We missed a chance to visit Crystal Cove on the previous Saturday. The trails were closed due to the rains. Today was perfect and the trails were open. It was an amazing hike. We had a great time and found a lot of caches.
The trail rises quickly from the nature center.
A hide here could hurt.
These melons were a surprise. The cucurbita are known as both stink melons and coyote melons. One person made the observation the crushed leaves of a stink melon smell worse than the worst b.o. the person had ever smelled. I didn't try to confirm either half of that observation.
There are many tafoni here. We were able to explore a couple and there was a cache in a group of them. As I expected, they are also friendly habitat for rattlesnakes. I had been checking for rattlers before getting too close to any of these and was about 25 feet above Ali when she asked me if I had been checking. "Yes," I said. "Why?" Because there is a really big rattlesnake below you. Oops... It wasn't quite below, but it was huge. We have luckily not seen many rattlesnakes, but this was certainly the biggest. I really wanted to get closer for a better picture, but self-preservation won.
After a good hike, we made a return trip to Ruby's for another shake and malt. We enjoyed the sunset and were treated to a late show by a handful of dolphins along the shore. It was time to move on and time to return to work the next day.