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The Tale of a Trail - Hatton Canyon

by Pam Bonsper

hatton canyon

"Where were you, Grandma?" my granddaughter asked.


I was taking a walk with my friend and her dog," I answered. "We walked the Hatton Canyon Trail."


Where is it Grandma, where is the trail? Can you tell me a story about it?"


My granddaughter always wants stories. So does Coastal Canine. So here is the story of Hatton Canyon Trail (as told to a very inquisitive child).

Once upon a time, Hatton Canyon Trail, which is very close to Carmel High School, was almost destroyed. Big bulldozers were going to come and tear down the trees so a freeway could replace the meadows. Flowers would no longer grow. Birds and squirrels and raccoons would not have homes.  All the people of the land were very upset and decided to stop the building. "We love our canyon," they said. "We love to walk our dogs there."

What does it look like, Grandma?"


The people thought it was the most beautiful place in the world. Its magic had been undisturbed for many, many years. Its twisty oaks and tall Monterey Pine trees covered with Spanish moss made it cool and quiet. Often the people would go on walks just to listen to the woodpeckers and songbirds and to smell the wildflowers. Sometimes the shade of the trees made them feel a chill, but if they walked a little farther, the sun would shine into a large meadow and warm them.


What happened, Grandma?"


After much discussion and many meetings, the people of the land won the battle and the freeway could not be built. Their precious Hatton Canyon would not be disturbed. There was much happiness throughout the land and a better trail was made so more people and their dogs could enjoy the beauty and peace.


One day a little girl and her family decided to take their dog, Cooper, for a hike on the trail. They turned off Highway One at Ocean Avenue as if they were going to the high school. Then they went about one block north along the frontage road, turned right onto Flanders Drive, then left onto Canyon Road. They drove a very short distance, parked, and began their walk at the metal-gate entrance.

Was it a long walk, Grandma?"


Well, the little girl thought it was a rather long walk, the mom and dad thought it was a medium- sized walk and Cooper thought it was way too short. The dad loved to measure everything and he said it was about two miles to the end, and that's where they were headed. The little girl skipped along and held Cooper's leash and made sure he didn't get off the trail into the weeds where he might get ticks.


Then what happened, Grandma?"


Suddenly the little girl saw movement in the thick grass next to the trail. Her dad thought it was a family of quail, and her mom thought it was a rabbit. Cooper strained on the leash to get a better smell, pulling the little girl behind him. Although she could not see the animal, there in a patch of wildflowers (that looked just like orange firecrackers) was the most beautiful butterfly she had ever seen. It had red and black wings and fluttered from flower to flower drawing the girl farther down the magical trail. The butterfly changed into a fairy, Cooper turned into a dragon, and the little girl became Princess Poppy. She was in charge of all the animals and birds and bugs, and even the bees. She could call hawks down from the sky and wake up the owls. She could run like the wind and her pet dragon was so powerful he could pull her right into the darkness of the . . .


What Grandma? What was dark?"


The tunnel! They had come to a tunnel and the little girl recognized it was the tunnel that went under the highway that went to the shopping center that went to the restaurant . . .


Where they were headed!"


Yes. They had come to the end of their wonderful walk and were in the Barnyard Shopping Center.  All of them were ready for some really great food, so the little girl and her very happy dog and her very hungry mom and dad went to lunch at a restaurant where dogs are welcome. And guess what?


What Grandma, what?"


Cooper was allowed in the restaurant, even though he was a dragon!




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