It ain’t all broken skies, avocado groves, flower fields, and acre after acre of citrus orchards. Yes, those are the kinds of things I see each day as I look up in wonder when I ride, but the balance is kept, perfectly, when I look down — into the nooks and crannies of it all. From my posture high on my rolling perch, I’m at a speed and in a position to see things that anyone driving a car on the same road would likeky never see.
Along Old Highway 395 there is a golf resort, Pala Mesa. It combines a hotel, restaurant, golf course, traditional golf course housing, tennis courts, swimming pools, and all within a picturesque setting that rivals any I’ve seen.
Just behind one section of the patio homes adjacent to the golf course though, there is a ravine that slopes down about 40-feet below these houses and is roughly 1,000 yards in length. The homes above are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I’m certain are well worth the investment. What’s at the bottom of that ravine though, cannot be seen from the fenced backyards of the residents above, nor by anyone driving by in a car. With the bike lane being just a little closer to the edge of that ravine, and with a bicycle seat placing me up a little higher than the driver’s seat of a car would, I can see the makeshift shelters down below.
There is old furniture there, several tents, and visible signs that multiple persons live down there — perhaps groups of persons. I can see a couple shopping carts, a baby stroller, some 5-gallon water containers, and even a couple of weathered bicycles, which are a far cry from the one I ride past on.
Oh, and I see many well-hidden communities like this one, all over the area. There are slopes and ravines by the thousands around Fallbrook, and while that doesn’t mean that each one comes with an encampment of homeless people, it does suggest that there may be more than a fenced yard or a passing Tesla will ever see.
Doing a little crude math in my head, I calculate that there might be a couple of hundred people living like this in and around the Fallbrook area. I think that is a conservative estimate. A recent article in the local paper stated that precisely 46 homeless people currently call Fallbrook home — precisely 46.
I will argue that while there may be 46 visible homeless residents currently in Fallbrook, these are the squeaky wheels among the many more who remain silent and hidden, and for a variety of reasons.
The ravine behind the Pala Mesa Resort is just one pocket of many well hidden spots I ride past regularly in this community — pockets that some less fortunate people call home. I refer to them as less fortunate, not because of the circumstances that brought them there or the way that they are forced or choose to live. I referred to them as less fortunate, because it seems few people even know they are there.
They are invisible, except to each other.
As a rule of thumb, whether I come across them on my daily walk or my daily ride, and if I stop and have conversations with them, the salutation I always extend is this…
Because no matter the circumstance, they are my neighbor.
This is what I think about my ride… Jhciacb
15.4 mph avg
Yesterday’s earworm: Good To Be On The Road Back Home Again, by Cornershop
Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there is this from Cornershop. Enjoy…!
2 thoughts on “Gimmie Shelter…”
Amen those folks whatever their circumstance, are valued neighbors. To be treated with love,respect,and dignity.
Much Love my brother❣️
LikeLiked by 1 person
You are a good neighbor, Roy! I don’t cover the distances you do on a bike, but as a long distance runner, doing between 10-15 miles a run, I saw a lot of things, especially when I was out of town and running. Stuff people in cars would never see, both good and bad. I’ve said hello to a lot of strangers over the years.
Great photos, by the way!
LikeLiked by 1 person