Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 252: Happy Birthday Ayden; All Day in Santa Paula

A True Heroic Story (read the tablet below)

Day 252: Sunday July 24, 2011  --  Happy Birthday Ayden
A Day in Santa Paula
3.0 miles +100 feet (of Hiking)
All Day -- Easy (Bike Riding for many more miles...)

 St. Francis Dam (Click on pic for story)

I lived in Santa Paula for three years, when the kids were real young.  We often went on bike rides and I will always remember this memorial.  I recall researching this story many years ago and discovered that the dam was built cheaply and was barely finished before it cracked.  The reason, money!  They cut costs and as a result, millions of gallons of water exploded through and rushed down the Santa Clara.  The low lying parts of Santa Paula were totally wiped out.  Fortunately, these two motorcycle cops rode in the midnight hours to save as many lives as possible.  

 My old house

This picture is taken from the park on Ojai Rd, the 150.  Just behind that large tree was my place of residence for over three years.  I remember homies from the park would often drink and then piss behind the tree, in clear sight of my wife and kids.  Sorry for the vulgar grammar but it is what it is.  I can't believe I lived here; I've come such a long way...

 Ayden met a friend at the playground

We parked our car downtown SP and then rode our bikes about a mile or so up the hill to the park.  Ayden met a 5-year-old boy named Frankie, who shared his scooter.  Just like old times, Ayden rode his Razor on the jungle gym, across the bridge and down the hill towards the swings.  Then, we set foot on the trail that led beyond the park...

 From the trail, my old apartment complex

Near the end of my stay in Santa Paula, some cronies set fire to the hillside back here.  How stupid.  I was just getting home from work and saw the hill behind my apartment on fire.  Along with another tenant, we stomped on the flames and through dirt on it until it went out.  The brush was dry and if we hadn't of stopped it, it's quite possible that my apartment would have been in flames.  --This entire trail is only about a quarter mile or so.  Eventually, it ends behind a church.  Just for old times, we hiked the 3/4 mile loop.

 The Rrr People

The neighborhoods across the street are actually really nice.  When Ayden was on training wheels, he, Alyssa and I would often pedal back here all the way up to the school where there was a cooler playground than the park.  Along the way, we always passed the "Rrr People".  Back then, these scarecrows were positioned in the middle of the lawn and dressed in dirtier closed.  I would always kid with my kids that these people were real and screamed, "Rrr, Get Off My Ground!"  The truth was, the slow incline hill was about halfway to the school and my young kids often got tired here.  I made it like a game so they would pedal faster by them to get to our destination.  It was really fun on the way home because Ayden would be maxing out the speed of his bike...

 Trailhead off Forest and Cliff

Park your bikes, or ride them along the trail.  I nearly forgot about this spot.  About a quarter mile back you will reach the Santa Paula Creek.  During the rainy season, this river really flows...


 Ayden skipping rocks in the water

 Flows down to the Santa Clara
(The SP in the Mountain stands for Santa Paula)

 On our way out, up scream, hmm, a hiking trail?
--I'll be back to explore it!

 The Water Ball

We pedaled back down to the train tracks and then walked over to the water ball.  This was the coolest thing that came to Santa Paula since.... um, well, nothing cool has really come here.  There is a K-Mart :)

 Moreton Bay Fig Tree
I once told Ayden if he ate his spinach he would grow taller than the tree


 Mupu Grill - Good Food

Happy 8th Birthday Ayden!

Day 253: Monday July 25, 2011
Westlake Lake
5.0 miles +25 feet
 1.25 hours

I parked the car at the corner of Triunfo and Lindero.  Initially, I came here today with the idea that I was going to hike the Westlake Vista Trail.  I discovered this spot on Day 239  
Problem is, I didn't bring my hiking shoes and I didn't want to hike the uphill trail in my running shoes.  Thus, I left the car there and ran the entire circumference of the lake across the street.  At first, it was easy and scenic.  However, after a mile or so into it, you start cutting down side streets and then realize that you cannot exactly just circle the lake.  --By the time I did make it to the otherside, I was dragging but down Lindero.  I'll be honest, my marathon was 18 months ago and I could not keep up a pace the entire way.  Sad... 

However, I then went to Bally's after the run.  I am working out with weights 3-5 days a week.  I'm loving it!  Although, I am gaining weight from it.  My old muscles are starting to come back.  Look out!

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