On 6/28 every year, I drive somewhere for the day. It’s the anniversary of when I bought my car [Charlie]…so I mix up my favorite things and have at it. Driving, exploring, and photography. Last year I went to Lassen Volcanic National Park…which was awesome because there was snow in the middle of the summer. I also came upon an abandoned home on the side of the road which of course I went into. The year before that I went to Lake Tahoe.
This year I went to Pinnacles National Monument. I put the zip code in my GPS and followed that and actually ended up on a back road 100 miles from where I was wanting to be. It was a pretty beautiful area though…and I only crossed paths with 3 other cars for probably an hour when I was in the area. I love those kinds of places, you can really feel alone there…you don’t hear cars or really anything hinting at civilization…just you and the wind.
I spent a little time there and then headed back to get to the park. The Pinnacles are basically pieces of a volcano that is over 150 miles away in Southern California. I have no idea how that is possible but it is! It was really pretty there, Volcanic land is so different and unique. I did some hiking, took some pictures…but the whole reason I first decided this is where I wanted to go, was because there are 2 caves here that you are free to explore. Sadly one of them is closed for a couple more weeks due to the bats inside…they have to protect their population…but one was open! I came with flashlight in hand, ready to go. There were only a few groups of people so luckily I was able to go in by myself and didn’t have to deal with other people in there at the same time. I was pretty nervous going in, because it was pitch black and I had the flashlight but there was still the “unknown” aspect of it. I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of the dark, but I’m not a huge fan of it either.
There were a few bits of light poking in from the top so I got to see a few bats flying around up there as well. That was pretty neat. So after that I just followed the trail which ended up looping back to the parking lot. I made my way back to the freeway just in time for it to start raining. Also just in time to get stuck in TERRIBLE traffic. At one point, it took me a whole hour to go just 15 miles. It was insane.
But! All in all, a good day…I like being able to get away every so often.
^ Cave entrance
^ Back entrance/where I exited