I went to Badlands Park in Laguna Niguel on Sunday to reconnect, and boy did it deliver.
One of my most frequented trails, the far-reaching views of the Pacific Ocean at Badlands Park (31671 Isle Vista, Laguna Niguel) never disappoint. Regular sneakers can be worn on this trail, but it's always best to have good traction when dealing with rocks and sand. I arrived with my pup, Lady Stella, around noon. With ideal temperatures in the high 50s, there were more visitors than usual.
When you enter the park, the trail immediately splits in two. The left side has signage about how the canyon was formed, and a neat area to explore off the path and among rocks down the wooden stairs. To the right is a traditional trail format, but there's more vast views of the water and the Pacific Coast Highway. We went to the right.
The plant life—combined with the beautiful backdrop—is pretty much picture perfect.
Stella received a lot of compliments on her outfit for the day (I mean, just look at her), which was highlighted by a brand-new doggy backpack which held her portable water bowl, some treats and my book.
Both sides of the park have what I called "off-road" trails, secluded areas just off the main path that are lesser known to visitors. For the most part, most paths have obviously been traveled before, but it rained this weekend, so Stella and I got to make some fresh prints.
I sat on a towel for a stretch and meditation session and gave Stella a bone for something to do (she's a restless pup).
After I got into "total zen mode," we started back for the car. I noticed more of my surroundings this time around, like how the twittering birds seemed to be talking across the canyon, how fulfilling it felt to breathe in the fresh, chilled wind and just how beautiful it was to be amongst nature.
We stopped at the iconic tree we passed on the way in, carved with initials and hearts and dates, for one last goodbye for the trip.
It's one week into the new year, and just like a majority of the population, I want to make some changes in 2019. Most importantly, I want to replace processed foods with natural fuel, but aside from that, I want to connect with nature more often. To be able to breathe outside and "just be" is so special to me, and something I find myself reminiscing about while at my desk during the week. That's why I went to Badlands today, and that's why I *finally* started this blog. (Hi, mom!) I hope you enjoy it!