Queen Mary Haunted Encounters Ghost Tour

The Queen Mary is a very popular tourist attraction in the Long Beach Harbor that attracts people for many different reasons. Some come for the New Years party, some come to stay on a boat, and others come to dive into the ships haunted history. I had done a lot on the boat but had never checked out the Haunted Encounters Tour. On a recent adventure to stay on the ship, I decided to book the tour and see if I could find any ghosts, here is all the information.

Details

  • Book in advance
  • 375 rooms on the ship, 50 of which they believe are haunted
  • B340 is supposed to be the most haunted room, and no you cannot stay in it.

The tour itself is an hour, and it leaves from the Promenade Deck. Here are a few of the spots that you visit on it.

Room B340

As I said above, this is the room that they believe is the most haunted on the entire boat. We were told that the ghost would pull covers off of people sleeping there and walk around in the room. It was said to have started after a man passed away in the room half a century ago.

Next, we went to a staircase where people have said they have seen ghosts wandering around in as well, before making our way to the pool.

The Pool

The reason that I went on this tour was to see the old pool which is only accessible by taking this tour, so I was excited to enter this off limits area. They keep the lights very low in here, and it adds to the creepy vibe of the old and run down pool room.

The pool is excellent though, and it would have been amazing to see in its heyday. The ghost they believe is here is a girl named Jackie, and even though many people on our tour were excited about her, nothing happened.

I liked walking through the hallway out of the pool area as well as there were some old advertisements from when the ship sailed, and it was fun to see the history.

Engine Room

From there we walked down into the engine room and down to door number 13. This is the spot where another fatal accident happened, and so it has become haunted as well they said. The ghost is a maintenance worker looking for his wrench.

Lastly, we visited the ship’s propeller which was really cool to see. They have a room with clear water that shows you the propeller well. The area is supposed to be haunted from passengers on a boat that was hit by the props but I just enjoyed seeing the massive prop up close.

So did I see any ghosts or anything weird on this tour? No, I did not. That being said it was a fun trip to see some of the more historic and off-limits parts of the boat. Let me know what you think of the tour in the comments.

Solstice Canyon Trail: Exploring the Waterfall and Ruins

Solstice Canyon is an easy 2-mile hike in the hills of Malibu that takes you to a small waterfall and a collection of ruins. It is an excellent way to get the blood moving, while also seeing some pretty unique sites at the same time. I got a chance to revisit this spot in 2017, and it was just as fun as I remembered; it is one of the better easy hikes in Los Angeles County. Get all the information on it below.

Details

  • 2 miles round trip
  • 200 feet of elevation gain
  • Parking can fill up early on the weekends
  • Location: 3998 Solstice Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265

Getting There

Heading out from Los Angeles on Highway 1, Solstice Canyon is about 30 minutes from Santa Monica. You will turn right on Corral Canyon Road and continue left into the Solstice Canyon Area. This is pretty much a one lane road for a half mile before ending in the parking lot. The lot can hold about 20 cars, and if it is full, you will need to park back out on Corral Canyon which adds about a mile to the hike’s length.

Solstice Canyon

Solstice Canyon is one of the area’s most popular hikes and has many different trails, making your time there as long or as short as you would like. The first time I went, we hiked the Solstice Canyon Trail to the ruins and waterfall then went back on the Rising Sun Trail, which gains a lot of elevation to give you some excellent views. If you are looking for a more comfortable hike then just take the Solstice Canyon Trail there and back.

The hike starts from the parking lot, and it heads past a few bathrooms before heading out. The trail is paved and wide, making it easy to follow. The first 3/4th’s of a mile is pretty boring to me as it just a paved road though.

There are some lovely trees to see along the way, and there is a picnic area that is fun for the kids to explore. You will be following a stream most of the way and will cross a bridge to get over the water.

Keller Ruins

The first set of ruins you will get to is the Keller House. This house was built in the early 1900’s, and you can just view it from across the stream or go up and over the bridge to see it up close.

The house itself is off limits so you can’t walk around in it and it is monitored by a camera. You can still see it from outside though, and I recommend walking across the stream to see it.

Robert’s House Ruins

Another 1/4th of a mile and you will be arriving at the ruins of the Robert’s House which is the main attraction on this hike.

It must have been a real mansion when it was in its heyday as the grounds of the house seem enormous and provide a lot of places to walk around and explore.

There are all sorts of things to see ranging from fireplaces to a bathtubs and even what resembles an old dam. It is a cool place to explore.

This house was built in the 1950’s, and then it eventually burned in a fire in the 1980’s.

After exploring and taking it all in, you can walk up to the waterfall.

Solstice Canyon Falls

From the ruins you can proceed up to the waterfall which isn’t more than 100 yards from the old house. It is a nice waterfall, about 30 feet tall. If you have a chance to go after a rain like I did, then it is a lot more pronounced. This is a great place to have lunch before heading back.

The trail down closer to the waterfall is no longer recommended as the NPS system is trying to rehab it. Here is a photo from the first time I went, when it wasn’t closed though.

From here you can either head back the way you came or go up the Rising Sun Trail. This trail gains a lot of elevation during the first half mile as you wind up the mountainside.

Solstice Canyon 8

When you plateau you will have a good view of the ocean and surrounding area, there are some extravagant houses to see here, before heading back to the parking lot. Be sure to note that this portion of the trail has no shade. If you go during the summer months, it can be sweltering and is not recommended in the heat of the day.

Solstice Canyon 9

Overall, Solstice Canyon is a hike that should be on everyone’s list. It has enough things to see that it is an excellent choice for families to take their kids as well. Let me know what you think if you have been in the comments.

Rock Hill Trail: Birdwatching in Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge

This two-mile trail in the Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge, right on the Salton Sea, is one of the best ways to explore the shoreline and see the vast array of birds that make the area their home during migrations. The trail is a nice leisurely walk with a short climb at the end, and I would recommend bringing a zoom lens or binoculars if you want to see the birds as they are still a decent way from you. Here is all the information on this nice trail.

Details

  • 2 miles
  • 50 feet of elevation
  • Takes about an hour
  • Location: 906 W Sinclair Rd, Calipatria, CA 92233

Getting There

The trail leaves from the Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge which is in the South East portion of the Salton Sea. You can put the Sonny Bono Wildlife Refuge into your GPS, and it will take you there. The trail starts right from the parking lot.

The Trail

The trail is well marked, and it starts at the base of the viewing platform which is right near the parking lot.

I recommend heading up onto the viewing platform before starting the trail as it has some of those binocular stand things that let you look at the area zoomed in (what are these things called, let me know in the comments).

From there you can start the trail which is mainly a dirt road the entire way.

The trail goes around a wetlands type area which has lots of birds hanging out in it, and you can hear them making noise while walking.

The trail then turns right and heads towards Rock Hill, which is your final destination.

Along this portion of the trail, you are walking near the water so you can see all sorts of different birds on each side of you.

There is a small little lake near the hill, and I found a lot of birds there as well.

The last portion of the trail climbs the 50 or so feet in elevation and it should be approachable for most people.

There is a bench at the top that you can relax at and the views provided are 360 degrees in all directions. It is an excellent viewpoint.

I had my zoom lens, so I was able to look down on the birds in front of me along the shoreline.

After hanging out for about 15 minutes, I headed back down the trail. Be sure to stop in at the visitors center when you get back as you can learn more about the area and the birds.

This is a nice little hike at the Salton Sea. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments and learn how to explore more of the Salton Sea here.