I've been working Friday afternoons at Scripps Coastal for almost a year, noticing trails on the hill out the window, and not realized how much space there was back there. I've run at Calaveras Lake once before and somehow didn't remember how interesting and precipitous the topography was, especially in the (apparently) quarried-out section. Besides the north end of that open space over the line into Oceanside, the southern end is a maze-like area of flowers and oak woodlands in the mini-canyons. The maziness of it and the dramatic up-and-down makes this a longer run than you think you came in for. The private property boundaries are tough to respect because they're inconsistently marked. At one point I inadvertently stumbled on paradise - a clapboard shack surrounded by banana and palm trees with a couple bicycles, waaay of the grid. Someone had a TV on, apparently hooked up to a car battery or solar charger. Who was it? Old surfers working a garden in the North County earth? Laborers who take care of the development to the south in exchange for living there? But since paradise was already occupied by folks who seemed to value their privacy and I wasn't sure if I was trespassing, I headed back north toward the lake.
Afterward I went to the just-discovered-by-me On The Tracks Brewery tasting room and picked up a growler of their ESB. They're doing experimental stuff and they seem pretty new over there, and like many San Diego microbreweries their outlet bar is in a corner of an office park. They have an experimental green tea beer, which I haven't yet tried. Reward innovation, my fellow Americans! 5674 El Camino Real Suite G in Carlsbad, between Salk and Faraday.
Finally, if you're in the area when it's light out, check out the north side of Cannon Road just east of the 5, because they have strawberries. TOTALLY NICE.
Note the thick brow-ridge, the idiotic grin, and the death-grip on the beverage. You can email this handsome devil at email@example.com.
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Rattlesnake Encounter Map
Have you run across one of our scaly friends on a trail in California? Take 5 seconds and add it to this map so we can see where interactions are more likely to take place, and make life safer for trail users.