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March 12, 2016

San Diego’s Maple Canyon to Balboa Park

Where can you park for a major event in Balboa Park?  The St Patrick's Day Parade is such a major event and there’s little parking within a mile of Quince and 6th where the heart of the Festival will be.  Unless you know about the Maple Canyon Open Space Trail.

The trailhead at the end of Maple Street is wide and the hike quite shaded.IMG_0845 (640x480)IMG_0833 (640x461)

This time of year the trail is lined with wildflowers.
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It’s an easy uphill as the trail passes under 1st Ave. bringing the Quince Street footbridge into view.
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After crossing under the footbridge the trail quickly climbs the steep south side of the canyon.  Balboa Park is a couple blocks north after crossing over the footbridge.  The approach to the footbridge is a bit steep, but there are stairs to make it an easy assent.
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And after an enjoyable half mile hike in the canyon.  We arrive a block off the parade route, where there are the kids activities, like this Leprechaun bungee jump.  Is that the Pope?
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Most parades feature similar groups – local high school bands, car clubs, fire trucks, etc.  A few of our entries might be a bit different.  Escondido still has a mounted posse, used for search and rescue – and parades!.  Aircraft land after crossing over our parade route.
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San Diego is still a Navy town, but the Navy was not present this year.  But the Marines took their place and put on an excellent re-enactment of raising the flag at Iwo Jima.  The sign on the side of their float reads “POW’s/MIA’s BRING THEM HOME OR SEND US BACK”. OORAH!
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Since this is a St Patrick’s Day Parade – old men in green suits and dancing girls are required.
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Lots of dancing girls!
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And the pipes!  These guys sounded just as good as they look.
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Perhaps a dozen bikes in the Penny Farthing club.  Why?
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And food!  Traditional Irish
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German-Irish, and my favorit Mexican-Irish – the corned beef taco!  both from the same food cart.
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Something new this year was African-Irish.  We gave a bowl of jerked chicken a try, not bad, but too much oil for my taste … and not Irish! 
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May you always walk in the sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May the Irish angels rest their wings,
Right beside your door.

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