Tuesday, November 20, 2012

San Diego: Balboa Park and Mission Gorge hiking

We’ve done a lot since I last posted.  Instead of an hour-by-hour/day-by-day recap, here are a couple of highlights:

Balboa Park:  Wikipedia calls San Diego’s Balboa Park an “urban cultural park” and that’s a good description.  A huge area within San diego’s city limits, it includes the San Diego Zoo and 15 (!) museums plus restaurants, theaters, hiking trails, formal gardens, wild vegetation, beautiful architecture, a carousel, pavilions and on and on.  That place is enormous.  Named for the Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the park was the location of the 1915 Panama California Exposition (which celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal) and the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition (held to promote California and help the local economy during the Depression).

I wanted to go to see an exhibit on chocolate at the Natural History Museum -- but by the time Jim and I put in several miles just wandering the grounds, I was no longer up for it.  Another exhibit that seemed to be drawing a lot of takers was “Instruments of Torture” at the Museum of Man.  Ixnay on that one for me.

Hiking in Mission Gorge: Yesterday we hiked at Mission Trails Regional Park, just a few miles from our campground.  The area was originally the home of the Kumeyaay Indians.  Later it was the site of the Old Mission Dam, built to store water for an early Catholic mission.

Close up of architectural details at the Casa
del Prado, one of the buildings in Balboa
Architectural details of Balboa Parks Museum of Man, an anthropology museum.
Part of the remains of the Old Mission Dam.
Bev and a coast live oak at the Mission Trails Park.  The evergreen oak can be shrubby or -- like this one -- huge and gnarled in a way that makes it grow horizontally.

Jim and Cooper and some park scenery. 
A heron near the Old Mission Dam at Mission Trails Park.
And, because we all need some alone time every now and then:  Cooper in “time out” after getting  grumpy in the rig.  He’s between the driver and passenger seats, blocked in by our trash can and our recycling bag.  

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