|We saw many interesting rocks in the creeks. Gold?|
One of my "mini adventures" last week was a hike in Trinity National Forest (http://www.fs.usda.gov/stnf/). We parked the truck on the top of a hill. The day of the hike was an unusual hot day for the season, around 75 degrees and no wind.
Shasta-Trinity National Forest is the largest National Forest in California. The terrain varies a lot, from open landscape and mountain peaks, to deeply forested wilderness. It's a total of 2.1 million acres! The fact that it's possible to spend a life time there and yet not see everything amazes me.
|Surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks, in every direction.|
After parking the truck I ate a light meal (a nut/granola power bar, a banana and some water with electrolytes.) A very excited Hayley sat in the Baby Björn http://www.babybjorn.com/us/products/baby-carriers/baby-carrier-original/original/, on my belly. She kept begging me to hurry up; with her wordless, beautiful baby songs. She loves the outdoors so much, and she can smell an adventure around the corner. The dogs were very excited too! They ran around all over the place. At the same time they kept an eye on us all the time as well.
|Whitey resting on one of the rare flat spaces we passed by.|
I packed a couple of bottled waters in my camera bag. I did my best to not bring one single thing that I wouldn't have use for. I was planning for a strenuous hike. This part of the National Forest is heavily forested. There's pine trees, oaks, manzanitas, hazel nut trees and a lot of black berries. I'm sure there are mountain lions and black bears in the area. They are everywhere, but I didn't see any this time. I often see bears, but I've only seen a mountain lion once. I did see deer and markings after wild pigs. I was carrying my Glock to be on the safe side. The good thing with bringing dogs is that they wouldn't let any animal (or human) sneak up on me.
We started to follow a trail that went deep down to the heart of the forest. Our goal was to find a river that we've seen on the GPS earlier. The trail disappeared after a while. I could hear the water clearly and choose to continue anyway. I knew exactly where I was compared to the truck above me and the highway below me.
|The trail we followed the first ten minutes, |
with beautiful Manzanitas on the sides.
|Chicken of the woods. Have you tasted them? |
Did you know that you can survive on these if you have too?
At this point I had to carefully choose every step I took. I was very happy that "I travelled light". The day got hotter and hotter. It was a very step climb down. On some places it was all mud, on other places it was thick with blackberry bushes. I didn't take a lot of pictures here, I focused on getting us down safely. Hayley was having a great time! I had a good time too. I had to stay very focused. The sound of the water was getting louder and I knew I was close. I could hear a lot of frogs as well. Stella and Whitey found a good place to climb down to the water.
|Whitey drinking water from a creek. I poured water over Hayley and me |
several times to keep our body temperature down. It was hot!
|We only followed a trail for the first ten minutes,|
after that we made our own way.
When we found the creek, (it wasn't really a river) I scooped up water over me and Hayley. She liked that! Not once on the hike she complained about anything. She just loves being outdoors so much. She's looking around all the time, nothing passes by unnoticed to her eyes.
We heard a waterfall not to far away and followed the creek for about half a mile until we reached the waterfall. Stella jumped up on the rocks next to the waterfall. She stood at the top locking down at the rest of us, "Aren't you guys coming? It's fun up here!" Unfortunately she lost her footing as she jumped down and landed on a rock, on her shoulder. It looked like it would of been very painful. She screamed a little bit but didn't even limp.
|We followed the sound of flowing water and frogs.|
It took us to this water fall.
We rested for a while next to the waterfall. I took some pictures, before we started to head back to the truck. The whole adventure of going down to the creek and finding the waterfall had taken about two hours. I decided to take a shortcut out to the gravel road I drove up on, and follow the road back to the truck. It took about one hour to walk up the road, same steep climb, but up this time. A lot easier to follow the road though!
|We passed by some green, lush meadows too.|
|Hazel nut trees every where.|
It was a wonderful day, I can't wait to get back to "the great outdoors"! There is nowhere I feel as present in the moment as I do in the wilderness. I need to go out there every now and then. It's like fuel for my soul. I feel blessed that Hayley enjoys it as much as I do.
|Stella and Whitey always have energy to play!|