Friday, October 18, 2013

8:43 PM
Shall we?
Once in a while you come across a hidden gem in your backyard that is EXACTLY the thing you have been looking for for some time ...an awesome little hike to do with the kids that is interesting and adventurous without being too long or too hard or require too much effort (driving) to get to.

After a couple of failed attempts elsewhere and mentally crossing most of the places I knew about off my list for one of the reasons noted above, I randomly Yelp!ed for a hike in my neighborhood. The first hit was for a small canyon open space that I was vaguely aware of, having run there many years ago, but that I had forgotten about. The descriptions and reviews were positive, the distance (a 1.5 mile loop) seemed perfect,  and so I decided that today was the day to check it out.

After driving for about five minutes, we parked the car and started our well-marked descent into one of the coolest little urban forest/creek canyons that I have been in around here. In the space of 1.5 miles we crossed creeks and multiple wooden bridges (a favorite); saw many varieties of trees, ranging from huge, gnarly oak trees to redwoods, pines, madrones, maples, and everything in between; hiked up and down some fairly steep terrain; spotted birds, deer, butterflies, and squirrels galore; enjoyed sweeping views of the bay and planes landing at SFO; rock climbed in the "echanted castle" rock outcropping; peed in the bushes; and otherwise had a great afternoon adventure.

Climbing the Castle
Queen of the Mountain

Next Time I'll Bring the Ergo

Perspective

Fearless Leader

Creek Crossing / Rock Throwing Pit Stop
It is amazing how often we uncover things - people, places, feelings - that were always right there under our noses, we were just too busy or dreaming too big to give them any notice. That is in some ways the real beauty of having kids - they make (allow) us to find those small quirky and precious places in the world and in ourselves and to take the time to enjoy them.

Your "backyard" can be an amazing place...

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