Undercover




I went out to dinner last night in Rancho Santa Fe and decided to go back today to paint. I drove toward the village and turned off about a half mile from the center of town and drove past beautiful farms and ranches looking for a place to pull over and set up my easel. I came upon a small lake so I pulled over to take a hike around it which was maybe two miles if one followed the horse trail That circled the lake - I was looking for a vantage point, the best angle of the sun, etc. So, what happens next is not exactly mischief or at least it didn't start out that way. The horse trail is not exactly continuous, so I followed it through creeks and woods but was getting further from the lake and more importantly my gear. So I doubled back and asked a runner how to catch the trail again, I got directions to pass the next orange grove and take the next path that appears to go through a couple of backyards. There are no signs, I guess horses don't read so I used my best judgement (hahaha) and I walked through a backyard, into a gorgeous meadow which turned into a little paradise with waterfalls, gazebos, large palm trees and beautiful bougainvillea. I took quite a few shots with my camera and headed in the general direction of the lake. So by this time I was getting hungry for breakfast and coffee, I thought I'd get a bite to eat in town before I set up to paint. So finally I see the road and mind you I'm still walking on what I thought was a horse trail, albeit a very,very, nice one, until I got to the road and found myself staring at a very large locked gate. What to do. It was too long of a walk to retrace my steps but there was a neighboring property with a chain linked fence that looked like an easy out. It wasn't that difficult to manage, although I am too old for this kind of shenanigans - but once over I realized there was one more and it had that pointy stuff on the top. I studied this fence and the possibilities. Then I saw a section where it was MOSTLY flat on the top. So I've got one leg over and ready to jump down then the other leg of my jeans gets caught in the fence and rips all the way up my calf! I guess it could have been worse and I did get back on the trail, the runner on her return trip waved as she passed, giving me a thumbs up because I had found the trail! She had no idea. At this point I decided to go home for breakfast and paint in the studio, so I did. But I will be back!

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