SD Must See: Mount Woodson Trail + Social Media Musings

I was going to title this post, "SD Must See: Potato Chip Rock," which is the colloquial name for this hike, referring to the potato-chip-shaped rock at the summit, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I'll explain why in a second...

On Saturday this past week, Mike, his buddy Kyle and I suited up in workout gear, loaded up on water bottles and Clif bars, and drove 30 minutes inland to Poway, California to hike Mount Woodson: a beautiful ~7-mile round-trip trail that winds up from Lake Poway.

I'd rate this hike about a 4/5 in difficulty. It starts out innocently enough as you make your way around and up the lake, but by the time you hit about mile two of the ascent, the path gets a little more "step-py" and steep, leaving you huffing and puffing until you're about .9 miles from the summit (or maybe that's the just me). As one of the signs at the start of the trail says, you should have at least two bottles of water for each person (or dog!) on the hike, and heat advisories are frequently in play.

The nickname-sake of this hike, the "potato chip" is a San Diego landmark. You can't hike Mount Woodson and not get a picture precariously standing over this jutted-out piece of stone. However, on Saturday, we did just that.

"Potato chip rock" sans picture-subjects, in all it's glory.

When we got to the top of the mountain, excited to get some respite and rest our legs after the long hike up, we were shocked to see not just a short line, but no less than 40 people waiting to take a picture on potato chip rock. Are you kidding me? We said to each other, in awe of the crowd as we watched person after person and group after group take their turns executing pre-planned poses on the monument.

I hate to say it, folks, but Potato Chip Rock has become basic.

While it would have been cool to get our photo hovering on a thin rock overtop of the valley below, it's not why we did the hike. Not for the Insta, not for the status update. But judging by the outfits (and props!) of some of the other groups we saw, that wasn't the case for everyone.

So, we snapped a few photos not on the rock, caught our breath, took in the scenic view, and headed back down the mountain.

I'm not ragging on the idea of taking a picture with at least slightest the intention of sharing it on social media. Heck, I'm a blogger, and at work, social media is part of how I make a living. And I'm happy that every other hiker we encountered on Saturday was out there enjoying the beauty of San Diego. I'm just saying, keep it in perspective; enjoy the moment. Hike Live now, post later.

...And now I'll get down off my soapbox. How was your weekend?