June 28, 2010 -
Chollas Lake is an inner-city open space area west of the College Grove Regional Shopping Center off of Highway 94. One might incorrectly prejudge this park for a variety of reasons.
To begin with, there's the namesake: Chollas. Chollas is a species of cactus which you see pictured here. A lot of people might not get so excited about a "cactus" park.
Then there's the graffiti. That might just be a simple, albeit unfortunate, byproduct of inner-city life though, right? But when you see this directional sign-post guiding gangs to their designated turf! That's kind of scary.
I have to admit that I was surprised by the names of the gangs in this area though. Calling upon my garffitiology training, and my Spanish language skills, I interpreted the post to read "Los Patos Blancos," and "Los Gansos Anojados."
The White Ducks and The Mad Geese. Not scary gangs at all!
And look, there's a friendly goose right there. He doesn't "seem" so mad.
Where's the white ducks?
Oops! Guess I spoke too soon.
Also consider that this entire canyon region was at one time slated to be a municipal refuse site (A.K.A. city dump). Doesn't really foster a good image does it?
Kidding aside, this is obviously not a dump. The cactus are beautiful, the graffiti bearable, the webbed-footed creatures friendly, and the lake pretty. And the trail was great!
The path directly around the circumference of the lake, or "pond" if you will, is only eight tenths of a mile.
If you venture out and around the park like we did, you can turn that into two and a half miles and catch some nice scenery in the process.
In part of the hike you get to do a little uphill and get the heart a pumping a little.
From the high spot you get a glimpse of this very nice community ballpark...
as well as the Coronado Bridge and Downtown San Diego. As you can tell it was a cloudy morning.
I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
It was heartening to see so many people out and about enjoying this unlikely sanctuary Lots of joggers, dog walkers and bird feeders.
Kids were really enjoying feeding the "patos" from the end of the dock.
Another great walk!