Way Up Trail ~ Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, Escondido, CA

Looking out over the reservoir
Looking out over the reservoir

Hiking trails are hard to come by around San Diego but if you are willing to drive a few miles you will find places off the beaten path that allow you to imagine for just a little while that you are away from the big city.  The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, near Escondido, is one of those places and the Way Up Trail is the way to go, up that is.

Our friend Stan invited me to tag along with him on this adventure.  He was batchin’ it, with wife Marilyn away visiting family, and I was anxious to escape the quarantine zone that has become our RV since hubby Terry picked up a nasty respiratory infection.  This was to be Stan’s maiden uphill voyage since a hiking accident last July left him faced with some extensive rehab so I was honored to be along for the ride.

If you are looking for a nice little leg workout, the Way Up Trail fits the bill, 3.2 miles round trip, with switchbacks greeting hikers from the start.  A lovely little reservoir awaits you at the top as well as a network of trails extending 10 miles if you are so inclined.  We opted to hike another 1.5 miles, soaking up the sun, with Stan sharing stories of his Appalachian Trail hiking days.  Since it has been a dream of ours to hike the AT, I was enthralled.

Stan, all smiles, down off the trail
Stan, all smiles, down off the trail

Once back down at the trailhead we pulled out phones and called our respective spouses to let them know we had a successful hike.  Stan, being ever the southern gentleman, thanked my hubby for letting him borrow his lovely bride for a few hours.  It is said that “it’s not the destination but the journey that counts” but I believe it’s also who you take along with you.  Today I was fortunate to have a great friend along.

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