Hiking the Cristianitos Trail

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

He-Man and I spent a long week-end visiting my son Big Baby Boy and his fiancé the Dark Haired Beauty down in Southern California.  They moved to a new apartment just before Christmas and one town over to San Clemente and we were looking forward to seeing the area, and their apartment.

The area is gorgeous, and their apartment and complex are really nice. They’re happy and we won’t worry about them anymore than normal which is a blessing!

On Saturday afternoon the Dark Haired Beauty and I spent an hour getting our nails done after we had a full, rich breakfast with the guys, and a walk around Dana Point Harbor.

We had a super rich dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse, and hoped to hike on Sunday morning but, we woke up to a rainy day.  There was a break in the rain late Sunday afternoon so we high-tailed it to the Cristianitos Trail which is right in their neighborhood.  From the trail-head to San Clemente Summit is only 1.4 miles. I stopped to take some photos on the way up.

Spring is in bloom there! I was so surprised to see Lupine this early in full bloom along the trail.


There were huge bushes of Pride of Madeira with new buds.  I’d love to go back when they’re in full flower in a few weeks, but know that’s highly unlikely.


The southeasternish view.  There are sandbags all over the trail to help keep it from eroding from rain runoff. The clouds were pretty great.


I stopped to catch the sun just before it dipped below the mountains.


From here we made the final push up the hill to the summit.  The clouds blocked the sun so there was no color. The image is boring so I won’t share it. We hiked down in near darkness. Fortunately, I brought along my headlamp.

May I present Battle Cat. Big Baby Boy’s and Dark Haired Beauty’s Maine Coon.

Battle Cat

He’s a little over a year old, and still has a few more years  before he’s full grown. I didn’t realize this breed can get so BIG!

It took him a full day to approach me.  I pretty much ignored him hoping that might bring him around. Once he figured I was okay he followed me everywhere, and slept with me for a few hours Sunday night. 🙂  He’s so soft, and cute. I wonder how big he’ll be the next time I see him?


I’m terribly behind reading blogs again. I’ll be catching up! Rain is forecast for Sunday. I’m sure to make headway then. 🙂

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…






54 thoughts on “Hiking the Cristianitos Trail

  1. What a beautiful hike – thank you for sharing your photos! 😃 I have never heard of the Pride of Madeira – so I am going to google it. Sounds like you had a wonderful visit and a nice snuggle with such a pretty cat! 💕🐱

  2. Sounds like you had one perfect visit. 🙂 You mentioned being behind reading blogs. I hadn’t seen posts from you and a few other regulars. I just couldn’t figure it out. I was moving around the mail and noticed there was a lot of mail in the trash. 168 posts and comments that I hadn’t seen before. I can’t come up with a reason, but I took off the filter to try and prevent it from happening it again. It has been many years since we lived near a Morton’s, but I could still visualize a dinner there. Good food. 🙂

  3. Beautiful photos. Looks like an enjoyable weekend even with the rain derailing your original plans. We are starting to get quite a bit of green here, but the brown is still predominate 🙂 I’m looking forward to more color.

    1. Thank you Melissa! It was a pretty great trip.

      Isn’t that Lupine wonderful! I know where some yellow lupine grows and can’t wait to get back on that trail. I thought I might go yesterday, but it rained on and off all day.

        1. Really, I’m not sick of the rain yet, but think we may be at the end of see much more.
          Although I do recall a few birthday parties being switched to an indoor venue because of rain in May. 🙂

  4. Family takes priority over reading blogs, Deborah! Your He-Man, son and his fiance all sound like fun people to hang out with! The dinner place is one which I have heard of~ Morton’s Steakhouse
    We have had a series of birthdays and events. My grandson’s bass (similar to cello) concert and I took my trio of younger grandies to their schools Pizza, Seuss and Family night. We made it to each of their classrooms and saw two hour long Dr. Seuss “movies.” Micah is in second grade, his cousin Marley is in second grade across the hall, while Kyah (Makyah) is in all day long kindergarten. They were good as gold. Micah turned 8, while Kyah turned 6. Both this week!

      1. Deborah, this Seuss adventure is almost more amazing since I had an accident at work. Sent to health clinic, x-rays taken, was put on light duty due to heavy tote dropped upon top of my foot, “moderate contusion.” Then, like it were Friday the 13th, my gear shift in my car got stuck and hard to put back into park. A light on my panel says electronic throttle control is my problem. Car was towed. (Dealership won’t even get to it until Monday!) I had one set of parents take us to family night and another pick us up and take home! We walked around on Saturday since icing and heating pack worked wonders on my foot. Looks bruised and feels sore, though. . .

        1. Oh dear! I’m so glad your foot is going to be alright and felt so much better so soon!

          I hope your car gets fixed soon and isn’t too expensive.

          2 months ago we took our Va-Va to the dealer to replace some part that was recalled. They still have our car! They gave us a loaner to get around in, but we’d like to our Va-Va back!

  5. Lovely photos, Great timing on the sunset, that alone makes the hike worth it. I love the cat. Our first cat was part Maine Coon – 18lbs of black and white fluff.

  6. Beautiful Pictures, Deborah. I had a Main Coon named Cujo. He was 22 pounds of muscle. We finally had to confine him to the house since he was constantly fighting with heaven knows what. One day he shredded a door with his massive paws. He wanted out and it was lucky for us that the door led to the garage so he still was trapped. He finally accepted his fate and became a cat of leisure. He was such a beautiful and loving boy.

  7. From the look on Battle Cat’s face, I’m guessing he’s an Alpha 🙂 Gorgeous!!

    Your photos always have such a wonderful crispness that seems to elude me. The trail photo with the fence in the foreground and mountains in the background is my favourite. I feel like I could step into this image 🙂

    1. Regarding my images having more crispness than yours. Thank you so much for saying that!
      If I can help you with your settings, or post processing let me know!

      Perhaps it’s just that you need to add a bit of tweaking in post processing. Especially if you shoot RAW. RAW files always look a bit flat and need post processing to bring out the contrast and sharpness.

      Seriously, feel free to email me if you have any questions. I don’t know everything, but perhaps I can help. 🙂

      1. Thanks Deborah – that’s very kind of you. In fact, this comment did help.
        I just switched over to shooting in RAW and I have noticed that flatness. I thought it was just a reflection of my ability, because I assumed the picture quality would in fact be better out of the camera.
        I’ve always needed to do some post processing, but I thought RAW would be better.
        Having said that, I KNOW I still have work to do with my camera 😉

        1. RAW is better because there’s more data to work with in post, but you have to work it a bit to get it out.
          Lightroom, or Adobe Camera RAW, and other editing software will give you the punch you feel like you’re missing.

  8. Sounds like a wonderful weekend, Deborah and you have the evidence on film…or flash card and how adorable is Battle Cat! 🙂

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