From the August 2007 San Diego Hikes Newsletter

t_desertstoneIn preparing revisions for the 2nd Edition of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: San Diego (due out this coming fall), I’ve been contemplating the word “trail.” In writing up each hike, the word starts to grate: “trail, Trail, TRAIL!” – – ugh! Finding substitute words is a constant.

The word “trail” refers to something left behind – – a no-no for us nature lovers who leave nothing but footprints. We’re happy the trails have been left for us to follow, but when we’re out on a hike, enjoying the sites and sounds all around us (birds, the rustle of wind, the trickle of water, the scuttle of a towhee scratching in the brush.…), it’s more fun to put the idea of a trail behind you (pun intended—ha!) and consider the journey a path.

We know nature has transformative power. We may begin a hike tired or feeling stressed, yet somewhere along the nature path a cottontail hops into view, a coyote catches our eye, and we’re suddenly alert, watching for wonders all around.
Miracles are everywhere: in a breeze, rippling like ocean waves through native grasses, in the tangy scent of sage, or the earthy fragrance that grounds us in pungent shade beneath an ancient oak. The soft, repetitive coo of doves lulls us. Nature quiets the mind, sharpens our senses, and fosters connection with our surroundings. Walking the path of wonder brings us closer to the very pulse of our living earth. We emerge changed . . . for the better.

Journey into San Diego’s natural spaces with a sense of gratitude and awe, and emerge on a discovery path we can bring positively into all areas of life. Who knows? With such a calm, reflective outlook, you just might leave behind a “trail” for others to follow!

Make your path a positive one. You leave a trail for others.
– – Sheri McGregor