Named the Forrestial Nature Preserve, I had high hopes. That was before I realized there was no forest (with one r), but rather it was named for the street on which the trailhead began: Forrestial Drive.
Tuck had no issues walking down the side of the road to the trailhead, and we started the climb with ease. But fewer than three minutes in, I noticed Tucker was walking a little oddly. He was lifting his legs high and I asked if his feet were too hot. He pranced in place, I placed the back of my hand on the dirt and sure enough, despite the air being only in the mid-seventies, the ground was more than a little warm.
“Okay, should we call it quits?” I asked. And without a moment’s hesitation, the dog who refuses to stop until we reach the end point of a hike (which is why I prefer loops to out & backs), turned and quickly raced down the path to the shaded trailhead where I could catch my breath.
So we finally went to Point Vincente, the lighthouse we saw from the Terranea Discovery Trail a couple weeks earlier. Point Vincente Park had a decent-sized open lawn area for picnicking, an off-limits lighthouse, and a trail that wound its way north up the coastline to a residential neighborhood.
Tucker’s feet didn’t seem to mind the ground here; I assumed the breeze I felt on my face was also cooling the earth below me.
Despite the off circumstances, I am so grateful to have had these past few months here. I have lived in Los Angeles for over two decades, and yet never explored these areas less than 100 miles from home. Life in the San Fernando Valley is far different from that in Santa Monica and Rancho Palos Verde.
My goal is always to live like locals, to explore and experience life as they live it. In this way, we can have many lives within one lifetime. We make our home wherever we are together, and in each place we find Nature's beauty only a step or a drive away. You need not look far, sometimes only to your front door, to discover the trail to adventure.