See if you can spot Gina in this picture!
We'd been hiking for a bit and Caroline had apparently worked up an appetite. As we were taking pictures, she pestered Gina, who was carrying all the food, for her sandwich. Obviously, she was quite content when it came into her possession.
Gina and I were just trying to figure out what just happened. HAHAHA!
I wish we had a little more time on the island; it would be an awesome place to camp for the night and explore some more!
Luckily, we had a little time to spare, so we hauled up another trail on the opposite side. I have to say, the rolling hills were something else as we ascended this trail.
Again, gorgeous, gorgeous views!
On our way down to the beach, we made a little fox friend!
After a few lovely hikes, we were back on the ferry jetting back to Ventura. This place was so fun, and I'll defintely come back someday!
BUT WE SURVIVED THE CHANNEL ISLANDS. ALL FOUR HOURS OF IT.