Celebrating Mission Trails Regional Park

When I originally started this blog for RunningNuns, my intent was to give people a window into St. Charles Children’s Home and our running program with the children. That proved much harder than I thought it would for the simple reason that I have been living 3000 miles away from the Home in San Diego attending school full time.  Beginning in July, I will be home in New Hampshire and able to provide that “window in” which I envisioned in the beginning.  I hope to invite guest bloggers as well…so stay tuned!

Some of the rock formations in Mission Trails look almost human. These can be seen from the Climber's Loop Trail

In the meantime, why not celebrate San Diego a little bit while I am getting ready to leave it?  One thing I never expected to find in a big city like this (I grew up in a small, quiet, NH town) was so much closeness to nature.  Just a few miles down the road I live on is a beautiful park called Mission Trails Regional Park.  I fondly think of it as “Mission Gorge.”  The city park has many mountains and miles and miles of trails–all within a 5 minute drive from where I live.  For the past 3 1/2 years, I have been hiking on those trails and filling in a map, hoping some day I could say that I hiked all of them.  About two weeks ago, I accomplished that goal.  Mission Trails has meant a lot to me.  When I first arrived in San Diego and still in recovery from serious illness, I could only walk for about 20 minutes before getting exhausted.  The thought of ever climbing any of the mountains seemed like an impossible dream.  But I kept going back…

I hope in this and other posts to celebrate some of my favorite trails.  I will start with the trail called the “Climber’s Loop.”  It is very short and very steep.  At the top, serious climbers use ropes and equipment to scale the rocks to the top of the mountain.  In my long habit, that goal was beyond me, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the heights I could reach, and the sense of accomplishment in being able to navigate this difficult trail.  I often climbed it in my Vibram Fivefingers, too!  Here are some of my favorite pictures:

I know it doesn't look all that high from here, but wait until you see the photos looking down...

I think one of the reasons I enjoy hiking in Southern California so much is the fact that you can see for miles and miles because there are very few tall trees to hamper the view. I really enjoy the grass and wildflowers on these mountains.


I love the sense of height you get so quickly on this trail...


This is one of my favorites: I really enjoy all the colors...

There are some quiet resting spots on the trail. Here is where I stopped to eat my lunch. You can't see them from here, but a man and a woman were scaling the other side of this narrow tall rock!

Here is what the summit looks like much closer to the top.

I hope to share many more posts about Mission Gorge Trails–if not during my last weeks here in San Diego, then I will write about them one I get home.  It will be a good way to remember my beautiful years in San Diego…



Sister Mary Agnes

About Sister Mary Agnes

Sister Mary Agnes is the Event Coordinator of the Labor Day race, which has garnered national attention and has been featured in Runner’s World magazine and the CBS Early Show as well as many other publications.
This entry was posted in bare-footing, habit, hiking, Vibram Five Fingers, walking and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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