The Paved Path

I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to go.  In fact, I didn’t even make up my mind until that morning and I was still convincing myself as I was telling the Old Man we needed to get ready.

The month of October in the teaching world seems to stretch out forever.  By the time the Veteran’s Day holiday rolls around, both the Old Man and I will have been dragging for a while.  So the prospect of an extra day of taking care of odds and ends with really nice weather (like leave the windows open all day kind of nice weather) was really appealing.  Veteran’s Day was observed on a Friday this year, so we would also have a three day weekend.  However, my medium child had an outing that he had helped plan for a club he is part of at school.

(Read more stories from our village-ish life.  While you’re here, take a look at some recipes and gardening information, too!)

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The advisor of the club is a newer biology teacher and one of my colleagues.  He had extended an invitation to the staff to join with the kids.  The plan was to hike a paved path that extends through one of our city parks and dead ends a few miles down at the headquarters of a local conservation organization, and then hike back.  Though never far from civilization, the trail winds through the base of the foothills on the edge of town and provides a wide open view of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the far distance.

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I knew the walk would not be difficult.  It would be a little over six miles round-trip, but it was all paved and no real elevation changes.  We’ve done much more challenging trails on many occasions.  It was more about the time it would take.  The lure of staying home was strong.

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We obviously went, as you can see from the pictures, and I’m glad we all did.  Sometimes you just need to force yourself away from the “what you should do”, to go do the “what you could do”.  The medium boy got to hang out with his friends, and the littlest boy got to tag along with the big kids.  The Old Man and I sometimes walked with the other adults, and sometimes fell back as the littlest one started to slow down.

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While on the trail, I was also reminded of why I like living in Central California.  People not from California often assume that there are only three things here: San Francisco, Los Angeles (which is where all the movie stars go to Disneyland), and the beach.  But there is a whole different world once you move inland.  I know that Montana gets the name “Big Sky Country”, but really that’s nothing compared to the expanse of blue on a good, clear day here.

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The view from one horizon to the other.

By the time we finished the hike and finally made our way home, the day was close to done.  We were tired, a bit sore, and hungry, but feeling great overall.  Those “odds and ends” that needed doing were still there, but the world didn’t implode because they weren’t done.  What a surprise.

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We came across this lovely sight at the end of the hike.  It was a rattlesnake.  Was.

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