14-15 June, 2011
To get to San Diego, I traveled through the San Bernardino National Forest. The rock formations fascinated me. From a distance, the mountains looked like giant rounded boulders covered in dark green moss; angles and formations of light gray rock jutted out abruptly in all directions from behind the green. This intense beauty lasted until the smog burned my eyes, and a thick layer of brown capped the lower atmosphere on the horizon demarcating the density of the region’s "civilization".
Lush and cool, my stay at Palomar Mountain provided relief from the harsh splendor of the desert. The road to Palomar Mountain State Park moves quickly from near sea level to 5500 feet and offers spectacular views to passengers; I don't recommend sight seeing for drivers. The road keeps the tight turns coming. The southwestern side of the mountain appears to have seen a fire somewhat recently as there is little brush and fire scarred trees.
The campsites at Palomar Mountain State Park are shaded and family friendly. I found a lush spot under some chatty acorn woodpeckers. In fact, the birds in the park were numerous and boisterous almost to the point of cacophony.
I lounged and scribbled in my journal under the shade of the trees until the mosquitoes became too numerous and I retired to my tent to read. To my delight, I discovered coin operated showers and two quarters rolling about the floor of my car in the morning; I reveled in my 4 minute cold to luke warm shower.
Before heading out for San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park, I wandered around the pond and watched a group of little birds splashed with yellow chitter and zip about. Just above the pond the park plays host to an outdoor school for kids who, until four in the afternoon, fill the area with sounds of play.