Peak Experience~

Quarantine is good for hiking up to places where no humans are!

This is the Laguna/Borrego Escarpment close to The Holler.

It is the ridgeline of the Laguna Mountain Range in Southern California. The Pacific Coast Trail runs through here and you cross it coming up.

You are looking down from the ridgeline onto the Anza Borrego Desert, parts of which are below sea level.

Butterflies are up here enmass because the wildflowers are blooming.

The hike up is strenuous, but good exercise, and the views make it the perfect place for a quarantine picnic.

Cheers to you from a lonely view~

231 thoughts on “Peak Experience~

  1. As Albert Camus once noted “In order to understand date world, on has to turn away from it on occasion.” You have found the perfect spot for this occasion. Hugs!!

    1. It is good to be reminded that humans and their progressive inventions do not dominate great swaths of the world. Thankyou for sharing that stark magnificence.

  2. Wow Cindy! Amazing pics. It looks a bit like our Lake District or Scottish Highlands here in the UK, but drier, the final photo really gives that away. Thank you for another brilliant post.

  3. Ahh…what an exHILLarating experience! Breathtaking shots as always, my dear friend. Be safe and healthy! ♥ ♥ ⁽⁽(ી₍₍⁽⁽(ી⁽⁽(ી₍₍⁽⁽(ી( ˆoˆ )ʃ)₎₎⁾⁾ʃ)₎₎ʃ)₎₎⁾⁾ʃ)₎₎ ♥ ♥

  4. Wow! How fortunate you are to be able to do that.
    I am always a little torn between the views at the top which show so far and the views from the valley which show tall mountains – but all the views are better when it is quiet and one is “away from it all.”

  5. Your shots prove you really are an artist, capable of showing the beauty of nature. Thank you Cindy for letting us see these awesome places you have captured. 🙂

  6. Thank you for sharing your peak experience with this wonderful photo essay! The visit of the butterfly on the wildflower was particularly impressive, Cindy.

  7. I hope the view was solitary rather than lonely! Love the quiet bench in that last picture. Gorgeous place, and well worth the hike it seems. I’m envious.

  8. That part of the country is stunning in it’s other worldly appearance. I’m glad it’s you doing the hiking for me and letting me enjoy the view in my armchair. 😉 I would not be comfortable hiking that terrain alone. But then, I don’t hike. 😉 It’s absolutely stunning there.

  9. I love climbing mountains for the great vistas you have at the top, plus the exercise! Peak experience is the perfect description Cindy. You live in such a beautiful and diverse area. I didn’t realize you were near the desert too.

        1. Yes, it is two different ecosystems colliding, with earthquake fault uplift in between…..Actually this sounds like a description of Southern California, in many more ways than one. Differences colliding, creating beauty დ

    1. It is epic isn’t it! Such an odd thing. When humans are forced indoors in cities, and suburbs, in order to survive, nature breathes. Even here, somewhat away from all that, I have never ever seen such a variety of wildflowers bloom everywhere. I don’t know what half of them are, because I have never seen them before, even though I have lived in this general region all my life. Maybe the wild things are happy. It would be good, if something good, could come from all the pain დ

    1. No. It is actually quite cool and misty. Can you believe it? First we had this Godsend late rain that lasted days. And now it is June, overcast and cool, with 40% rain in the forecast over the next few days. No wonder the wildflowers are still blooming everywhere დ

  10. Pingback: Peak Experience~ – Invest In Yourself First!!

  11. Wonderful layered hues. A great sense of space and freedom.You could sit and watch it change all day. Flowers are abundant here too, thanks to the wet cool spring?

    1. Yes. You are right. Being alone with yourself, means you are hanging out with you own best friend. It is something to be sought for and treasured. Be well Alexander & thank you დ

  12. Oh my God that’s truly stunning. I love being in places where in my line of sight not only are there no other humans, but no other human-related things!, so that one can imagine being whisked back to hundreds or thousands years ago, with the exact view looking exactly as it is. Living in an urban concrete jungle, it’s such a treat to find myself among some wild-looking trees that I can do this. (Most times I can’t even by gazing straight up at the sky haha!) Your Holler, as we have been treated to pictures of them before, is so beautiful, Cindy! Cheers!

    1. You blow me away Halim. Our essential self is confirmed when in nature. You do understand. Which is probably why we appreciate each other. You are a remarkable person. Thank you for being my friend.

    1. The snakes, meaning rattlesnakes, are more present at The Holler, where I live, than up there. The juveniles are out in force now here, probably due to the cessation of the draught, and they are biting dogs at the rate of one per hour said our vet, and they just bit a child who lives near. He almost died. You have to think about them all the time when you walk or hike. But when you are on a ridgeline, above the brush, they have less places to hide. My son studied rattlesnake behaviour in grad school. He knew I was terrified of them. So we drove in a car with them in plastic bins, and I watched as he set them free. They were so terrified of us. They just wanted to get away, and Matt said to me, “There are beautiful aren’t they?”
      And of course they were.

  13. did mis type when you said “lonely” view Cindy? I wondered if you meant a lovely view?
    A great view none the less! I’ve always wanted to camp out in a desert! I found it very quiet!

    1. Lovely and lonely are similar to me. A lot of people felt lonely is sad. But sometimes, as you more than most would know, being by yourself in nature, with the wild things, is lonely, and magnificent. Still that was my son in the photo, and my husband was behind us, so I wasn’t technically alone, but we were all lonely, in the face of rocks, mountains, deserts and immensity. I love loneliness like this. It is the thing that most relaxes me. Lucky you in your ‘lonely’ cabin where you have the best neighbors in the world.

  14. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    I do like to end my evenings before switching off the computer, with images that remind me that there is peace in the world and life beyond our narrow field of vision at the moment.. Cindy Knoke provides those in these wonderful photographs taken of the Laguna/Borrego Escarpment close to The Holler where Cindy lives.. What a privilege to have a trail like this close to home, uninhabited at the moment by people, only nature.. Please head over to enjoy..

    1. Nature grounds me. The weirder things get, the more I retreat into it. Hope you are staying safe and doing well my friend. Cheers to you & thank you დ

  15. Really appreciated sharing this gorgeous hike on the ridgeline with you, Cindy. Photos, as always, are spectacular…I was especially dazzled by the swallowtail butterfly on the thistle flower.

    1. It was lovely to have you come along & thank you! There were two colors of tiger swallowtails and monarchs up there, lots of them. I think due to the late rains. It was lovely დ

  16. Oh Cindy, your photos make me what to load up and take off to found such a beautiful place. Love how you got the green in the foreground to pop out so nicely with the rugged mountains in the background, beautifully captured 🙂👍.

  17. Wonderful views and pics of what looks like a great place to ‘quarantine’ calm and peaceful. Makes me homesick for the mountain property we owned northwest of Fort Collins, Co. in Glacier View Meadows, before we sold it a year ago. Your pics are always so uplifting and right now we all need that with all the chaos and uncertainty in these times and in this world. Wanted to let you know also that after some serious deliberation I decided to keep my old blog site and hopefully continue as long as I can. But, I did need to correct my link and make changes to it . It had been but now is corrected and renamed as follows: I needed to drop the j in the link as it referred to my former married name. I was able to keep all the old posts and features the same so hopefully can pretty much just pick up where I left off. I have recently posted: “My friend was black,” which you can find there now; a story from my childhood memories. Stay well, stay safe and God bless and hope to see you around again. 🙂

    1. I was so hoping you wouldn’t go! I would have so missed your uniquely brilliant, courageous, Christian thought. You embody the spirit my friend. We need you here.

  18. Dear Cindy, thanks for bringing us on this gorgeous hike. I’ve always loved the wonderful colors to be found in rocks, but the greens, and the beautiful lighting… these photos are spectacular. Hugs on the wing.

  19. Seems you have been exploring the local peaks and looks grand. Here we have explored our overgrown boundaries but thankful for the space unlike many. Slowly emerging now, think still half chrysalis but love your swallowtail. We have them here but haven’t seen any yet. Stay well.

  20. So many questions–how do you get such crisp shots of birds, butterflies, and such? [We have lots of bird visitors, but they don’t remain still long enough…]. And how do you manage to find time to respond to all the comments?!

  21. What stunning views from up there, and I love the shot of the yellow swallowtail on the lavender thistle! I have never heard of the Laguna Mountain Range before and we travel to Southern CA a lot, or at least we did before the corona virus! I always appreciate the beautiful, out-of-the-way places you show us! Thank you.

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