Just four miles past Pala Casino, on the south side of the 76 highway, awaits Wilderness Gardens County Preserve, the oldest Parks and Recreation open space preserve in San Diego County. It is part of the San Luis Rey River watershed, a river that enters the ocean 30 miles away, right next to where we live in Oceanside. This 737 acre preserve is described as a birdwatcher’s paradise. There were more American robins than I have ever seen in one spot, happy as a lark. We even saw some healthy looking coyotes (at one point howling a hundred feet from us) as we were wandering around. The preserve is small but it is peaceful and beautiful. And it always seems like we are the only ones there.