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Meadows at sundown: A popular place to be

October 25, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO —As the last few rays of light of another day were snuffed by the horizon, Elsa Montoya pushed a stroller containing her 2-year-old daughter Luisa along the walkway of the Meadows Avenue bridge that spans the All-American Canal here.

Stubborn flecks of light shimmered on the canal's surface as a comfortable wind blew through the reeds lining the banks.

Asked why she liked to walk through this particular spot in the evenings, Montoya said, "It's refreshing and relaxing."

Others interviewed during an evening stroll said they walked Meadows because it's good exercise.

"My doctor said so," and it's a chance to get out of the house, said one woman.

Every evening — even during the weekends — the sidewalks of Meadows Avenue become a walking/jogging path for dozens of Calexicans.

The pedestrians — and serious jogger types — are supplied in large part by the new homes that line each side of Meadows Avenue north of Highway 98.


Recently, a favorite path for the walkers has been reopened now that the construction on the north part of the street has been finished.

Most of those walking Meadows stroll north to where the new homes are being constructed near Cole Road and then walk back down the way they came before heading home into one of the new subdivisions.

Montoya said she walks about three times a week and usually brings her daughter along.

Luisa craned her neck to see her mother's face.

"Sometimes my neighbors and their babies come along too," Montoya said.

To the left, a flash of cinnamon brown was spotted, exciting Luisa.

"Oh, she saw a rabbit," Montoya said.

And there it went, bouncing down into the dirt lot next to the canal.

As Luisa watched the bunny, Montoya eased the stroller to the right to make room for a passing couple.

The walkers smiled as they passed each other.

Montoya said the camaraderie of the walkers is one of the neat things about a Meadows stroll.

"People smile and say, ‘Hi,'" she said. "Everyone's very friendly."

Ruth Santillan said she also enjoys the people she meets.

Santillan said she walks "three times a week — well, three to five times."

When asked what sort of pace she keeps, she said, "Uh … well, what I'm walking right now, but I speed up if it is getting dark out."

Santillan, who is married to Calexico Housing Authority Commissioner Daniel Santillan, said her regular walks are good exercise and walking helps relieve stress.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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