On many trips to southern California, I had often wondered about a side trip to Catalina Island. Why: I had never been, it looked cool, had hikes, etc… but there was never really the time to do it. it is an all-day commitment that I usually did not have time to do.
Well – I finally got the time to go this November, between losing at golf on Tuesday and picking up Anna at LAX on Wednesday night. It was great….. the Wednesday 6:45 AM boat ride was fast (and more importantly – smooth). And then I had around 8 hours to explore. I explored around the town of Avalon a bit, trying to take the classic picture you would see in their webcam (http://catalina.com/Catalina-Island-Avalon-Bay-Cam/). I failed.
Nonetheless, I set out to find a decent hike. I found one with a loop that started out of town. After a short cab ride to the trailhead (I know – shame on me), I set out on the Hermit Gulch trail loop (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Guide-g29121-i1774-Avalon_Catalina_Island_California.html), which I did in reverse from this description. A steady gain in altitude, in the dry air, certainly got the sweat going. And once you got to the top, it was great views in all directions.. The best part was the quiet and solitude, as it had that unique desert feel, in which you can “hear the silence”. Outstanding… after a few pictures and the required videos, I headed down to a well-deserved lunch and beer. Followed by some shopping (gasp) and latte’s (of course) before heading back to the boat for the trip back…. A great day.