East of Escondido, the San Diego countryside transforms from densely packed suburbs to rolling, arid canyons and hills. At the bottom of these canyons lie stream beds, over which water will flow during particularly wet times. Boden Canyon is one of these canyons, and the old streambed rolling through the canyon supports a lush oak woodland.
This is my second time to Boden Canyon, and I found I enjoyed it far more than the first time. This, of course, is not because Boden Canyon is any different. I just happened to be in a good frame of mind for this hike, whereas before I had not yet embraced this new landscape as home. I was busy comparing, unfavorably, to other hikes I had taken in Los Angeles. This time around, I enjoyed the lush green produced by recent rain, as well as the shady stretches of oak woodland that have become so rare in San Diego County. These are the principal attractions here, which, coupled with the quiet and the isolation, make this a top-notch local hiking destination.
I didn’t bring my camera on this hike, so I’m utilizing old pictures. I enjoy being less connected to technology, which enables me to tune in to what I’m experiencing. I can focus less on documenting each nook of terrain and instead focus of enjoying all of the different sensations. Doing so deepens the experience by making it less about this fun little story-of-self that I put up on the internet and more about sensation and quieting all the mental noise that piles up through the week.
Alas. I get a lot of enjoyment out of blogging and taking pictures as well. I got to reflect a lot on trying to find balance in everyday life by periodic immersions into nature. Today’s hike was all about silently witnessing the landscape at one of its most beautiful times: early spring following a storm. And this is all that it was about. I didn’t focus on anything going on outside, nor did I ruminate on challenges awaiting me when I went back. In this way, I left the structured, organized, demand-filled part of my life behind for a few hours, and instead strolled through a lush, green woodland full of bird song, cool breezes, fresh smells, and dazzling color.
If you’re interested in the practical elements of hiking here, read the old blog on this locale.