Back at the lake

Hard to believe, but I was too busy at 5:30 a.m. yesterday to go for my 30-minute walk before work. Then, after a wonderful lunch at Casa de Pico and card store shopping with my friend Jeanette, I got stuck in a traffic jam a mile from my house and lost the will to work out at the gym that afternoon.

Still, that chicken and black bean tostada wore heavy on me, and the meal's huge iced tea left me twitching to do something. So around 6:30 I threw on my gym clothes and headed out for an early evening walk. It was approaching closing time when I began up the hill into Lake Miramar, part of my regular morning running route when I'm not nursing fractured bones. In all the years I've lived here, I've never come to the lake at this time of day.

The first thing that struck me was that I was not alone. Kids on skateboards were heading to the lake, as were two seperate dog owners out for a stroll. Then I noticed all the cars in the first lot. Far more than I imagined for a place getting ready to close the gates in 30 minutes. As I walked along the bike path towards the boat ramp, I was struck by all the runners, walkers and rollerbladers sticking around -- especially after I saw that the restrooms were out of order. Families were milling about the picnic area otherwise occupied by cuddling couples. I went only about a quarter mile more before I decided to turn around. And that's when I saw it. A gorgeous globe of orange slowly tucking itself in for the night. A hot air balloon over Del Mar stood out against a backdrop of deep-pink hues, making the cloudless view picture-perfect.

[Photo by Rick Griencewic at]

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