Posted by: Suzan | October 1, 2010

Adventures in the Backyard


Hiking boots, covered with thick dust, are lined up close to the door. A trailhead, steps away, leads us to an expansive ridge. On clear days, which are numerous, one can see the ocean and the Coronado Islands. In the evening, the full colors of sunset settle in to bid goodnight.

Our backyard has forty miles of trails which meander up and down thousand foot hills. We live on Mission Trails Park in Tierrasanta, a community in San Diego, California. Though the city we reside in is the eighth largest in the country, we gaze out of our living room window and view majestic hills, deer and coyote. This land will never be developed.

Boulders grace this vast desert landscape reminding us to rest in the stillness and silence. Red tailed hawks soar above in the pale blue sky, on occasion swooping down for an appetizer down below. Slippery, large lizards and even hairy tarantula spiders creep by unannounced.

Gusts of wind on occasion rush in, along with unseasonable heat; due to a weather condition we often experience called the Santa Anna’s. In this dry, dusty landscape our temperature is often in the seventies. When it dips into the lower sixties, we feel winter has arrived.

A new nature adventure greets me each time I venture out. On a recent sojourn a long, thick granddaddy rattlesnake in earth tones crossed the path. He seemed to relish having the sun on his face and would not budge.

Other hikers attempted to pass. One of the young women reached into her pack for her cell phone to call her boyfriend and ask him what to do. I yelled, “Just make a lot of noise with your feet. They cannot hear yet they do feel the movement.”

 I threw rocks down and we pounded our boots on the dirt. Finally, this land dweller curled around and crawled in the other direction – looking forlorn for being forced to leave his sunbathing session.

Then up ahead we heard the strain of loud roaring engines. I’d forgotten that the Air Force’s Blue Angels were performing nearby. The jet fighters flew overhead passing by many times in formations of four or six, in precise alignment, dipping in all directions, even down toward us.

If I’m ever yearning for an adventure, it is as close as my backyard. Given that being an explorer is my essence, I once again lace up the dusty boots knowing the trails will lead me there.


  1. Susan, Lindsey had a perforation when she had a colon exam Friday morning and had surgery tonight. We are most fortunate that it was the best outcome. She called me from her room. She enjoys your posts. Love, Marsha


  2. Thank you for letting me know Marsha. I’m so glad she is okay. I will keep her in my prayers and check in.



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