Solitude in the city?

Solitude in the cityI stay pretty busy at work and my side jobs, so it’s hard to find time to get out of the city. Last Saturday my church hosted a youth hike at a local park, so I decided to check it out with my son. Is it possible to find solitude in the city? I was kind of disappointed when we got there. The small parking lot was full and there were lots of families in the picnic area. It turned out to be a good day anyway. Once we got away from the picnic area there weren’t many people.

The good…

The park is a small picnic area and a big “nature study area.” It’s a city park, but the study area is maintained by the state Division of Wildlife. There’s a trail loop that runs about a mile, with the first part of the loop running along the river. The river is running high and the sound of the rushing water was very relaxing. After veering away from the river, the trail winds through trees (cottonwood and Russian olive), through a small meadow, and past a small wetlands.

According to signs along the trail, the area is home to herons, hawks, mink, beaver, mule deer, coyotes, rainbow trout, and more. We didn’t see any of those, but there were lots of quail and blue jays. I didn’t see any “no fishing” signs so later in the year when the river goes down I’ll check out that trout claim.

Walking slow, it took us about 45 minutes to walk the loop. We only saw a few other people on the trail, so yes we had solitude. It’s a city park, so no camping activities, fire making, etc. In other words, no practicing backwoods skills, but still a good place to see some wildlife and enjoy some peace and quiet.

The not so good…

Lots of the trail signs were sprayed with graffiti. Considering the people I saw using the picnic area, it wasn’t surprising. Still disappointing though. Also, in spite of the signs forbidding camping, there were a few spots that were obviously being used for camping by homeless people. I felt safe (I’m a guy, I was with a group, and I CCW). I don’t think I’d feel good about my wife walking there alone or with our kid though.

All in all…

All in all though I had a good time. I still haven’t found my perfect place but I’ll keep looking. There are some places closer to the back yard I’m checking out, hopefully a little more “interactive” if you know what I mean. Until next time…

Peace out,

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