An Unforgettable Trip To Channel Islands National Park

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A few months ago, my boyfriend Jesse and I decided to wield our shiny new annual National Parks pass by taking a trip to Channel Islands National Park.  Funny enough, entrance to the park is free so our annual pass achieved nothing that day. Either way, I've always marveled at the islands off the coast of Oxnard and Santa Barbara for as long as I can remember. They're enormous and mysterious; untouched mountains lining the ocean just waiting to be discovered.

For our six year anniversary we decided to discover them. I have to admit that the thought of being stranded on an island made me a wee bit nervous, so we opted to start small with a trip to Anacapa (the closest and most trafficked island).

An Unforgettable Trip To Channel Islands National Park
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We lucked out with an overcast day, as the island has no trees or overhead shelter. While on the boat, the chilled wind whipped against our cheeks as the fog slowly revealed more and more of the open ocean.

June, as we came to know, is prime season for mating seagulls. They hatch their babies on the island before heading to the mainland for a permanent home. The ranger warned us that the seagulls were a bit feisty, but oh my word, they were the craziest mass of seagulls I've ever encountered in my life.

An Unforgettable Trip To Channel Islands National Park

We spent the first hour admiring the fluffy spotted baby chicks cuddling into themselves and eating out of their mother's beak. We felt like National Geographic photographers.

Cut to the second hour when we were dodging fury attacks by nail digging webbed feet aimed directly at our heads! With mere eye contact from eight feet away, a momma bird would begin her aerial threat causing us to duck and cover — running for our lives. It was literally a scene out of Hitchcock's "The Birds."

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An Unforgettable Trip To Channel Islands National Park

By the end of the third hour, we were more than ready to leave the island. The ocean and cliff formations were breathtaking, but the constant bird attacks wore us down. They never let up.

Regardless of the fact, Anacapa is stunning and I would highly recommend it. I strongly advise to steer clear of visiting May through early July to avoid the birds. Although I will say that the experience with the birds was unlike anything I've ever seen and surely something I'll never forget. So if that's your thing, go for it!

PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARLENE PEARL