Spring in My Step

Calistoga St. Helena Fawn Lily April 2016I’d rather hike than blog, so I’ve been MIA from Shrinkrapped for a bit. But it’s been a fantastic diversion, as decent rainfall in Northern California after four years of drought has left our hills emerald and strewn with wildflowers such that we haven’t seen for awhile. Still, my keyboard fingers are a bit itchy and I’ve been feeling a bit guilty, so here’s a sample of where I’ve been lately to make up for blogging negligence.

While we were in Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, and The Pinnacles,

it was cool and rainy back home. So when we returned, we feasted on the intense green hills in our own backyard during a great hike with friends on the Big Rock Trail in Lucas Valley:

Lucas Valley 3.19.16

 

The day before Easter, we hiked at Point Reyes National Seashore and saw Harlequin flowers and lilies on the Muddy Hollow and Estero trails:

Then on Easter Sunday, we hiked up the Morning Sun Trail into the Marin Headlands above Gerbode Valley, where developers were stopped from putting in housing for 30,000 in the late 1960s. At the same time, our daughter was riding her bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge–it’s so nice to have her nearby instead of in Barcelona!

Just this past weekend, we drove north to hike above Calistoga–the morning fogOat Hill Mine Road, Calistoga morning fog April 2, 2016 was still in the valley as we started up the trail. The old Oat Hill Mine Road connects Calistoga with Aetna Springs Road in Pope Valley, and was used by mercury miners in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You can still see ruts carved into the rock by heavy wagons in place along the trail. It was hard enough walking on the rocky trail–I would never survive the jostling of those who came west in wagons (not to mention the jostling the mountain bikers who whizzed past us survive in their modern-day spandex–some people are just gluttons for punishment!).

There are wonderful volcanic Calistoga Palisades April 2016rock formations known as the Palisades along the way, and the minerals in the soil, helped by the rain, put on a wonderful display of lupine,  poppies, mimulus, and other wildflowers. (A man we met on the trail directed us to a cache of rare St. Helena Fawn Lilies, pictured at the top of this post.)

Then it was home again. Not too shabby walking around town each morning either!

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What are your favorite springtime outings?

 

12 thoughts on “Spring in My Step

  1. What lovely scenery!
    One of my favorite springtime outings is to walk to a nearby hilly field with my kids and dog. The grass is so long that sometimes we “lose” the dog and sometimes my son will run ahead then lay low in the grass to hide then pop up and surprise us. I also like getting out and walking around Lake Harriet, one of the chain of lakes in Minneapolis.

  2. Glorious! There’s nothing better than a good, sweaty hike in the Bay Area. My face place on the peninsula is Purissima Creek, past Crystal Springs reservoir.
    Li

    • Yes! I’ve done Purissima Creek from the Montara Mountain end. I believe it was on that hike that I persuaded my husband to capitulate to our girls’ begging for a dog–so it holds special memories.

  3. Beautiful pics. And those lilies are lovely. Our nearby park usually has a springtime display of bluebells. We’ll be heading there at some point to get pics but that’s a walk not a hike ;)

    • Thanks. We hadn’t intended to go as far as where the lilies were, but luckily the hiker we passed made us feel it would be a worthwhile detour. Enjoy your bluebells.

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