Tag Archives: outdoors

The Tooth

Today as I was in the dentist’s chair, having a small chip in a tooth repaired, the TV on the ceiling played a slideshow of desert photographs. I found them a nice alternative to the Food Network or HGTV. I wonder if I slipped in this scene from over our back yard wall, whether anyone would notice. They wouldn’t be able to say anything if they did.

Backyard Chronicles #2

When we first moved to our suburban rental house, I found solace at the REI in the nearby mall (which has since closed). Along with a running group I found on Facebook, a trail book I bought there has helped me appreciate living on the edge of civilization. For example, last year I ran a trail 1/2 marathon around the lake behind our house. I decided to do it again since the course was flat, beautiful and so close by.

Waiting for the start as the fog clears.

As you can see, the water level is high. Because of that and unbeknownst to me, the race course was significantly changed in the past week. What was a flat course became one with significant altitude climbs. But that led to some lovely views.

Motorized paragliders (ultralights?) were out.

Looking south and heading up at about mile 7.

Now looking west at mile 7.3 or so.

Still going up.

Finally, running down! Pink tape marks the course.

I am now at a point where I appreciate having all this to enjoy in our backyard while we’re here. It only took me 2 years, and quite a bit of ibuprofen, but I’ve arrived.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Since he is no longer swimming, James is trying water polo. It’s a 7 am practice, so I went for a run in new environs today. The high school he practices at is only a few blocks from an estuary, separated by a strip of dunes from the ocean. It is also very close to the border, but to get there you’d have to cross the Tijuana river delta, where sewage from TJ regularly finds its way and beyond into the ocean. Swim at your own risk.

Since this was only his second practice, James was a little nervous and requested that I return by 7:50. That would give me plenty of time to explore. I ventured off through an older beach neighborhood for several blocks and soon found a trail that went south through the estuary. To the east of a fence parallel to the trail was a Navy outlying landing field. Although I frequently see rabbits on early morning runs in our neighborhood, here cotton-tailed bunnies were everywhere. I guess at the estuary there are few predators and they are allowed to breed like, well, rabbits. And on the landing field, which was quiet, were long-eared jack-rabbits, twice the size of the regular bunnies. I could not, for the life of me, get a decent shot of one.

I did get a few shots of the little ones.

Can you see the bunny?

Here are some of the flowers:

Taking in the surroundings and focusing on rabbit chasing made the run fly by, and before I knew it I had been gone for over 30 minutes. A sign had indicated I was on “The River Loop Trail,” but at about 7:42, I came to this:

Dead end!

I immediately reversed course and quickly came upon an omen I hadn’t noticed previously:

With the entire length of my trek thus far to travel in reverse, I set off in a hare-like sprint to avoid a similar fate. Anyone for whom “the rabbit has died” knows the doom that awaits a parent late to pick up an anxious child. ūüíÄ

Fortunately, I was able to pull something out of my hat: I cut a corner of the “loop,” ran quick like a bunny through a neighborhood shortcut, and made it back, not by 7:50, but at least before he got out of the pool.

This rabbit avoided the stew today!

Sunset Sail

IMG_4761The other night we were joined by Roger and Sara aboard a chartered sailboat in the Sound, an evening event we acquired at a Lion’s Club auction earlier this year. Our Captain, Ed, provided safe passage to Port Madison, where we saw¬†porpoises but lost wind. It picked back up on our return East, during which JJ had the helm most of the way.IMG_4762.JPGWe were amazed by the bells and whistles on board that were unimaginable to us in our heyday of family sailing on the Odeon forty, thirty and even twenty¬†years ago: a key starter (no more back breaking lawn mower starts!); a self tacking jib (eliminating the need¬†to trip over the tiller (whaa?) while scrambling¬†to the opposite seat to crank down the jib sheet during a tack);¬†sheets (lines) in a centralized location (negating¬†any reason to leave the cockpit whatsoever, much less to sit on the boom to crank down the main sail). Add to that food and drinks provided, and had we not been enjoying ourselves so thoroughly, we may have¬†napped.¬†¬†IMG_4763.JPG


The Fourth


For the 4th, we joined friends at their neighborhood beach club on the lake. We paddle boarded, kayaked, swam, played foosball and ate. And it was just barely warm enough to do it all.


20140705-125034-46234218.jpgD did the most swimming, but JJ did go off the high platform. I was in a kayak with J at the time, so couldn’t document it, but I did get this:20140705-125012-46212358.jpg