Escondido. Founded in 1888, it is one of the oldest cities in San Diego. I’ve heard that it means ‘Hidden Treasure’. I’m unsure. I know that Escondido is about forty square miles of rolling, sparsely populated countryside. Horse farms. Avocado trees. Palm tree growers prosper here. Ripperside Shawn and I decided to take a scenic tour today. We were looking for hidden treasure ourselves. Ripperside Shawn had completed some homework and we left the KRSNA farm with some definite destinations in mind.
We spun a lazy arc through the countryside. Our boards were tucked away in the truck behind us and Ripperside Shawn told me about the possibilities today. There were several large Christian retreats that were now defunct. They needed looked into. Shawn smiled at me, “These places were built mostly in the 1950’s and had massive plunge pools to provide refreshing summer destination places for families to visit.” I grinned. “… massive plunge pools” I loved the sound of that. Horse corrals ran off into the distance. Old tractors lay abandoned in the dirty fields. It was like the owners ran them until they stopped and left them to deteriorate in the angry sunlight.
We pulled over behind an older neighborhood. Shawn pointed. Walking along a pathway, we eyed up a gate that loomed on our left. “There is a pretty big pool at this place.” He said. We climbed a fence and stepped down into a golf course pool. Abandoned. Belly up. The pool was long and had a beautiful surface. However, it was a pit. It wouldn’t be worth the arrest to ride it. We moved on. Our next stop was a hillside fire home. In the last decade, fires had ravaged certain parts of the area. It was a wise move to investigate the hillsides in the burn zone. Even after years, some people never rebuilt.
We drove to an egg shaped pool that looked amazing on satellite. We located the property and pulled in to speak with the owners. A huge white dog greeted us hungrily. There appeared to be no one home. As the pool sat far away from the house, I got out of the truck and slid between the fences. I walked up to the pool and heard dogs (plural) barking. I realized two things. The pool had no deep end and there were two huge dogs lunging across the yard towards me. I’m fairly fleet-footed and quickly made a safe exit…
We spotted two on a hillside and spoke with the owners. “No can do. Liabilities man…” We smiled and thanked them for their time. We made our way through the hot afternoon. We knew that such searches are often bound to failure. It didn’t deter us. It is the hunt for pools that makes the entire thing so interesting. We live and let live. Guys are going to the skateparks or the same old, same old and that is cool with us. At least those guys are still tearing it up and not waiting for old age and infirmity to remove any hope of stoke to survive. We understand. We know. Ripperside Shawn and I talk about getting older. Pools are hard to skate and harder on the body. But to us, it would be harder living without them. If I had to give up pool skating, I’m not sure I would want to survive such a thing…
We cruised by the old Pala pool area and stopped for a quick rip. Ripperside Shawn swept it out as I looked around. I had ridden both of the Pala pools back in 2002. Matt Moffett took me over after they were found. I have photographs stashed away. Both pools were pristine and barely ridden. That was no longer the case.
We rode for an hour or so. The square pool is a bit of a challenge. It is kinked and lumpy. There are coping blocks missing and we both carved and kickturned around. It was fun. The weight of the world slipped away. We were both young again. We felt like we did when anything was possible… still.
Driving back to the KRSNA farm, we grabbed his son Gopa and headed down to a hidden treasure. It is a ditch tucked away in the countryside. I took a cool shot of Ripperside Shawn and Gopa taking a run together… I ended the day on that. Nothing could be better. Skate- Ozzie