Thursday, August 9, 2012

The First of Many Hikes

Our first backpacking trip was to be a litmus test for determining if we will be making future treks.  It was totally the way to go our first time out.  You definitely learn a lot going with experienced people, and if you pay attention and ask questions, you can get a lot of it.

Having a good base of information about the plants and animals in this part of the country as well as good rules of thumb will make us more comfortable as we visit the State and National Parks in the area.  When we went to Muir Woods last year, I decided that I would collect patches from each of the parks and roadside attractions that we visit.  My backpack needed a face lift, so that where they'd go.  Conery liked that idea, so he started collecting them too.  

We put in place some parameters to keep this from getting out of control.The place had to be a State or National Park, a landmark, or a roadside attraction. You have to visit the place to "earn" the patch.  (No, I was never a Girl Scout, but I think the whole badge thing is rad.  I also like the cartoon "The Mighty Bee" about a girl who lives in SF and is part of a Girl Scout-like troupe called the Honey Bees.  She imagines that she'll be a super hero called The Mighty Bee someday when she collects all the Honey Bee badges.)  So if one of us didn't go to the place, the other won't get a badge for them.

Conery's backpack and mine

Aside from patches and information, the big draw for us is doing things outside without real heat and humidity.  And if you can do this activity under the cover of trees, it's totally SUMMER (gasp)!  Lugging a 30 pound pack as you hop from stone to stone across streams and traverse over and under downed trees, you'll break a sweat, but it doesn't hold a candle to the torrential sweatpour you have during Summer in the South. There were so many beautiful vistas and magnificent lighting that you could spend your whole time taking pictures.  Well, the whole time you weren't navigating a narrow path or scrambling over rocks.  I found myself thinking about where my camera was, and I had to bring it back to living in the moment not documenting it. There were a few times when we were stopped and exploring that I made time to take some pictures.  The termite trails on some of the trees were systematic and beautiful, especially because that pattern was made from the path an insect ate out of the wood.

Nearer to our camp were other trees whose outer bark was charred by a fire in 2008.  Spiders decided that these trees were more hospitable to their homes than others, I guess.  With the light in just the right pace, the webs covering these trees were a luminous network of armor.  The camera did not do the visual justice, but here is what I captured.

Not sure how this happened, but it's my new desktop image.

And I cannot get enough of this kind of stuff.

The trip was a great experience.  Now I just have to find a Big Sur patch to add to my backpack.  


  1. Wonderful pictures the trip sounds like fun. LUV Mom

  2. Awesome!! Looks like loads of fun and very interesting to boot. There's nothing like being one with nature and enjoying the beauty that surrounds us. I love seeing the really tall trees, as we only have short trees in comparison, and big rocky streams. Are there big rocks in Florida? Glad you guys are enjoying CA. Keep sharing....

  3. Sounds like fun! Love the patch idea:)