Monday, June 9, 2014

Our Lives // Hike Our Backyard

Okay, this is not exactly our backyard… But I'm grateful to live in a place where open space and hiking trails are just a stones throw away. Many may complain about Los Angeles and Southern California in general-- too many people! the crazy traffic!;  However many don't realize that we live amongst the largest urban national park in the world, not to mention the abundance of open space just north of the county line. The 240 square miles of open and protected space gives us easy access to nature's wonderland and is what keeps many of us native Angelenos happy and sane.

Although I appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us, I have to admit that we don't get out there and embrace the outdoors as often as we should. So last weekend we decided to remove our butts from all horizontal surfaces and get a move-on. We grabbed the kids and some friends and went on a three hour hike. It was invigorating, beautiful, sweaty and dirty.  We had a blast.

It was a warm 84 degrees, but luckily the occasional cool sea breeze made it enjoyable. We slathered on the sunscreen, packed a lot of water and snacks (gorp is my fave) to keep ourselves hydrated and energized, then headed on out.

I love how California terrain can go from dry scrub and cactuses to a lush waterfall in about 100 steps. Since we've had drought conditions for over 3 years, I was happy to see that the waterfall, while not full, had a decent flow of water.

Streams were forged, pebbles were skipped, plants and animals were observed (including a large snake… thankfully not a rattler). The kids explored and enjoyed pointing out all the interesting things that they discovered.We took our time and followed the stream from the waterfall back to its source. We walked over flatlands, under tree canopies, through steep, shaded canyons and crossed the stream a few times. There was such a variety of things to look at and places to explore that there wasn't a single complaint out of any of the hikers… Nirvana.

At the end of the 3 hour hike, the kids were still running. :)