Between the suburban sprawl of homes built high on the mountain tops lies the unassuming canyon of Los Penasquitos, just outside the city limits of San Diego.

I had an afternoon to kill, and felt that a quick 6.2 mile hike down the leisurely canyon would fit into my schedule. No water, wearing converse flat top shoes, and a stomach full of cheap fast food, yeah I was ready….

The diversity is what grabs my attention as I go. Lizards basking on rocks in the warm sun, cacti flowers blooming, tree branches twisting and turning as if making their way through an invisible labyrinth.

A couple miles in and the tiny brook becomes a babbling stream. My trail intersects with others, no signs to point one the right way. I wander different paths, keep my heading due West, following the setting sun.

Finally, a sign in an open field lets me know that in .08 of a mile is the waterfall. I quicken my pace. Large rocks and boulders appear from no where. I climb the highest one to survey the surroundings….

The recent California rains haven’t had much impact on the long drought that preceded. After resting for spell in the quiet, I start my climb back.

After a few steps, a sharp twinge of pain in my left foot begins.

Curse you damn converse! The return was no where near as pleasant as the beginning.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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