Sunday Funday Hike: Rancho San Antonio County Park & Open Space Preserve

Yesterday, we went on another short hike in Rancho San Antonio County Park in Los Altos, CA. There is plenty of parking around and a lot of trails. We didn’t really plan this one out like the last one. We just kind of went to the park and started off down some trails until we decided we were done and turned back. We started at one of the parking lots and went down the Permanente Creek Trail, then onto the Lower Meadow Trail, then onto the Farm Bypass Trail until it connected to the Coyote Trail, then we followed that to the Wildcat Loop Trail. We basically started out just following the signs that directed us to the Wildcat Loop Trail. I’m not sure the exact milage of our hike but going out and back took about an hour and 45 minutes. Some parts were more wooded than others and there weren’t too many hills. We saw a couple of lizards and several squirrels. There were also little bridges along the trail crossing over some creeks. It was definitely a nice leisurely hike and I would like to go back to the park and explore some of the other many trails sometime, too!

 

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Review of ‘Wild’

I’ve always been into wilderness adventure books, but what I loved about this one was the raw detail that the author uses to describe her journey. Wild is a true story, more of a memoir, written by Cheryl Strayed about her summer hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in an effort to rediscover herself and come back from a dark place in her life.

Following the early death of her mother and the subsequent dissolve of her family, Cheryl’s life went into a downward spiral of drugs and devious sexual behavior. Then she found a guide book about the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) that started the snowball affect towards her healing.

She spares no dirty detail of her trip hiking the trail alone, though she meets some nice people along the way. You feel as though you are right there with her on the trail. You cry with her, you laugh at the funny anecdotes, and you feel like maybe you are growing and changing too. This books is inspirational to those who may have hit rockbottom and need to find a way out. It’s an inspiration to people like me who have an adventuresome spirit but may chicken out of some of the big challenges.

I read the first half of this book before hitting the road to California and listened to the rest as an audio book while driving. I definitely couldn’t put it down or stop listening. It’s so well written. I have deep respect for Cheryl doing what she did and then having the guts to write all about it without sugar coating. I definitely recommend this book.

Check out Cheryl’s site for more information: http://www.cherylstrayed.com/wild_108676.htm

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Cross Country Move Part 2: Missouri to California

We managed to arrive in Sunnyvale yesterday before the leasing office closed so we could stay in our own apartment last night. Nebraska was the windiest and most boring state to drive through ever. Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada were much prettier and scenic, though the stopping points were few and far between. I had hoped to find things like “the world’s largest…” but there were none. There were barely towns with hotels to stay in at night. We stayed the first night of the drive at our friends house in Kansas City, KS, the second night in Cheyenne, WY, and the last night in Elko, NV.

When we passed through Salt Lake City, Utah and saw the Great Salt Lake, we were both shocked. I’d never seen a lake that big! It looked like an ocean! And of course in my amazement, I missed the scenic view turnoff so the best I could get was a picture through the window of my moving car.

After that, there was miles and miles of open desolate salty looking desert. It looked as though a lot of people had stopped along the road at some point to make notes with stones on the white dry ground.

I love Wyoming, I knew it would be lovely. I went to Yellowstone and Grand Teton last summer with my family and didn’t want to leave. Nevada was also a good scenic drive with rolling hills and some mountains in the distance.

When we crossed into California, that was the most beautiful part of the drive going through the mountains. There were some flurries falling against our windshields at the higher elevations (6,000 feet at one point) but as we descended the flurries turned to rain. We both were in love with the breathtaking views. I can’t believe this is the state we live in now. Gorgeous. I can’t wait to explore all of the wilderness this state has to offer.

I got pictures of most of the state line signs for the states we went through between Missouri and California. I also took some pictures of some of the scenery. Pretty much all of my pictures are taken on my phone from my moving car.

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My favorite president, The Wilderness Warrior

Written by Douglas Brinkley, The Wilderness Warrior tells the life of my favorite president, Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy was one of the most conservation friendly presidents, growing up with an avid interest in wildlife, nature, and the world around him.

71SqeeKwwaLThe book, whose full title is The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, starts all the way back in Teddy’s childhood. Though it was a long read, it was definitely worth it. I learned so much that I never knew before about this great man and the things he did to try and protect America’s wilderness. It was fascinating reading about his upbringing and his family and the influence they had on him. Had we been children at the same time, I am certain we would have been best friends. As a child he set up his own little natural history museum in his house with specimens he would find. His family traveled a lot and he saw much more of the world than many people today have, even with modern transportation options.

A known game hunter, he is famous for refusing to shoot an American Black Bear which had already been captured, beaten, and tied up, knowing it wasn’t sporting and wash’t fair to the bear. That is how toy bears came to be known as “Teddy bears”; they were named after Teddy Roosevelt.

As I said before, it is a long read, and to look at the size of the book may be daunting, but it really is worth it. I read it on my Nook e-reader so I didn’t have to lug the big hard copy around. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the national park system, conservation, and history.