Saturday, June 20, 2009

De Luz

De Luz is a rural area between Fallbrook and Temecula.   It has one of the last free flowing rivers left in California running through it, the Santa Margarita.  It has canyons, and rock mountains, and lots of wild animals.  Even though it is minutes from town, it feels like you've traveled far away.  It is a fun place to visit, especially with boys.  Especially with city boys, like mine.

My Dad used to take us to De Luz and I loved it.  We would go in the winter after a big rain and see if the bridge was washed out.  We would go for hikes along one of the many streams and climb giant boulders.  On hot days, we would go splash in the river.  Even in summer there was still a lot of water.  For southern California standards anyway.  It isn't the Mississippi. Sometimes we would go for bike rides on the back roads whizzing up and down hills on our ten speeds.  Whenever we were there, I felt like I was getting to experience a little bit of wilderness.  I guess that has appealed to me for a long time.

My sister and I used to take our dogs, Bunnie and Micah, to play in the river.  Now we take our sons.  Actually, this is the first time I've taken the boys.  Kristen, being the boys' mom that she is, takes her boys often.  
It took James and William a while to warm up to the idea of swimming in the river.  These beach boys are comfortable with the ocean, but this was a whole different experience.  I remember feeling the same way the first time I swam in a lake.  I wasn't scared of waves, but the lake was somehow terrifying.  At first they just had fun throwing rocks, but after awhile, they joined their cousins and made the plunge.  They even crossed the river to climb a very tall rock cliff, wearing wet and slippery Crocs, while a nervous Mommy climbed behind them in a sundress and tried not to spoil the fun.  You have to be tough when you are in the wilderness.

After they tired of swimming in the river, James discovered another fun thing to do.  He gathered some sticks and began building a fort.  I think he would have stayed there for hours constructing it, but soon it was time to head for home.  As we hiked along the trail back to the car, I asked the boys what they thought of De Luz.  
"Mommy," James said, "wouldn't it be fun to have our very own river?  Then we could play in it whenever we want.  Someday I want to have a house by a river."
Me too, James.  Me too.


Shannon said...

I miss De Luz! I actually lived out there with my cousins for a while when we were kids. We loved the river! We'd spend whole days in it - 'til the sun started setting and the coyotes started howling. Just a couple days ago Kennedy and I were talking about our childhood wildernesses and how we want Taylor to have those kind of wild memories. It's so wonderful that your kids are experiencing those same things!

Mommy of three said...

I know there is a part of me that wishes everyday that we could pick up and move to the "country". Or at least have a little more "wilderness" in our own back yard. I think that one of the best things I can offer my kids is time spent in the outdoors, exploring and experiencing God's creation. Not only is it so much fun for them, but they learn so much too. Since we are now citified folks, it is nice we can go visit the wilds of Fallbrook.
I'm glad you can revisit our childhood haunts here. It is pretty fun to reminisce. It's as if we are old ladies or something.

On the subject of moving, I do have to admit that I do love living 15 minutes from the beach, and 5 minutes from Trader Joe's and Target. I would have to dramatically change my lifestyle if we did move to the countryside. Which could be a good thing.

Shannon said...

Yea, I always envisioned myself living in the country, but then I got spoiled during the Vegas boom where every big-box and specialty store I ever wanted was within 3 blocks. Here in Poway, I still live relatively close to everything (plus, equal distance to the ocean, mountains, and downtown too!), but I'd be willing to give up some of those comforts. We do live right across from a large field, so we get to hear coyotes at night. Poway calls itself the "city in the country", so it's a nice medium for now.

A couple years ago we went to Fallbrook's Avocado Festival and then took a drive through De Luz. I wanted to find that old school house. Do you remember that? I couldn't find it. Do you know if it is still there? In 5th grade I remember my class took a field trip there every day for a week. I also used to go with my cousins to play on the small playground there. It was a Little House on the Prairie experience!

Mommy of three said...

Shannon, yes the De Luz school house is still there. Just Google it and you'll find the info. It is on my list of places to take the kids. Maybe we should meet up!