Living in a small community nestled into a canyon in an area where rural and wilderness lands blurred gently one into the other, summer break was a time filled with both excitement and boredom. As my friends moved away, one after the other, more of my time was spent alone. At first, Mother’s friend Link would take me hiking. He showed me some few hidden trails in the short time we were hiking partners, but then I was on my own. There was a creek that crossed both the dam and the road leading to the quartz mine, the enigmatic true summit of Ironside mountain, and a seemingly unending network of gullies that made their way toward the creek at the canyon bottom. What I would explore first however, were the many hidden firebreaks which cut their way across the hillsides surrounding home. Most were as wide as the street I lived on, but gutted with ruts and littered with aluminum cans, car bodies, and assorted appliances. One such break followed above Mountain View road as it wound it’s way toward La Cresta mountain. Another held to the broad face of Ironside before turning due north, through a saddle and off into the distant rural communities surrounding Lakeside. One circled behind Goat Mountain on its way to the summit of Crazy Man. Still more cut under trees, sagebrush, and sycamore often without any clear destination. From the time R1 and R2 moved away, these roads became my best friends. The time I spent with them was some of the happiest of my childhood. I promised Mother that I would be home in time for dinner, but afore long I found myself increasingly loathe to return, even as the sun threatened to dip behind La Mesa and into the Pacific ocean.