About two blocks from my house is an open area that leads into the Penasquitos Canyon. It is a beautiful area with several running trails leading through it. I love running through that area and through the Canyon. It has always bothered me that this area is posted as a "Wildlife Habitat Preserve" and we're not allowed to enter the area. As you can tell by the sign I'm not the only person to ignore those signs. As long as I stay on the trails I can't see how I am hurting the habitat.
They have tried hard to keep us out with chain link fences and gates but people are persistent and cut holes in the fences and do what they need to. I want to be clear that I have never vandalized anything but I do run on the trails. With this history imagine how frustrating it was to learn that this area where we've have been restricted from running is now scheduled to become a shopping mall. I'm not really upset about my favorite trails becoming a mall. I think San Diego has done very well at preserving green space but what was the point of restricting this area when it was destined to become a mall?
Yesterday I decided to run on some of my old favorite trails for old times sake. I haven't run them while I was training for the marathon because I have a tendency to trip and fall. I broke my toe on one of those trails while training for my first marathon so now I run on roads and paved trails if I'm training for a big race. So when I head out on my run yesterday I saw that my running "trail" is now a construction road. That huge pile of gravel is probably twenty feet high and is smack dab in the middle of my trail. For my kids sake, this gravel pile is where Carmel Mountain Road dead ends.
When I saw that my trail is no more I took a side trail and ran on what I have learned they call the "tunnels". They call them that because the brush grows right over the trail and you really do feel like you're running in a tunnel. Sarah and I used to run on these trails. They are really beautiful.
As I was running I decided to check out this lake that I've seen on the maps. Sarah told me that they used to run to this lake during their cross country training runs. I've lived here for twenty three years and I've never seen this lake that is only a couple of miles from my house. To be fair, there are no roads that go to it but still, it is weird to think that there is a lake so close to my house that I've never seen.
So I checked out the map on my phone and continued down the tunnels beyond the point where I normally get out. Imagine my dismay when the trail suddenly ended. On my phone the trail clearly continued but there was no trail to be found. I could actually see the main trail just a hundred yards ahead of me but the brush was so thick that I didn't want to walk through it. The problem was that there had been no forks in the trail for quite a ways so it was either give up on my plan and head back the way I came or clear a path through the brush. I now have nasty cuts and scratches all over my body. It was not fun.
When I did get to the lake it was well worth the effort. It is really quite beautiful. On my way back I was also surprised to see a community way back in what I thought was native brush. It is kind of sad to see the native habitat disappear but I guess that's progress.
New York City is further south than Rome, Italy.