It’s always a blast when the Sisterchicks get together. But the frivolity is unsurpassed on our epic trips. Our latest adventure took us to San Diego, California. We boarded our flight in cold, dreary Philadelphia with the promise of flowers, flipflops, and fun.
This trip did not disappoint. Once we were settled into our bay side home-away-from-home, we strategically planned the events for the week. We had a lot of options and ideas: a harbor cruise, La Jolla, Coronado, the desert, Old Town, the zoo, and of course, lots of great food. The trick was plugging them into the days and times that would work best.
We decided to start off with a trip to the desert. San Diego had experienced an unusually wet fall and winter, resulting in the best wildflower viewing in nineteen years. After packing provisions consisting of water, apples, peanut butter, and celery (in case we got lost in the desert), we set our GPS for the Anzo-Borrego Desert Park.
We first saw the mountains we would cross just north of San Diego. Did they have snow on them? Maybe it was just rocks. The foothills were littered with boulders, which we decided could use some boulder holders to keep them in place. But that was only a half hour into our two-hour trek. We were definitely going over the big mountains in the distance. And they were definitely covered with snow. This really was going to be an adventure.
We turned onto a road that ran along the bottom of the mountains and something crossed our path. What was that? A small deer? No, it was a mountain lion! A real, live, not-in-a-zoo mountain lion! As we screamed, “It’s a mountain lion!” it stopped on the embankment and turned and looked at us. I imagine it had never seen Sisterchicks before and was not familiar with the different calls they make. Unfortunately, we were so excited and busy screaming, no one got a picture of the elusive cat. It took off up the mountainside.
On we went, a spectacular, but harrowing, ride up and over the snow-covered mountains, especially for one chick who is afraid of heights. It wasn’t much more than 4,000 feet to the top. And then 4,000 feet down. Sweaty palms and irregular heartbeats aside, it was no problem. Our bravery was rewarded with a desert covered with wildflowers. And we regaled the park volunteers with tales of our mountain lion encounter.
But we didn’t stop there. We wanted to see “the slot,” a section of desert that has narrow passages for about a mile. It’s always a different hike because they have three to four earthquakes a day there, which causes shifts in the rocks, ledges, and openings of “the slot.” Let me say, they always have earthquakes there. It was nothing the Sisterchicks did. We started our hike and knew immediately that we must be crazy. I am claustrophobic. Another chick is not fond of tight spaces. The other two were downright reckless. But Sisterchicks can do anything, as long as we work together. “Working” together usually means making each other laugh. The slot was no exception. I wished they had carved a bathroom into the rocks. Just saying, middle-aged women laughing while hiking; bad things could happen. We made it through our first day, without even needing our provisions, and were rewarded with a beautiful sunset at 4,000 feet.
I am so thankful for these ladies who help me get through life’s ups, downs, and tight spaces with laughter and renewed confidence. They are priceless and precious. And I can’t wait for our next adventure!
“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17 (NKJV)