Viva Fortuna!

We’ve finally adjusted to west coast time, coffee at 6:30, dayplanning til 7:30, rewiring the electrical circuits by 8:30.

Betty has a curious lighting design – a mix of undercounter and decorative fixture halogens, fluorescent industrials and incandescent spots. 18 lights in an 8×14 room. For most people, on and off works. For us, finding the right mix for varying situations at different times of day and night has been challenging. Puzzling needs bright, non glare. Reading requires luminous but not interrogating. Sopranos binging prefers moody dim.

Lighting re-design is not as easy as taking out the old bulb and putting in the new, as Eric found when trying to install dimmer switches. The manufacturer wasn’t trying to win an award for Best Lighting Design in a mobile condo. In 2002, they did not envision that dimmable LED bulbs would be a thing, so they did not pay particular attention to the location of the switches in the circuits. Eric wanted the high-end, upstream power solution so he emptied the pantry, popped the counter floorboard and rewired the system. Voila! Mood lighting for movie nights.

Dayplanning took us north of Admiral Baker to the Tierrasanta entrance of Mission Trail Regional Park. Another all uphill, highway type ride in pursuit of the North Fortuna Summit, Peak #2 in the possible quest to complete the 5 peak challenge. Props to San Diego for putting dedicated bike lanes on almost every road in the city. With the Comos acting like cars, we have learned to safely coexist with our four wheeled friends.

Our first attempt to pick up the North Fortuna trail turned out to be the service road entrance. Not wanting a dry hike, Eric studied the google map and we set out to find the Portabelo Road entrance about a half mile away. Tucked behind a luxury townhome community, the trail appeared to be bikeable so we started down the path, Eric stopping to figure out why Sheri wasn’t close behind as the words bikable and summit didn’t click with her. Reluctantly she followed.

About a quarter mile in, the rocky terrain got the best of us and Eric locked the Comos to a fence as a lone fit biker huffed by on a fat tired off-roader,

Lunch bag in hand, we hoofed it to the Shepherd Pond Loop and hiked up a very steep hill to connect with the North Fortuna Summit Trail, no biker in sight.

Portabelo Road and the Shepherd Pond Loop are the Trails less travelled. We were the lone hikers on this difficult, but by no means daunting, dangerous or deadly like the Picacho Peak summit.

While Cowles is the most popular hike of the 5 peaks, we would choose North Fortuna as the better of the two for more diverse terrain and the fun of reading notes and letters left in metal boxes about goals, experiences and love for nature.

From North Fortuna summit, we took views of Miramar Marine Corp. Airbase where V-22 Osprey practiced take off and land while we snacked on apples and cheese. We were dressed for uphill climbs, so the wind and cooler temps eventually forced us off the peak and back to the trailhead.

Hitting a conveniently located Walmart on the path home, we re-provisioned using the available paniers. As we came off “hobo road” under the I-5, we saw the San Diego Swap Meet set up in the stadium parking lot. We had planned on dropping the bags at Betty before walking the Swap Meet, but the day was getting late and the temps were dropping, so we ponied up our 2 bucks and entered with the bikes.

The Swap Meet in the stadium parking lot is famous for its collection of goods that fell off the back of the truck, food trucks, bins of basement treasures, and even the extremely unusual.

Eric poured over power tools while Sheri priced a new Insta Pot. Having stopped at Walmart on the way, the saddlebags were full of food raising the bar for how important the purchase had to be to warrant being strapped and balanced somewhere else on the rides. Fortunately for Eric, in the end, the only thing to make the list were a couple of churros, which were promptly eaten, capping off a true Viva Fortuna day!