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Unprocessed Sunday (On Monday): Visions of Mission Trails

This is the latest from my Unprocessed Sunday series, posted a day late and covering a favorite locale, Mission Trails Regional Park.

MTRP1 by T.M. Schultze
Possibly my first digital photograph taken at Mission Trails Regional Park.  This was on January 14, 2007 during a week of insanely cold temperatures.  This was at the trailhead.  Proud to say that I and my good friend Michael Gollner braved the crazy temperatures and summited the peak from the Mesa Road (Santee) trailhead.

I just finished Spring Break with my daughter, one that I wasn’t expecting to become 9 days of sitting at home.  But COVID-19 and the new era of social distancing is our overlord.

All weekend, I heard that people were taking the State’s exception for outdoor exercise way too far.  Photos of thousands of people at the beach were shocking, but honestly, not too surprising.  Friends were texting me that the parking areas at Mt. Woodson and Iron Mountain were full.  The type of traffic one would see on a normal, non-pandemic weekend.  As always, we can’t have nice things, and further closures were inevitable.  Italy had to ban their own outdoor exercise exemption when people immediately abused the heck out of it.

MTRP11 by T.M. Schultze - Mission Trails Regional Park
MTRP11. Photographed March 12, 2013 of the Crescent Moon and the Pan-Starrs comet from the Seda Drive trail. I can’t believe I never processed this simple but beautiful image.

Still, I had some hope left after I arrived home from dropping my daughter off on Sunday (2 hours earlier than normal!).  The Mast Blvd. equestrian entrance to Mission Trails Regional Park was still open.  And I was officially working from home starting today, so at 3:30 PM, all I needed were hiking shoes and a 5 minute drive.  That would be fantastic.

The luck, not surprising, ran out.  I decided that I really wanted to hike along the Shepherd Canyon area on the West side of the park.  I hit the trailheads at Seda Drive and Corte Playa Catalina.  It would have been a great hike with beautiful clouds, lots of gorgeous green chaparral, and a great evening (not to mention, that damn power line running through the middle).

Mission Trails Regional Park Trails – Closed Closed Closed

MTRP40 by T.M. Schultze - Mission Trails Regional Park
MTRP40.  Photographed March 25, 2017

Alas, the trailheads were closed.  Coming home, the Mast Blvd. gate was also locked up.  Obviously, what transpired over the weekend led the local park management to reconsider their light closing.  It’s a shame, but I don’t blame them, and they are doing the right thing.

So, to scratch that itch, I processed some random images tonight.  None of these have previously been added to my website.  Some are decent, some are documentary, but all have an important place for me.

When things open back up remains to be seen.  I suspect it’s going to be months and months.  Life really does have to shut down.  My own Photo Club is going virtual for probably the next 18 months, because our membership skews elderly, and they need to be protected.  So many people are being cavalier about the pandemic, and the spread will continue unabated until they are finally squirreled away in their homes.

MTRP56 by T.M. Schultze - Mission Trails Regional Park
MTRP56.  Taken March 15, 2019.  Lose the power line to the South, and you add the most aggravating freeway of my life to the North.  Fortuna looks beautiful in Spring weather.

The Introverts Will Inherit The Earth

I must say.  The pandemic is awful, but I sure enjoy a quieter world.  Even deprived of my hiking, I nearly finished up reading a book on my Kindle, with just a few birds in the background.  The peace and quiet was beautiful.

MTRP57 by T.M. Schultze - Mission Trails Regional Park
MTRP.  Photographed April 5, 2019.  White poppies in the foreground and a beautiful storm to the East.

After spending so much of my life being told something was wrong with me (the classic condescension that introverts receive from the extrovert masses), I love this social distance.

The introvert in me feels so much more energized and alive.  I pray for the eventual millions of people worldwide affected by the coronavirus (and its more than possible I join that list), but the world feels so much more alive when I can escape the noise of homo sapiens.

I hope you enjoy these images from Mission Trails Regional Park and I hope to process more soon, perhaps on a Sunday!

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