The Best Things in Life…….

The bests things in life are the people we love, the places we’ve been, and the memories we’ve made along the way ~ Anonymous

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“As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing.” ~ John Muir

As a kid, I had so much fun spending time outdoors with my family – traveling, camping, and hiking. I hope my grandson will look back on this time with fondness and remember hearing the waterfall sing.

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Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experiences. ~ Paulo Coelho

Spending the day at the Jackson County Fair in Central Point, OR. The kids loved holding the gator……my daughter looks a little worried. My brave babies.

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“Rivers know this:  There is no hurry. We shall get there some day” ~ A.A. Milne

We were on our way to the coast and stopped for lunch and a dip in the Smith River at Jedediah Smith State Park. Kids are like rivers….they’re in no hurry.

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Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly ~ Van Morrison

Letting their spirits fly……dodging the waves in Brookings, Oregon. Remember when kids didn’t need anything but nature and a few friends to have the best time? Good times.

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When was the last time you did something for the first time?

My youngest grandson experiencing the ocean for the first time ~ he was so fascinated with chasing the waves and playing in the sand. In nature, life can be so sweet and simple.

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“It’s a party. It’s a celebration of another year of life..” ~ Kim Etheredge

Celebrating my youngest grandsons 3rd birthday with Mama, Big Sister, and cousins. That blonde hair and baby blues sure run in the family. Who needs Chuck E. Cheese when you can spend the day at the park with family.

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“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard….” ~ Winnie-the-Pooh 

It had been two and a half years since I saw my girl and grand-kids; I’m so grateful to have the means to spend time with them. Although, I love exploring nature and experiencing the beauty of the outdoors….. nothing can take the place of spending time with my family. It was hard to say goodbye.

Goodbyes are not forever ~ Goodbyes are not the end ~ They simply mean I’ll miss you ~ Until we meet again ~ Anonymous

 

And into Yellowstone I go……..Day 1

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” – John Muir

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The beautiful Madison River, Yellowstone NP

I was in my element this past week, immersed in the nature-y goodness of Yellowstone National Park. We got an early start our first day, stopping by the Madison River en route to the Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful, and the Canyon of the Yellowstone. Trees, rivers, forests……I am in nature-nirvana!

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Grand Prismatic Spring

The Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the U.S. and the most photographed thermal facet in Yellowstone. What I would have given to have an aerial view of the spring – a sideways glance does not do it justice.

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The Firehole River, adjacent to Old Faithful

As we waited for Old Faithful to spew, the grandson and I took a stroll around the Upper Geyser Basin enjoying the cobalt waters of the Firehole River. The river flows through several geyser basins, including Old Faithful, and temps can rise to 86 degrees.

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Thar she blows……….Old Faithful erupts every hour to ninety minutes and lasts for about two and a half minutes. Besides walking the adjoining Upper Basin trails, there’s ample seating while you wait for nature’s show.

 

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The lower falls of the Yellowstone from Artist Point

A must-see for me was the Canyon of the Yellowstone via Artist’s Point.  After braving 30 minutes of bumper-to-bumper traffic through the parking lot, we nabbed a spot and joined the other billion (I’m exaggerating) folks on their way to the falls. The downside of summer travel, of course is the crowds…..and the peak-season costs.

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Time for a picnic lunch on the Gibbons River

Last stop of the day, the Virginia Cascade picnic area, for a tuna fish sandwich and some pretzels. What better way to eat lunch than at a picnic bench next to the Gibbons River!

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If you can manage an early rise, you can somewhat beat the summer crowds. Later in the day, expect the roads and visitor areas to be jam-packed with lines, for both cars and people.

I really enjoyed each part of the park we visited, crowds and all.  With the temperatures at home hitting 120, I truly appreciated the cooler weather, the views, and all things green and blue.

 

 

 

 

Schabarum Regional Park, Rowland Heights, California

DSCN2311A wonderful hike among the hills last week at Schabarum Regional Park in Rowland Heights, California.  Schabarum backs up to the Puente Hills Land Preserve offering miles of additional trails to explore after you finish with the park.  There is not a lot of shade and nowhere but the dirt to sit and rest.

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All trails go up for the most part, but the view from the top is inspiring.  It’s springtime in California and the hills are covered in yellow wild flowers.  There is company on the trails, but not too many to make it overcrowded.

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I took a right and wandered down a shady service road, appreciating the trees and desolation.  The remaining trails steeply go up and after a few miles of climbing, these old legs have had enough.  At the end of the service road lay another hill so I turned around and headed back to the park trail.

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After coming back from the hills, I decided to finish up the second half of the Schabarum trail loop.  My car was parked up front by the entrance and a trail beats a parking lot walk any day.

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You know it’s spring in Southern California when the hills are covered in yellow.  I hum a little of the Cold Play song, “Yellow” as I sip my water and keep on walking.

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A sad reminder that your still in the city

Like most metropolitan cities, Los Angeles County has its share of taggers.  It saddens me that people have such disregard for our public lands.  With such little open green space in the area, it a shame that some folk feel okay with desecrating the little bit of land we have in the city.

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Every trail went up!

Too tired to go up anymore and passed on this trail.  Eat a good breakfast, lunch, etc., and bring lots of water and snacks to keep your energy up.  It was a good work out for this weekday cubicle dweller.

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One of the high points of the trail.  Across the park are some lovely homes sitting up on the hills.  If you look to the left your reminded that you’re still in the city with a view of industrial buildings, malls, and track homes. This was my reward for climbing up all the hills. Time to go down and back home.

Although it was hilly, I enjoyed this park. I’ve visited Schabarum before, but never got the chance to hike its trails. I recommend going early while it’s cool –there’s not a lot of shade and when summer rolls in the afternoons will be quite uncomfortably warm. Happy trails!