Last year for Christmas our mom got Corey and I each a pocket guide to day hikes in and around the communities where we live. Earlier this month on an unbearably humid day for Southern California, we packed up the kids and headed just minutes from Corey's house to the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve in Escondido of all places. It was a switchback hike literally uphill the entire way, and I'll admit, hard as we tried, we didn't make it to the top.
But nonetheless we rewarded ourselves with a dip in an actual flowing creek with actual waterfalls and silver fish zipping by. I've never been to the South before, but it reminded me what I think I'd find somewhere in the open spaces of West Virginia or Alabama, not 10 minutes from grocery stores, gas stations and business parks in San Diego's North County. It was a perfect, and totally unexpected, way to spend a morning.