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Guest Post by Beverly Prine
My family and I called Hesperia “home” for twenty-one years, but a little over one year ago we moved to Victorville. I loved our years there, nestled between the Church of the Nazarene and the new soccer fields.
There’s that old saying, “You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone” and it keeps ringing in my head because for twenty-one years I was able to bounce out my front door and reach the California Aqueduct trail in a quick ten-minute walk. Once I hit the Aqueduct trail, I could get lost in my mind and walk, run, or stroll along the waterway.
I always headed toward Main Street and made it a point to touch the chain-link fence before turning around. The route from Maple Aqueduct to Main Street and back was approximately 3 miles. Many times my walk was paused to stop and admire the ducks in the water, or to take in the pink clouds as the sun dropped into the west, or to stop and stretch out the muscles.
Once I interrupted my walk to yell at some teenagers who had thought it was a good idea to walk out onto the concrete crossing over the Aqueduct and then jump into the swift-flowing water. They only laughed at me, and thankfully no one drowned. But that was a scary thing for sure, but to the kids, they saw it as funny.
On one early morning winter walk with a friend, we only got about a half-mile when my friend spotted tracks in the dirt. Tracks of a bobcat and that was enough of a scare for us to turn around immediately! Most often I walked in the afternoon or early evening and usually with at least one other person, sometimes many more. It is true, that I did not appreciate this gem of a walking trail until I moved away.
While my family and I were transitioning from Hesperia to our current home, we lived “on the mesa” in Hesperia. This is the portion of Hesperia that is located east of the railroad tracks and south of Ranchero Road. There were a couple of paths nearby that I loved to walk or sometimes run on. The route from the corner of Ranchero and Seventh eastward is a favorite of mine, and also of many others who love to run hills. A group of women of many different levels of running or fast-walking would join me to run east on Ranchero Road to Ranchero Middle School. The feeling of running under the train tracks, especially when a train is passing overhead, is a memory I cherish!
The City of Hesperia has installed their logo in colored concrete on the side of the underpass…Kodak moment! Once at the school, we would turn around and return to our starting point. There’s no cheating…you must go all the way to the end of the school parking lot before making your U-turn! This is approximately a five-mile route, and especially nice during the late summer and early fall months when the sunsets seem to increase in color intensity. Stopping to take a photo is always encouraged, as is hugging a Joshua tree! This was a great trail for me at this time of my life because my family and I were looking for a new home and there were many along this route that had the “for sale” sign out front.
Ultimately, we did not re-settle in Hesperia. Our new home found us in northwest Victorville, about one mile from the Adelanto city boundary line. I am beginning to love walking in our new neighborhood. I take our doggie for a walk every evening, and while the sunsets are not quite as colorful as the ones I remember along the Aqueduct, they are impressive, especially when there are clouds in the sky.
I have found a number of paths that I like, but my favorite is the city-maintained path along the flood channel. This is off of Hook Boulevard, near Brucite and Diamond, in the West Creek community. On the east side of the flood channel the path is dirt, but on the west side, the city recently covered it with black-top asphalt. The pathway goes all the way from Hook to Mojave Drive, and it is approximately 1.5 miles for the round-trip.
My doggie also likes to explore the open desert just south of Hook Boulevard, so we trek east down the sidewalk to the new stop-light at Hook and Amethyst, and then cross Hook and go out into the open desert. This is her favorite walk because she gets to use her sniffer and uncover so many great treasures…for a dog. This twenty-minute excursion is just what she needs at the end of the day, and it gets me moving, too!
I am embracing my new city and our new home, and I have discovered something that I absolutely love about Victorville…the Parks and Rec department! They organize fun events designed to get people outside and interact with the community. I have participated in one event nearly every month in 2016. They hosted “A Run in the Park” at Sunset Ridge back in January, which is in the neighborhood south of Bear Valley, off of Topaz. This is the newest park in Victorville, and it is near Hollyvale School.
In March there was a “Fun Run in the Park” at Hook Park, where many of the events are held, and it was a great way to start spring-time! Recently, I went back to Hook Park for another Fun Run, and the Victorville Parks and Rec offered free Fun Runs for life with the purchase of their “quick-dri” T-shirt…how could I say no to that?!
At each event, I have met some wonderful people– my neighbors and fellow community members, who are embracing an active lifestyle and showing up with a smile!
I encourage everyone to get outside and keep moving, to meet your neighbors, to say “Hi!” to a stranger, to give them a smile, look them in the eye and let them know…All lives matter.