Every time I move to a new city, especially since becoming an adult, I feel bad that I didn’t take full advantage of the place I’m leaving. This happened when I left San Diego for the east and when I departed Houghton, Mich. for the West Coast.
I regretted never using the snowmobile trail that ran right behind my work (and two blocks from my house) and I never went. Heck, there was a ski slope five minutes away and I never strapped on skis once.
I have to admit that I’ve been guilty of ignoring many of Chico’s natural landmarks as well. The first time I really went to Bidwell Park was when I helping someone find their keys at two in the morning. The One-Mile Recreation Area seemed pretty peaceful but that’s all I got from it because, you know, it was dark.
I was able to follow that up with some fun videos and 3-D panoramas of Sycamore Pool, an in-creek pool filled by Big Chico Creek.
Still, after 3.5 years, a large part of Chico’s large urban park remained a seldom-seen frontier for me — Upper Park. I made some short journeys, but no true explorations.
Since passing a milestone birthday, I realized I’m going to need to check some of these places out more often. My first stop after a late lunch — Upper Park.
I was kicking myself that I didn’t go sooner. After parking my car by Horseshoe Lake, I was quickly impressed by the vast canvas of nature stretched from Chico’s core. It was a completely different feel from Lower Park.
Setting out, I picked what appeared to be the easiest trail – Lower Trail. I like easy and it seemed the one that would offer the most shade for someone who wasn’t prepared for a long walk in the sun. The walk, which frequently paralleled the road that runs alongside Big Chico Creek, had a wide variety of terrain including open fields, groves of trees and slightly hilly terrain. It was a great deal of fun for a short, impromptu hike.
It was nice to get in to the open. Aside from the relatively calming sounds of nature, there were only a few man-made noises. The electric buzz from high power lines over the park was the biggest distraction.
The walk was extremely fun and broadened my horizons about this area. There’s a lot of things I want to see in Northern California and it makes sense to start in my own relative backyard. It’s definitely an experience that I want to continue soon.