This past weekend I was able to do some hiking in beautiful Encinitas, CA and meandered over to the Mushroom Caves. It’s a local spot known for youth hooligans to go and experience the titillating reactions of smoking a joint or the psychedelic side effects of certain fungal plants. My purpose out there however was not to do mushrooms or smoke weed but rather experience the natural highs in life such as …hiking and beautiful ocean views…
Part 1: Climbing the Mushroom Caves
So me and my friend JS went on this hike together. We walked most of it because I hurt my foot early in the morning while I was moving furniture. We got to a place that seemed rather steep and narrow but JS was convinced that it was the right place so we decided to climb up. It was hard to maneuver body parts in between the narrow cliffs…we had to turn sideways and climb slowly and the further up we went, the more dangerous it got. The walls were very narrow and almost vertical making our progress extremely slow. Our only motivator was our strong determination to make it to the top which pretty much made us overlook all the scraping of the knees, palms, shoulders and ass cheeks.
We got to a spot where we could see the top of the cliffs about twenty feet away, but there was a small ledge that you had to inch across to get to the top. It was at this point when I voiced my opinion that there was no way on earth a stoner could make his way up this steep cliff, inch across that ledge, and climb to the top. The drop from the ledge was a good thirty feet almost vertical drop, but we decided to go for it…until we got half way…then we stopped and sat down. There was no way on earth that stoners could climb this! Slightly frustrated, I sat down and pondered whether or not I should finish the last stretch…it was at this point where I decided that I needed to make it to the top no matter how dangerous it was. JS was pretty adamant about not going up and it being too dangerous… basically talking some reason into my thick head…which in the end, she was right. So we decided to go back down which was probably the best idea we had up to that point. On the way down, I heard some laughing and talking on the other side of the cliffs…the Mushroom Caves were on the other side of these cliffs! Now all we had to do was get down somehow and climb up the other side…
Yeah…we had no business climbing this. I don’t even have a picture of “ledge of death”
Part 2: The Climbing the Real Mushroom Caves
We made our way down which was difficult… but we did it quickly because we knew that the real caves/cliffs were just on the other side. When we got to the bottom, we saw another trail behind a tree that was slightly hidden and followed that path instead. We instantly knew we were on the right track when we turned the corner. There were millions of little holes carved out in the wall with people writing names and mass littering of tea lights, bottles, cans, graffiti, and many other pieces of evidence pointing to the existence of the all singing all dancing crap of the world. We made our way up (a lot easier!) with excitement and anticipation of knowing that we’ll finally reach the top this time. We passed a cave which housed a delightful group of girls getting high…who were talking to the boys sitting on the other side of the cliff…who were also getting high. I overheard them having such intelligent conversations…something related to going to UC Santa Cruz and coming to these caves often. No surprises there.
We kept going up, this time JS led the charge in the front. As we neared the top I heard her scream, “I see the top!” and then she ran off leaving me behind. Thanks pal. I made the last climb myself and joined her on top of the Mushroom Caves which was really worth the trouble we went through earlier.
Entrance to the caves
The view from the top was amazing
The Mushroom Caves
Part 3: Lost Keys
So we stayed on top of the cliffs for a while…marveling at our magnificent achievement but we realized soon that we had prior plans: JS had babysitting and I had… very important things to do…yea…so we headed down. We went another way to avoid the stoners which involved hopping over fallen trees, squeezing between bushes, and dreadfully walking through spider webs. We got down the mountain, walked back along the lagoon and got back to my car when I realized…my keys weren’t in my pockets anymore!! JS made me search my pockets all over again thoroughly, then ran off back to the cliffs. She said she would be faster because I was a gimp and that she would know where it was coming down the hill.
So there I sat, by myself… waiting. Boredom set in. About fifteen minutes later, I decided that I should go back and help find it. I saw JS running back and immediately knew she didn’t find it because well… she would probably be waving it in the air with excitement or something. Anyway, long story short, we went back and climbed up through the shrubs and finally found the key. It was almost dark by then and we were out for almost three hours.
Lost Keys Found!
I’m finally able to cross off one of the items on my list of Things to do in 2010. Many more to go…but I think I’ll get it.