Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fullerton's Hiltscher and Juanita Cooke Trails

I have clocked thousands of miles walking the Hiltscher and Juanita Cooke trails in Fullerton, California.
The geographic location remains constant, of course,
 but the scenery changes daily without fail.

California peppers, oaks, and pines
Sycamores, eucalyptus, and jacaranda
going through their yearly cycles.

Owls, hawks, and woodpeckers
Parrots, bluebirds, towhees, and song birds
bringing a natural calm to a crisis-fatigued world.

Squirrels, everyday, doing squirrel-ly things.
An escaped domestic rabbit occasionally.
 Coyote trying to eke out a living within dwindling habitat.

Bicyclists, joggers, and dog walkers.
Explorers, birders, and photographers in
an ever-changing parade on the well-used trails.

Oh, the things you'll see on Mulberry Street the trails...
Oh, the things I've seen...

An old man in Dove shorts with a front riding fanny pack.
 (Yes, the image in your mind's eye is as bad as the reality of it was!)
An old woman pushing forward through the dust using a walker.
(And me making a silent vow that I, too, will not be vain and will use whatever prosthetic needed, in order to keep moving both on and off of the trail.)
Gaits as personal as finger prints.

Mothers pushing empty jogging strollers, as their children
run ahead and gather sticks.
  Children riding on the shoulders of an adult.
Children in radio fliers, on tandem bikes, and on unicycles.

Photographers with elaborate "sets" for holiday and "save the date"
shoots...beds, chairs, tables, rugs, decorated Christmas trees, all under an oak.
Birders with tripods and large lenses. 
Students on assignment.

Runners with so much sweat flying, I hope their wake doesn't baptize me.
High school track teams with kids laughing and prancing along.
Some joggers (well beyond their teens) panting, heaving and wheezing so heavily, I mentally brush up on CPR. How many chest compressions per minute?  100.

People walking dogs.
People urging their arthritic dog along.  Dogs in booties. 
Dogs in strollers, dogs being carried in a front pack. ← Poor doggies.

I've seen amateur movies being filmed.
Tai chi movements flowing uninhibited.
Organized events: races, scouting, tree plantings.

There are domestic animals in the fenced properties along the trails 
or, some times, on the trail:
horses, sheep, goats, llamas, geese, chickens, dogs, and cats.

I have found feathers, a $20 bill, and contentment.
I have heard music wafting from above.

I've walked through fog,
on crunchy frost,
and in heat that causes my feet and hands to swell.

I've walked under an umbrella, 
under a full head of steam,
and under clouds that looked like spilled paint.

This time of the year my shod feet get so dirty from the dusty ground, I have to wash them when I get home.
There are a few times a winter when the mud is so bad, detours, board walks, and careful stepping is paramount. 

I see friends, family, and strangers. (People who know me, but I don't know them.  This happens when your daughter was a beloved 2nd grader teacher at the nearby elementary school.)

And, as you can imagine, there's every kind of attire to be seen, including
prom dresses, bridal gowns, jogging spandex and nylon,
prairie skirts, wife-beaters, toe shoes, an array of hats, medical face masks,
 and, Dove shorts!

I love walking the trails and never tire of the outdoor pageant.
I hope you have a recreational trail near your home.
And, if so, I hope you are able to enjoy it.

Happy trails to you.

t.t.f.n. ~ Carol


  1. Although it's a month and two weeks late...I have to say I love all the pictures you took of Juanita Cooke. How you captured the casual, yet staggering height of the eucalyptus in pic 2, and the gnarled character of the peppers in pic 4. And pic 5, while so familiar to me by years of walking, calls to the new-found biker in me...I really need to re-visit these trails with 2 wheels between my legs...

    Dove shorts with a rear-riding fanny pack would be much worse, no?

    Also, please elaborate on walking under a full head of steam...cannot grasp it.

    1. Thank you for the compliments. If you think the eucalyptus trees are tall, imagine how they look to me!