Fall Camping on Palomar Mountain

Before you give my post title the side-eye, I will have you know that the first official day of Winter is December 21!

View from Palomar Mountain

For the past two years, our friend group has gone camping on Palomar Mountain at the Doane Valley Campground, which is a little over an hour northeast of San Diego. We’ve gone one of the first two weekends of November, when the weather definitely feels like “fall,” but it is not yet too cold to be sleeping outside in a tent.

Pinecones

Both years, the itinerary has been as such:

  1. Arrive to the campsite and get tents/gear set up
  2. Short hike up the fire road to view the sunset (watch out for mountain lions—really)
  3. Food and drink around the campfire until we run out of firewood
  4. Wake up with the sun (this year we had a jetboil to make coffee—so helpful)
  5. Longer hike. Both times we’ve done a modified version of the “Chimney Flat” hike.
  6. Brunch at the vegetarian diner outside the state park

Each time, we have only camped out for one night. A lot of people in our group work in the school system, and fall is such a busy time; this 24 hour period without cell reception is perfect to unwind and connect with nature. There were plenty of other campers with lots more stuff and I could tell they were settled in for a number of days.

This year’s trip felt very special since last year we were all just beginning to spend time together. I sort of happened to fall in with a few old classmates a couple years younger than me who were freshmen/sophomores when I was a senior. I knew them but didn’t know them, until Doug and I spontaneously agreed to go on last year’s camping trip. It was really the event that gelled us into the “squad” we are today. We even jokingly called ourselves “Squad 14” since we were camping at site 14, but somehow the name has stuck for more than a year.

Campsite 14

Camping Crew

Making friends as an adult is really weird and really hard. When we moved out here to San Diego, we were starting over, aside from maybe 3 or 4 people I was still in touch with from college. We had just left an awesome friend group in Kansas so we were drifting a bit. A few years later, we are now part of a #squad and I couldn’t be happier. I know that like most things in life, this friend group will wax and wane, but for the moment I am feeling lucky to have found such good people.

Advertisements

Published by

Staci

Staci blogs about affordable travel at TheVoyageer.com and about interiors, life, and thoughts at MyFriendStaci.com.

4 thoughts on “Fall Camping on Palomar Mountain”

  1. I was just learning, yesterday, about making friends as an adult. “They” say that when you’re starting from scratch (or scratch-ish), it usually takes about two years to really find a great group.
    After I moved to McPherson, it was about 2 years for me before I found you guys. It was worth it.

    1. I wish someone would make the two year rule known! I’m glad I now have two equally awesome sets of friends and when I go back to Kansas it feels like no time has passed at all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s