Last Sunday Mark and I headed to Idyllwild, CA which is in the San Jacinto Mountains. We had never visited there before so we headed out on an adventure. It was about an hour and a half ride from our house. Not to much to see along the way but then you start driving up the mountain and of course the scenery started to change.
Have to tell you that we have driven many California mountain roads and this by far was one of the curviest we have ever been on! We went up to 6,000 ft. when we reached a little town called Pine Cove which was a little bit past Idyllwild.
I can't really explain it, I couldn't find any pictures either and I didn't take a picture of Pine Cove but it was the most amazing feeling when you approached the area. It was like driving through the dense forest with the most beautiful pine trees reaching towards the sky. It was so majestic. I will have to go back and get some photos!
We headed back into Idyllwild which was our destination and pulled off of the road into an area called The Nature Center. We didn't actually go into the building but we came upon the most interesting trees. They are Manzanita and we had never seen them before. Very dark branches and they were also in bloom.
"Manzanita has a rich history in California. California’s Native Americans utilized the decorative berries and leaves for beverages such as tea, extracts for headaches and lotion for relief from poison oak."
Click to enlarge photos
We also saw a pine cone that was huge. Probably close to one of the biggest I have ever seen. I love pine cones but really don't know much about them. I collect them but couldn't tell you what kind of tree they are from. I searched, I Googled and didn't find what I was looking for.
The pine trees were lovely and tall but nothing that would warrant such giant pine cones. I've seen many pine trees that size with just your normal sized pine cone. These were huge! Then we headed into town, ate some lunch at the Gnome restaurant and walked around some of the little shops. (Mark does not like walking around and going into the shops) I got a really cute pine cone dish towel......
On the way home we picked up some dinner at Portillo's to eat later. Anyone have a Portillo's near them? They are from Chicago. We get what is called a combo sandwich which is Italian Beef with an Italian Sausage.
Enjoy your weekend :)