Back in February Jenn and I purchased a parking pass for the State Parks which allows us to park at the state beaches and parks as much as we want for the next year. Our go-to Saturday morning activity since picking up the pass has been hiking Crystal Cove. For us its less about the hiking and more about just spending time together outside and taking advantage of where we live. However since the first hike we promised each other that we would complete treacherous nine mile perimeter hike; the most difficult trail available at Crystal Cove.
A few weeks back we decided that Memorial Day weekend would be perfect to go for the big one. We'd hiked almost every week for the past four months, usually around five miles each hike. So we incorrectly felt like we were ready. When we left our apartment Saturday morning at around 8:30AM it was sprinkling outside but we decided to go for it anyways. We took our newly acquired backpack (specifically for our hikes) and were off for the long trek.
We couldn't have asked for better weather. It was in the mid 60's, light rain at first, and it remained overcast for the entire hike. The first couple of miles weren't. We trailed behind a couple who were drinking cappuccino's and making us feel like the hike was no where near as bad as we were making it out to be. Luckily a few miles in they headed back and for the remain hike we were mostly on our own.
In fact it wasn't until we got to the very back edge of the trail which paralleled the 73 Freeway where we realized we weren't even half way done and tired. By mile 6 which was when we turned back towards the ocean we were both exhausted and our muscles began to hurt. By mile 7 we decided we were done with the hike and kicked it up a notch and finished strong. In fact our two fastest miles were our last two, mostly because we just wanted to go home and rest.
It was an incredible adventure and a really fun hike. For both of us there was an immense sense of pride to be able to finish the hike and to do it without stopping for any extended period of time. I'm not sure we are going to be doing the full hike again anytime soon but the memories of it will last a lifetime.