Hike Bike Kayak, Inc. was founded in 2000 by Amy Kangleon. The company offers multisports adventures and fitness classes for those visiting San Diego or for the locals. Hike Bike Kayak (HBK) covers just about everything for those who want to get outdoors and check out the natural sights or to experience a hardcore workout.
After picking out our bikes, they are loaded into HBK's truck and we drive to the top of a "hill". Californians overall have a much more active lifestyle than we have in Kansas City so if they call it a "hill", you can count on it to be a mountain for us normal folks.
At the top of the hill, you can see all of San Diego. Absolutely breathtaking! I want to stay there for another week or so. My thoughts drift over the sights then straight to the ocean!.Oh yeah, why did my daughter Candy disturb my trance and remind of the bike riding adventure. Yeah that. Why couldn't I just stay there and paint and write and dream?
We take off on these awesome bikes (I wish I could take one home with me, but how to sneak a mountain bike into your suitcase!) and we ride through La Jolla. I am not used to riding in traffic just on trails so I stay at the end. Eli keeps looking back to see if I am still hanging on.
I love California for its quaint little cafés and bistro's, unique restaurants and businesses; an elegant yet casual atmosphere that stirs up the artist and writer in me. And of course, the fitness and nature lover in me savors it all while cycling.
The ride along the coast is even more scenic. The Pacific is a dark powdery blue. We continue to the Boardwalk on Mission Beach to catch our breaths and to grab a nutrition bar and a drink. Then we take the somewhat hilly trip back. With gorgeous flowers, palm trees, and never-ending scenery I stay entertained. It isn't hard to get into shape around here!
Lunch consists of a giant sub sandwich of your choice and snacks to go with it: pretzels, chips, fruit, energy bars, cookies, and a variety of drinks. Enough to satisfy any taste.
The next event is ocean kayaking. I've kayaked in the Caribbean and other places with few waves. I am awed with the surfer-challenging waves.
We don wet suits and vests then walk to the nearby La Jolla Beach. After instructing us on what to do, Eli jumps into the water, launching us out to sea.
The waves are not intimidating but exhilarating!
It is exciting to paddle through them as we were professionally instructed by HKB. Candy is initially scared, her eyes as huge as sand dollars, but after making it through the surf, her laughing floods her with a sense of accomplishment.
The La Jolla coastline cliffs kiss the ocean, imprinting my mind with memories to this day. The usual dark morning clouds promise rain, but they lift, as they do most days the sun is out once again, welcoming us to another perfect day.
We pass a white house with rows of windows, perching near the water. You'd be insane not to put in plenty of windows for such a view! Eli tells us that the home is where Dr. Seuss dreamed up all his stories. I can see where his inspiration bloomed while living right on the water's edge! I snap a couple of shots with my waterproof camera, making a mental note as a trivia tidbit for my other kids, who will be excited to find out I visited Dr. Seuss' home.
The waves are too high for us to explore the seacaves of La Jolla, but we are close enough to see amazing sealife: seals swim around us, large storks fly by. We have many companions this day. A newborn seal napping on the rocks blends so well into his surroundings that it is difficult to locate him. Part of the beach is closed since the seals showed up one day and decide they like the location. Now they are a big tourist attraction, wobbling around, sunning themselves in all their glory for the world to see. Oh to be a seal! basking in the sun, lying around all day, gaining weight and absolutely nothing else to do except swimming to your heart's content; we marvel at the life of a seal!
We kayak to a bed of giant kelp. This may not interest others but I am fascinated! The water is over 65 feet deep and yet the gigantic seaweed grows six inches per day to reach the water surface to float on top! I haul some up with my paddle and as my daughter describes, they are "gi-normous". This means gigantic and enormous!
Suddenly, we plummet into the cold water and I grab both paddles and who knows where the kayak is!
Surfacing out of the water, hearts pounding, I gaze at my daughter's I-just-saw-a-ghost face, scared but okay. We're still alive. This is a big adrenaline rush for us.
Where's the kayak? I look up the shore, the kayak parks perfectly as if it has no time to wait for us. We burst into uncontrollable laughter.
"Wow! Let's do that again!"
Some HBK clients leave early and do not go on the next event hiking the Torrey Pines State Preserve. This is a robust full day of activity, but you can do the entire day of hiking, biking and kayaking, or customize your adventure and pick certain activities.
Torrey Pines is known for its great golfing but also for its rare, near branchless pine trees with their unique shape. These trees are the rarest native pines in the United States but the most unique thing about them is they will grow with stubborn survival in severe drought on sand.
The hike starts at the Torrey Pines Golf Course and leads into the Torrey Pines State Reserve. It is a growth of forest that ends at the Pacific Ocean. Terraces and shelves are scoured into the landscape after many years exposure to the elements, with the ocean carving up the ancient beaches that people from all parts of the world journey to see.
The hike starts on flat, dry land, through what I consider a desert-like vegetation of cacti. I can't figure out what the softness is underfoot. Eli called it "dirt" but it seems more like a mixture of sand and soil to me. I am fascinated with the ground underfoot. This place is so clean, so organic and I savor every natural detail for moments when I'm lying in my hammock at home wishing I were back hiking California. You know, California Dreamin'!
We peer over the cliff edge into valleys and small deep dropping canyons. Human-sized holes within the caves were sculpted by the elements. Hikers stop to sit in the holes, smiling for the camera; nothing manmade compares to this artistry of nature.
Eli points out special plants and points of interest. He talks about the land with love, never bored with his guiding. I listen to him and look all around me. It is difficult to hold the camera, hike the crazy terrain, and take in all the beauty that lies around me.
The coastline is definitely not Midwestern flat. The hike is a curvy walk with strange cartoon-like desert plants, but some places require both hands to hold on. We tromp uphill and then suddenly down, down, down a serpentine path. The eyes behold nature, yet keep to the ground to find sound footing. Photo opportunities are as endless as the times I stop the group of HBK hikers to burn the images into my camera and then reload another CD. The group is as patient as the natural artwork of desert, dropoffs, caves, and vegetation.
The gray-blue evening haze arrives, revealing a different version of the surroundings. Blackish shadows draw sketchy patterns on the cliffs like a rough first draft. What a way to end an adventurous day; what an art show variety staged by Mother Nature herself!
All HBK guides are CPR/First Aid certified through the American Red Cross and are experts and professionals in their field of multisports.
Hike Bike Kayak San Diego has a regular calendar of events but will customize tours and trips. Their calendar changes monthly so check out www.hikebikekayak.com to catch up on the latest happenings. You may also contact the adventurous staff at 858/55-9510 to show you all that San Diego has to show you!
Photos and feature by Lena Mabra, Kansas City Correspondent.
Read the Jetetters Magazine Features: Tanked For Thrills - San Diego Shark Diving and The Torrey Pines Golf Course.