TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Friday, April 29, 2016

What’s That Over There?

I spotted a white cross from afar, high up in the hills above San Juan Capistrano some time ago. It appeared to be a tiny cross, but I knew that it was probably ten feet tall. And I knew that I had to find it. Cuz that’s what I do – I see something from afar, and I just must find a way to get to it.

I’ve been trying off and on to find access to these hills that border Laguna Niguel and over look Interstate 5. The main access point that I located in San Juan Capistrano however, was through a gated community, of which I could not find a way in. Every time I drove to work, I’d hunt for the cross in the hills, trying to pinpoint its location.

Today, I was off work at noon, so after lunch with my husband, I had some time before I needed to pick my youngest son from school, after which I planned to put in a couple hours at the gym. So, I went searching for access to these hills on the Laguna Niguel side. My first guess lead me to a cul-de-sac near a retirement community where I found a single track to SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTUREStravel down the hillside. There was no sign of the cross. I took a seat in a graffiti filled cement gulley looking across at the foothills and The Saddleback Mountains.  It was lovely really, being completely alone, yet surrounded by thousands of busy people making their way on the interstate, on the tollroads, on the overpasses going to the malls, etc., etc.  And I was able to figure out just how far off I was from the cross. My guess was that I needed to find access about a half mile south of my current location. 

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After driving about some, I found another cul-de-sac with hillside access. I promptly jumped a dirt trail and headed up the lonely dry landscape. I was surprised to not see my tiny white cross anywhere. “Gosh,” I thought, “where the heck is it?” And that’s just when I focused straight down in front of me. Bam. There was the cross. But I had to get to my son at school. So I left the trail, and returned about a half hour later and hiked down a single track to a huge white cross in the hillside. Mission accomplished. I sat in the shade and peace of the cross studying the landscape and pointing out places that I recognized. I named the roads, the trails, studied rooftops to try and figure out what building I was looking at. The San Juan Capistrano Mission stood out majestically above it all. When you’re down there you don’t realize that the mission stands on a hill. But from afar, you can really tell that it stands higher than all the other buildings. Anyway, I enjoyed this all for a good half hour or more, before hiking out and heading off to the gym for some calorie burning. Looking forward to what I’ll notice next and wonder, “What’s that over there?”

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