Yesterday morning I went for a walk along the Ohio River. I was thinking about my wife and our daughters and how far we all now seemed to reside from the world that we thought we’d be inheriting. And I thought about all those other people who also feel like the clock has been turned back on them. And as I walked, I watched the fog lift off the river as the sun burned down and through. The light was beautiful, the way it touched the trees, the river, the grass, the street, a bench. I thought about the reinvention of language for political purposes and how history gets to be rewritten by those in power, to justify their actions, to arouse patriotic fervor. But how our duty as citizens is to Not be intimidated into conformity. And as I walked along, I once again thought about my wife and our daughters and all of the people who felt this devastating and unjust blow to their sense of self, and my heart broke, and yet, it was also strengthened all in that same moment. That’s what Compassion will do: Give birth to Hope. I then stood still for a few moments, taking in the beauty all around me. I snapped this photo and then I kept walking. I had and I have so far to go.
I’d been laid up in bed with “flu-like symptoms” for nearly 72 hours, so when I woke up this morning feeling half way decent I knew I wanted to get out on the trail. I had to drive Ann and Lucy to Anaheim for a dance convention by 8:00 AM and I needed to be back in Anaheim to pick them up by 2:30 PM. I figured that’d give me more than enough time to get out to Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and put some miles down. I have hiked Laguna Coast many times but before today, and usually due to time constraints, I had yet to hike anywhere on those trails near to or overlooking the ocean. Today would be the day.
When I pulled into the Willow Canyon parking lot, it was already filling up with other hikers and I had a good buzz of pre-hike excitement pumping through me but then the damn parking permit machine would not read any of my credit cards and I had no cash. I nearly panicked. I was in no mood to get back in my car and drive who knows how many miles to an ATM Machine. A few hikers behind me started making noises in their throats as I retried each credit card over and over. Finally, I gave up, went back to my car and sat there and pouted for awhile. Then I decided to instead of driving to an ATM Machine, to drive to one of the other Laguna Coast parking lots and try their permit machine. Bingo! I got my permit at the James Dilley Preserve and then jumped in the car and sped back to Willow Canyon. The lesson, I don’t know how many times I have to learn this one, always have cash!
I hiked up Willow Canyon Road Trail to the Bommer Ridge Trail. I moved along Bommer Ridge until I saw a more difficult trail to my right. I checked my map and saw that it was the Old Emerald Trail and that it connected to the Emerald Canyon Road Trail which seemed to end at or near the ocean. I took it. This was a great hike and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it until it came to an end at a chain link fence, plastered with “No Trespassing” signs around some sort of maintenance lot in front of tennis courts at the base of some homes. Not the payoff I was looking for.
I had my heart set on seeing the ocean today and so I turned around and moved quickly back the way I came. Up Emerald Canyon Road, up Old Emerald Trail and back onto Bommer Ridge. I moved along the ridge and chose to take the Water Tank Trail towards the Pacific. It worked out perfectly. I got out there, ate my lunch (always PB&J) and snapped this photo. After soaking it in for a bit, I turned around, headed back to the car and was back in Anaheim to pick up the girls with time to spare.