On a sunny Presidents’ Day I did the Acacia-Florida loop, which covers the Florida Walk (#22), the Acacia Walk (#23), and the Acacia Steps (#24). Because it was an official holiday, my husband, Dave, walked with me, and we brought our 11-month-old puppy, Ruby, and our tiny foster, Abby.
We started from home, carefully crossing busy Colusa Avenue. Ruby was excited to be on the adventure and struggled between wanting to see and smell everything along the way and wanting to get to whatever amazing thing lay ahead.
We crossed familiar territory, and Ruby wanted to play with the dog at Great Stoneface Park, but she was on a leash, and we were on a mission, after all.
We walked up San Fernando Avenue to the Arlington and turned on San Luis, where we attempted to cut up on the Santa Barbara Path, but the end was blocked for some underground repairs, and we had to retrace our steps and go the long way around, via Southampton and the curvy Northampton Avenue.
Acacia Walk is one of the longer paths and takes you from Spruce Street up to Cragmont Avenue, home of Cragmont School. From there it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to the Acacia Steps, which are pretty much the walking extension of minuscule Acacia Avenue. Once you’ve traversed those steps, you’re right back on Spruce, where we made a great discovery–Dorothy Bolte Park!
The park is on two levels, with a play structure on each, connected by a concrete slide, which all four of us took. Ruby sat on Dave’s lap, and Abby sat on mine. It probably goes faster if you use flattened cardboard boxes (visible at the bottom of the slide), but it was fun enough just sliding down in my jeans.
After our play break we found Florida Walk, which is one of the steepest paths I’ve come across. It bends in the middle so you can’t see one end from the other. About halfway along, you can see the bay framed by hanging tree branches. Near the bottom, the steps are a bit difficult to manage, and I was glad that Dave had taken Ruby, who probably would have pulled me down crashing against the uneven concrete.
We ended up covering quite a distance, especially since we took a few wrong turns along the way. (I was relieved to see that Dave could also get lost on those windy roads in the hills–I thought it was just me.) And little Abby kept up amazingly well, considering her legs are only a few inches long. We occasionally carried her, but I think she would have been happy to walk the whole route!