How is it that the things closest to us are often the ones we least explore? I’ve lived in this area for almost my entire life, and this last weekend was the first time I hiked this trail that is less than an hour’s drive away.
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I think it’s one of those “I’ll get to it later” kind of things. I think we all have the tendency to believe that there will always be the opportunity to go visit some attraction later and we instead focus on those places further away or just simply get buried in the day to day of normal life.
My middle boy, Michael, belongs to an outdoor recreation club at school. A year ago we did a nice little hike on a paved path I’ve passed by countless times, but had never ventured on, that goes from a local park down to a conservation center by the river. This time we were taking a day hike on a trail that follows near Lewis Creek not too far from the entrance of Yosemite National Park.
Again, I’ve driven past the trailhead countless times, yet have always told myself “I’ll get to it later”. Well, later finally came! The trail is an easy hike through an intermediate zone where oak trees overlap with conifers, so we were mostly covered with dappled shade. The trail crosses Lewis Creek at a couple of places and ends at a small, but decently flowing waterfall.
As we hiked, I couldn’t help myself and had to check out the various native plants growing near the path. It turns out that I have a few of them in my own yard! I didn’t want to stray too far off the trail, though, because this is also Poison Oak territory, and that’s not something I want to play with. I think that’s understandable!
We took a nice little break at the waterfall and the kids from the club got to explore around and have some snacks. Michael, ever the fisherman, was scouting the area for signs of bugs that the local fish might be feeding on. He didn’t have to look far, as every rock seemed to have something on it or under it!
Every day has to end, though. We managed not to lose any kids (score one for us teachers!), though one did take a tumble into the creek with phone in hand. Good bye phone! A brave effort was made to try to find it, but sadly to no avail. Other than that, the trip was a good one and left me wondering why I waited so long to go!!
20 thoughts on “A Wee Walk in the Woods”
Pokeweed is even there? It showed up here only a few years ago, but is quite abundant now.
The death of all the pines is part of the natural cycle. It happens every century or so, particularly if the region does not burn. It was very bad with Monterey pine back in the 1980s and 1990s. The trees do not live very long. They tend to die off in large numbers, and regenerate in large numbers, so that they get old and die again in large numbers because they are all the same age.
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This was the only pokeweed I noticed, but I’m sure I have seen it before elsewhere. These pines should have a longer lifespan, they really aren’t that old. This area was extensively logged around a century ago, so they have grown since then. It was drought and pine beetles that have done in so many trees. In some areas, the entire forest is dead. Lots of fuel for future fires.
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