It seems like forever ago, now 54 weeks, since I moved to Imperial Beach. My neighbor, Bibi, recommended that I try going to Silver Strand Spine & Sport for some upper back pain. I resisted for a while and a month later, at a spouse meeting, for my husband’s new crew I got a massage and the therapist told me my back could use a lot of work for its tension and posture.
So in I went to get adjusted and I started going three times a week like the doctor prescribed and made friends with some of the staff. We ate gummy bears, had some laughs, and eventually hung out away from the office. After a few months I was cured. Being a local business, but not a farmer, after some political dealings, the chiropractic office was able to get back into participating in the local Farmer’s Market.
It was at this market that I started talking with one of the massage therapists a bit more. She noticed my bike and asked if I would ride the Bayshore Bikeway with her. Well, we decided to try a hike first instead when she learned that I had a high-clearance vehicle. She invited me to hike Tecate Peak – not knowing much about it except that it was located off a dirt road from Hwy 94 and close to the border – and one that she had wanted to hike for a while. She was happy that I agreed and offered to buy me lunch.
I picked her up and about 40 miles later we were on a dirt road and stopped to ask a runner for directions. She pointed behind her as she continued jogging down. We could have continued in either direction to look for parking, but I pulled over and we got out. The trail was wide enough the whole way to accommodate a vehicle. We started around 9:30 and got to learn more about each other – we have a lot in common.
The trail had a vertical climb the entire time. At one point we got to see where the border fence ends. Later Ray, from border patrol, would tell us that the terrain is too difficult to fence and gives him an employment opportunity. We admired the hills covered in wildflowers; the sounds of the town of Tecate, Mexico echoing in the canyon; and the heat of the sun reflecting off the rocks onto our faces.
Betty would get a better feel of the earth, and its components, when in trying to take a shortcut – she fell. She went loose to protect herself from broken bones, but her fall would have been longer had I not screamed. We both laughed later and wished that we would have gotten a picture or video of the fall, but don’t plan on doing that again. She made it to the top with bloody ankle and scraped shoulder – she is one tough hiker.
In time for lunch, and a break, we sit atop some rocks with our water and orange wedges and enjoy the view. She didn’t feel like carrying her heavy glass water bottle back down so we went to talk to border patrol and 20 minutes later he was taking us and the bottle back down. We didn’t do well to keep track of time or distance, but many websites say the hike is 9.2 miles roundtrip. Another shortcut must have worked in our favor. Even at a quick pace we would have only covered six miles.
We appreciated the ride back to the car as the day was heating up and Betty was beginning to feel sore, but not enough to call it quits. I drove us to her house, where I met the boyfriend, and then borrowed his bike so we could ride to the local pizza joint for a slice with artichoke hearts and no meat; she only eats fish because she enjoys the catch. Then we went to the other side of town to scope out a yard sale before going to the Lighthouse ice cream shop where I got a scoop of blueberry cheesecake and pistachio almond to go. It was a great day and I was happy to spend it with a new friend.