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Stepping Out After Midnight...In Vista Ranch

"Darkness falls upon the land. "The midnight hour is close at hand!" --From the spoken-word portion of "Thriller," done by Vincent Price.

When you live like I do (alone), you sometimes develop a case of "cabin fever." It can strike day-or-night, and the only relief from it is to haul your carcass out onto the street for an impromtu road trip.

So, last night, I did just that. I pulled on my street pants with belt and Perry suspenders; put some socks and my walking shoes on; pulled on my vinyl Padres jacket; popped a ballcap onto my head; latched the door--and stepped out into the night.

There are two ways to go for a walk--North on Escondido Avenue to East Vista Way and back, or hit South Santa Fe to Mar Vista Avenue and return. The South Santa Fe route is safer and better lit, plus there's a AM/PM on the halfway point.

So, I begin my sojurn. I had my flashlight out and activated...but things were as dead as Jacob Marley. The walk in the cool air loosens up my legs, and I keep a nice, easy cadence as I amble along.

The first half of my journey ends at the Mar Vista Avenue AM/PM. From there, one can walk past the new Hannalei Elementry School, the Vista Little League ballyards/graffitti mural, Auto Repair Row, and end up at Buena Creek. Across the street is the Sprinter Station.

From there begins the hill country that leads to the San Marcos border. You begin with "Board-And-Care Country" (so-named because of the concentration of board-and-care homes (licensed and non-licensed) in the area), climb to Palmyra Avenue (with Marvins' Pizza and Egg Market across the street), then into the Industrial Park Section. At the top of the second hill is a fruit & vegetable stand.

The next landmark is Monacky Animal Hospital, which used to be Smitty's Out Of Town tavern. Then we come to the San Marcos City Line and J&W Redwood's lumberyard. One last climb to the top of the final hill, where South Santa Fe changes into Mission Avenue.

However, unless you have no other choice, it's not a place to walk after dark. The roadway is trecherous, the lighting sparse, and dogs sometimes wander the area with mayhem on their minds. Same with some of the two-legged animals out for a stroll.

So, I confine my walk to the AM/PM as my stop-post. I grab a 44oz Caffeine-Free Diet Coke (and pay for it), slip back out into the night, cross South Santa Fe Avenue, and head back north. It's mostly a downhill trip, as I pass by the Keystone School, Midas, Patrick Flynn's Towing, the former Plant Lady, and a car-sales lot.

At Postal Way, I notice that the restaurant there was being rennovated into something new (first an Arby's, then an Angelo's-clone, then a "taqueria-gringo," and now a sit-down restaurant). The fact that there is a Powerhouse Gymnasium (used to be"The Court House") on the hill above it makes for some delicious irony!

I then continue home, shuck my gear (except for my skivvies and shirt), then finish off my beverage with a loud belch (another advantage of living alone). I already have a DVD documentary cued up on the machine, and as I lay down for the trip to Dreamworld, my legs are no longer as restless.

Woke up this morning at 9am--a bit stiff, but better for the experience!

--RKJ

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"Darkness falls upon the land. "The midnight hour is close at hand!" --From the spoken-word portion of "Thriller," done by Vincent Price.

When you live like I do (alone), you sometimes develop a case of "cabin fever." It can strike day-or-night, and the only relief from it is to haul your carcass out onto the street for an impromtu road trip.

So, last night, I did just that. I pulled on my street pants with belt and Perry suspenders; put some socks and my walking shoes on; pulled on my vinyl Padres jacket; popped a ballcap onto my head; latched the door--and stepped out into the night.

There are two ways to go for a walk--North on Escondido Avenue to East Vista Way and back, or hit South Santa Fe to Mar Vista Avenue and return. The South Santa Fe route is safer and better lit, plus there's a AM/PM on the halfway point.

So, I begin my sojurn. I had my flashlight out and activated...but things were as dead as Jacob Marley. The walk in the cool air loosens up my legs, and I keep a nice, easy cadence as I amble along.

The first half of my journey ends at the Mar Vista Avenue AM/PM. From there, one can walk past the new Hannalei Elementry School, the Vista Little League ballyards/graffitti mural, Auto Repair Row, and end up at Buena Creek. Across the street is the Sprinter Station.

From there begins the hill country that leads to the San Marcos border. You begin with "Board-And-Care Country" (so-named because of the concentration of board-and-care homes (licensed and non-licensed) in the area), climb to Palmyra Avenue (with Marvins' Pizza and Egg Market across the street), then into the Industrial Park Section. At the top of the second hill is a fruit & vegetable stand.

The next landmark is Monacky Animal Hospital, which used to be Smitty's Out Of Town tavern. Then we come to the San Marcos City Line and J&W Redwood's lumberyard. One last climb to the top of the final hill, where South Santa Fe changes into Mission Avenue.

However, unless you have no other choice, it's not a place to walk after dark. The roadway is trecherous, the lighting sparse, and dogs sometimes wander the area with mayhem on their minds. Same with some of the two-legged animals out for a stroll.

So, I confine my walk to the AM/PM as my stop-post. I grab a 44oz Caffeine-Free Diet Coke (and pay for it), slip back out into the night, cross South Santa Fe Avenue, and head back north. It's mostly a downhill trip, as I pass by the Keystone School, Midas, Patrick Flynn's Towing, the former Plant Lady, and a car-sales lot.

At Postal Way, I notice that the restaurant there was being rennovated into something new (first an Arby's, then an Angelo's-clone, then a "taqueria-gringo," and now a sit-down restaurant). The fact that there is a Powerhouse Gymnasium (used to be"The Court House") on the hill above it makes for some delicious irony!

I then continue home, shuck my gear (except for my skivvies and shirt), then finish off my beverage with a loud belch (another advantage of living alone). I already have a DVD documentary cued up on the machine, and as I lay down for the trip to Dreamworld, my legs are no longer as restless.

Woke up this morning at 9am--a bit stiff, but better for the experience!

--RKJ

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