I'm just going to put it right out there and say that I think I live in the best place on earth. (And I hope you feel the same way about where you live!) San Diego is a fantastic place, and not just because of the weather. I love my beautiful and endlessly interesting neighborhood (Bankers Hill) and the other great neighborhoods that make up the mid-city. It's got just the right amount of density for me, good public transportation, and there is always something interesting going on. Not only do I have several great restaurants and Balboa Park just a few blocks away, I have a neighbor with a pony. So obviously, it is the best place ever.
From my house, I headed to Laurel St. (The Prado, which runs through the middle of Balboa Park) and serves as 92103's southern boundary. The corner of First Ave. & Laurel St. served as my starting point for the loop, which I thought was going to be somewhere between 8-10 miles, but turned out to be almost 13. Oh well ... unstructured, right?
This run was amazing. A fun adventure, a solid reminder to me of why I make the sacrifices I do to live here, and a reminder to be grateful for the gift of running and the many ways that it keeps me connected to my community. I stopped to enjoy the scenery and take lots of photos along the way (and also because I was tired), and I hope you'll enjoy this Tour de 92103:
Crossing the First Ave. bridge.
Maple Canyon, the harbor, and Point Loma in the distance.
Down to India Street, with the bustle of cruise ships, trains, and airplanes.
Up into the western edge of Mission Hills. These grades were outrageous!
But the views paid me back for my efforts.
(Well, except to take pictures.)
Back down into Old Town State Park.
East along the edge of Mission Valley. Why I didn't think to bring cash so I could
have stopped in at Albie's for a cocktail I will NEVER know.
Back up the hill from the valley into Hillcrest.
(The origins of the names of all of these communities, by the way,
become crystal clear when you are running between them.)
Crossed the 163 Hwy via the Vermont St. Bridge.
A little dose of inspiration from Eleanor Roosevelt, right when I needed it. This was about 8.5 miles in, and I was tired, hungry, and close to home. It was pretty tempting to turn around and go home!
Some further inspiration courtesy of Dr. Seuss, on the Vermont St. Bridge.
Interestingly, yesterday would have been his birthday!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
Through University Heights, then headed south across El Cajon Blvd.
Out to Morley Field, to the edge of Florida Canyon.
Back across the Cabrillo Hwy, into the Bridle Trail system on the eastern edge of Balboa Park. I hike here almost every weekend, but had never seen this particular system of dirt bike trails! There were a half dozen or so boys riding on them, doing crazy jumps over piles of tree stumps.
Up into the center of Balboa Park, where lots of people were out enjoying the day.
(The tower of the Museum of Man in the background.)
West on The Prado back to my starting point.
My cheat sheet!