A couple of weeks ago I took a walk around Irvine Regional Park, which is located east of the intersections of Jamboree Rd. and Chapman Ave, or Santiago Canyon Rd., in the city of Orange, Ca.
The description, below, is based on a bike ride I took through the park in 2006, but, nothing much has changed in the intervening years. :-D
People with cars can get there on Jamboree, from the 5 freeway.
People, like me, with bikes, or no car, can take any number of North, or Southbound, Orange Country Transit busses, depending from where you are coming from, to Chapman Ave. in Los Alamitos, Stanton, Garden Grove, Anaheim and Orange, to catch the #54 Bus heading east.
On Sundays, however, this bus does not go all the way to its normal end, at the nearby Santiago Canyon College, so you would have to ride your bike, or walk, the rest of the way, a mile or so up Chapman Ave.
Arriving at the college I got off the bus at the stop on Newport Blvd, just before the bus enters the college, then walked east to Santiago then a short distance south to Jamboree.
There is a road that heads east and south to the tip of the park, and is a cool 1/4 mile jaunt past numerous Parking Areas. ( To plant your car for the day you need to pay a the entrance to the Park. )
At South Parking Area #15 is the entrance of the Multi-use Trail that runs thru the park.
You take a left onto a road that goes out of the park the way you came, onto Irvine Park Rd, then onto Jamboree.
There are also unpaved hiking/biking trails on the opposite side of the creek bed, and also on the west side of the road described earlier, up into the nearby hills.
There are plenty of open green spaces, as well as oak and sycamore trees as old or older than the park itself (Est. 1897), throughout the park, with picnic tables galore.
There is a pond with a stone-work waterfall and foot bridge located in the center of the park, near a small working railroad. Amidst ball fields, playgrounds, and a horse trail, there are also a Civil War and Spanish American War monument and a popular zoo. The variety of the landscape makes the park a beautiful place to visit.
On this particular day I walked across a northern patch of green space to the northern end of the paved trail, and walked south to the last parking area, then back along the road, to the pond, then back out of the park.
It was a long, leisurely 2 1/2 hour visit, meant to take my mind off things, and let me think, and write in my journal. I've had a lot on my mind, worried about the future, making sure I got my unemployment extension, trying to find the right type of work to apply for, and an affordable apartment in Houston, Dallas, or San Antonio, in a safe environment for the cats and I to live in.
I spent some time resting at a picnic table, and writing in my journal...
I'm sitting at a table next to a tree, after walking south from the Jamboree entrance to the park for about an hour. Warm, yet with a cool breeze, I walked along a trail with the dry riverbed to my left and grass and trees, the zoo and equestrian center on my right. I saw a squirrel, several dogs taking their humans out for walkies, a couple of horses taking THEIR humans out for exercise, and a group of peacocks loitering about, doing whatever it is that peacocks do to pass the time. There were a few cyclists, and other walkers, alone, and in family groups, as well.
It's been a long day. I looked up some apts. to rent in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, and plan to look up others. Some were as low as $292 a month, and some accepted people on unemployment, like me, but looking them up on apt. rating sites, the reviews were less than encouraging related to safety, and quality place to live...I get the feeling renting a place maybe $100 less than my current rent may give me better choices.
On the job hunt I got an e-mail from a Houston bank I'd applied for customer service, telling me I didn't meet their needs, but thanks anyway.
In good news I also got a $29. 70 refund from GBTV for a 6 mo. subscription period I didn't need because I already had the annual subscription..... :-D
I finally get up and continue my walk, eventually coming to the pond and nearby railroad, which takes passengers on a short exploration of the park.
Sitting here I wish I was already in Texas, secure in a nice, affordable, apartment, looking for work, confident I will find the right job for me.
Settled in my new home, inspired by the experience of the new and unfamiliar, to a renewed fit of creative writing spurred by a new environment to learn about and explore.
After a failed attempt to interview a peacock uninterested in posing for a picture, or making any sort of public statement on life in the park, local, or national politics, or pretty much anything else, it was time to head for home. :-D