61-Week Challenge (Week 2)
Grover Beach Boardwalk/ Monarch Butterfly Grove
Let me start off this week by saying that I love California and it’s weather! I’m watching the news and hearing about the cold snaps and snow that’s occurring all over the US right now. And I’m sorry to say (wait, no I’m not) it’s been about 76 degrees this last week. It’s week 2 of my challenge, and I’m still motivated even though my girlfriend had to bail to take care of her sick kid. (I give thanks that my children have a very healthy immune system, and I pray that it continues.)
I wanted to do a shorter and local trip this week since I had several appointments scattered throughout my schedule. I know I spoke about possibly doing Bishop’s Peak, but I’ve heard we’d need 3-5 hours for that trip. Plus I want to save that for when I have friends joining me.
I decided on running on the Grover Beach Boardwalk and taking it to the Pismo Beach Pier and finishing with a mile+ long beach run. Not all hikes will be monstrous, but when they are flat it allows me to get some trail runs in. This route used to be part of my training for the half marathon last year but I would start in Arroyo Grande at my gym (that run was over 7 miles).
It was such a beautiful day and along the way I went into the Monarch Butterfly Grove where thousands of Monarchs were fluttering around. This route is completely kid/ stroller friendly (but not dog or horse).
The Monarch Butterfly Grove is an absolute MUST SEE! This very small area is host to thousands of Monarchs annually. It is one of the most populated groves in the US. As I walked through the trees I was almost pelted by these beautiful creatures. It’s truly unreal! I’m been here before with and without my kids, but I have never seen it like this.
The “Butterfly Trees” of Pismo Beach are one of our most beloved attractions From late October through February, thousands of colorful Monarch butterflies cluster in the limbs of Eucalyptus and Monterey Pines in the area, giving the appearance of yellow and orange leaves. They travel over the Sierra Mountains and west of the Rockies. Some come from as far away as Canada to escape the colder temperatures of the north… Pismo State Beach hosts one of the largest over wintering congregations, varying in numbers from 20,000 to 200,000.
On my way from the Grove to the Pier I encountered some wildlife. These birds let me get within 2 feet of them. Man, they are so beautiful! Once I reached the pier I took a few moments to soak in the beauty, then I hit the sand.
Can I just tell you I must have passed up 20+ perfect sand dollars?!? I brought home 6 and gave them out to my kids and 2 of their friends that came over for a play date and kept the other 2 for myself.
Oh, did I tell you that on a section you can drive on the beach? We have magnificent sand dunes where you can go with your vehicles & ATVs. But I can save that for another story…
Difficulty: 1 (out of 10)
Beauty: 8 (out of 10)
Distance: 3.77 Miles
Pace: 11:13 min/mi
Max Elevation: 66’
Burned: 383 calories
Worth It? Absolutely! (On a clear day)
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)