Sunday, December 17, 2017

When the Family Goes on a Hike

Last year REI for the first time didn't open their shops for Black Friday, but encouraged their employees and customers to "opt outside" instead and experience the great outdoors. We loved the idea and spent a wonderful afternoon hiking Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. This year we opted outside again on Black Friday, and we chose to hike in Jack London State Historic Park, the only park close to us that by some kind of miracle has been completely untouched by the October fires.

The vineyards in the park - with the original terraced planting by Jack London - were brilliant at this time of year.

We hiked up to the "lake" - it's not really a lake anymore since it is full of algae. This was our first view of it - that green thing in the back is the lake. I don't think anybody in their right mind would want to dive in there.

But when you walk further up there are some gorgeous redwoods.

I stepped right in the middle of the trees and just took a photo looking up.

When my family saw that, they wanted to do the same thing - and we ended up with this:

This was the first time that I broke in my new hiking boots - my old ones did break in Yellowstone during a hike and the Geek, resourceful as always, had hold them together using duct tape. It was a fine for that particular hike, but certainly not a permanent solution.

But then, of course, everybody wanted to take boot pictures!

And it just went on with taking silly family photos.

Kaefer was sitting on the wall at the edge of the "lake", but she didn't stay on her own for long, not in this family.

The Geek saw this tree and asked us whether we can see the seal in it - can you?

Even the hike back wasn't done in a "civilized" way - there is always room for silliness in this family. I think we thrive on it. Life is so much more adventurous upside down between the poison oak and the mountain lion warnings.

And the vineyards kept on being stunning.

We spent several hours in this beautiful park. Since it is the only park unharmed by the fire, the entrance into it is free until the end of the year. What a gift to anyone who loves to be in nature.

All the photos in this post were taken with my cell phone.


Elephant's Child said...

Absolutely beautiful. The scenery and the silliness.
I love it - thank you.

Monika said...

Great pics Carola! Looks like you all had great day :)

My name is Erika. said...

What a beautiful park and you sure took some creative photos. Nice way to spend the day, and better than shopping for sure!

Jeanie said...

I love REI's policy and following you on your hike. Some wonderful photos -- gorgeous colors and I sure do love the pic with the feet! Made me smile!

Karen Lakis said...

I wish more stores would follow REIs lead - but then I know a lot of people with Black Friday shopping traditions - no me! This looks like a wonderful day with your family. I love the silliness!

Sarah Huizenga said...

No better way to spend Black Friday in my mind. Our family loves silliness too. That last shot is postcard perfect.

Magic Love Crow said...

Amazing place to walk! Truly loved all the photos! The cell phone, in cell phone pictures were amazing!!! Loved them!!! Big Hugs to you and your family! Merry Christmas and here's to an amazing 2018!!

Michelle B said...

The vineyards are beautiful! I love how your family saw you taking pictures and then wanted to take the same picture. It looks like you and your family had a lot of fun. Happy Holidays!!

Darla said...

What a fun and photo filled post. I'm so glad to see that the park is looking good. I've been there but not for a very long time. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

windrock studio said...

Thank you so much for sharing your family day. I love that you spent it outside instead of at the stores. I'm so happy to know about Jack London Park, what a blessing that it was spared from the fires.
Really wonderful and fun images ... a very Merry Christmas to you all.

Red Rose Alley said...

Those Redwood pictures are something else. I've heard of Sugarloaf State Park before. The Vineyards at Jack London Historic Park are brilliant with color. That tree is the most unusual tree, isn't it? Very interesting how it twisted and formed like that. Since the holidays, I have longed to visit nature. I will take a road trip to the country very soon.

Happy New Year, Carola. I wish you peace and much joy in the coming year.