Happiness: An Old Trail Rediscovered

i have a Christmas present.

This is pretty much a photo essay. It is the follow-on to a post a week or so ago when i reinvented a walk in the woods…okay, okay, they ain’t woods in the sense of Tennessee or Vermont woods, but it’s open space, which once was open space…

Oh, this could go on and on (and probably will), but i just found a route from the top of my hill that allows me to take a hike (and many, many people have told me to take a hike). My access to the hiking-riding trail was closed for a while,  a good while, so i can do a real, no-kidding (and i cleaned that up) hike for almost as long as i choose.

Today’s was an hour’s two-plus miles up and down. It was glorious to me. It can replace the running, my doc told me to stop (and i might now). So Merry Christmas to me; Merry Christmas to me:

i found a new path from our house. The old one had grown over and not been maintained. Two days ago, some off road bikers came up to the top of our hill so i knew there had to be a way down. i found it.

This is down into a ravine and back up. The ridge is the trail that i posted in a photo last week.

Down that hill is community training corral (i think that’s what it’s called). It’s not very seldom used, but i saw these horses and had to visit.

It had been a while, so i forgot to look out for the nasty cholla cacti, their splines break from the main cacti and stick to the enemy, aka moi. They sting and getting them out is tricky. i have taken them off of our cats and dogs and can tell you this is one of the most un-fun things you can do. Fortunately, only three splines stuck me and only one stayed in my leg. i removed it and am fine and will be a bit more cautious on my next hike.

These things can grow in bunches, so if you see some on your sidewalk, walk around.

This is my new friend. i think i might have made friends with the white one, but she/he wasn’t interested. Besides this old guy and i had a great conversation. He’s getting a little white around the edges like me, so he’s a bit older, but from our conversation, he is very wise and very gentle. We promised to meet again. They reminded me of two horses in a pasture between my small home in College Station and Judy McConnell’s parent’s home there. i took Blythe for a walk one day and had an apple. One of the horses (i think his name was Lightning) came to the fence while i held Blythe with one arm. We petted him and i offered him the apple. He took it along with my entire hand. i stood there with my hand around the apple trapped by his teeth; i was afraid to be aggressive for fear of scaring or even hurting Blythe. i kept talking quietly to Lightning and pulling gently away from his mouth. Finally, he let go. Of course, he kept the apple. But this ole boy, seemed to gentle, too wise.

This is one of the better views of Mount Miguel. Without fog, it is one of the first things i see almost every morning, and it always connects me to our original settlers in this country and this region, the Kumeyaay and to the east, the Navajo. i continually try to envision this land when others came, before this rather incredible chunk of the Southeast corner, probably habitable for about five or six hundred people due to it being a high desert, began to add folks and houses and businesses and the money men who did not care for preservation or even quality of life but just making money and wishing i could walk across it in its and my innocence.

Coming back around before my climb back up to my hill, there is a glen. i always think of what a nice place it would be to lay out a blanket and have a picnic there. Peace.

And i made it up the hill, no mean feat for an old man, surveyed my view of the San Diego, Point Loma, the Coronado Bridge, ships of the fleet, and the Pacific horizon. i gingerly walked down our slope, and retreated to my lair with an appropriate energizer. i am a long, long way from home, many years have passed. Tomorrow is a different Christmas Eve, but all is well.

Peace on Earth. Good Will to Men.


2 thoughts on “Happiness: An Old Trail Rediscovered

  1. Jim,
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    Mark and I found a park with a trail over in the Rancho San Diego Area. It is quiet and has great for photos likes your photos.


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