Laguna Meadow – A late winter family outing

 

Heading through the forest to Laguna Meadow

Heading through the forest to Laguna Meadow

Back in February, it was a gorgeous winter day. There was a chill in the air, but spring was on its way. I carved a day out on the calendar away from Burger Bench. I wanted to take my family on a gentle hike so we could enjoy our time together without gasping our way up to a rocky peak. I chose Laguna Meadow, because I hadn’t been there since the early 2000s, and I remembered it being beautiful. I found some old pictures from back then:

Me at Water of the Woods, Laguna MeadowMe at Water of the Woods, Laguna Meadow

Me at Water of the Woods, Laguna Meadow

Water of the Woods, Laguna Meadow

Water of the Woods, Laguna Meadow

Funny how lush and green it was back then. I remember that we were using Afoot and Afield in San Diego as a guide and were aiming for Cuyamaca Reservoir and changed our destination at the last minute, opting instead for Laguna Meadow.

This time, I was prepared, having memorized the route and trailhead information. We stopped at the Mount Laguna visitor center and enjoyed their displays before driving to the trailhead by the Laguna Campground.

A nice shady forest

A nice shady forest

There was a nice cool bite to the air, but the skies were a crystal blue. The trail was easy to follow through the trees, and then the meadow opened up.

The trail to Laguna Meadow

The trail to Laguna Meadow

It’s hard to explain the feeling of coming upon a meadow. One minute, you’re on a shady trail and the next you feel you’ve found something special. The Kumeyaay thought this area was special, too, since there are several mortero sites that we discovered along the trail.

In Laguna Meadow

In Laguna Meadow

We hiked along the Big Laguna Trail, past Little Laguna, which was completely dry. We enjoyed our time, seeing the ground squirrels frolic in the grass and the red tailed hawks soar high above us. We stopped for snacks here and there, spending a long time at Big Laguna. This was our first time out for an extended period as a family after opening up Burger Bench, and we needed it.

Enjoying a view of Big Laguna

Enjoying a view of Big Laguna

We watched the equestrians enjoy the meadow and chatted with hikers as they passed. The breeze was gentle and the scent of the grasses and trees was great.

Big Laguna Meadow

Big Laguna Meadow

When we stripped away all of the complexity that had been upon us for the past few months, we were simply a family, spending quality time together.

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