Keeping Busy – The Story of Two Hikes

Actually, there isn’t going to be much of a story, except in pictures.  Being in isolation has been trying in two, maybe three ways.  One, hubby is working from home and I am conscious of not making too much noise, so… I can’t run the vacuum or do anything so loud his customers can’t hear him talk, or he them.  Especially, since sometimes they amount to him putting out fires and handling discrepancies.  Ugh.  It’s hard to negotiate things when he can’t go to the warehouse and see what went wrong and who dunnit, so I hear him in his “office” trying to appease some irate customer.

Because of that, when the weekend comes, it is so nice to get out and away in whatever fashion we are permitted to.  At first, it was short drives where we couldn’t get out of the car, but they were scenic.  Now, we can hit the trails and we did.

I intended to write last weeks excursion, but events (interviewing roofers etc.) got in the way and I just didn’t get around to it.

So, today, you get two for one. Two in one?  You get it.

The first was scenic and amazing. It was in the Calaveras Hills Preserves not 10 minutes away from home. There were so many fabulous pictures to take of sites scene… uh seen.

We wore our masks (well I did and he did when we came upon other folks) and at the beginning of this one, there were a few too many people so at one juncture, when the trail split, we took the road less traveled and we were rewarded for doing so.

What is interesting is that all these hikes and preserves are tucked in gully’s of residential neighborhoods. clp6 - Copyclp5 - Copyclp14

I don’t know about you, but I love old, giant gnarly trees and beautiful spring flowers in bloom. On this hike, notice our famous California Poppy and the purple flower of a stinging  nettle.





Water lily’s in the waterway, a graffitti’d dam, some green spiny gourd or fruit of some sort on a tree and my favorite, some sweet unknown green flower in a stump.


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This hike was marshy and we could hear, but not see the quail in the brush.

There was a rotted rope swing, that God forbid anyone would even contemplate using since the water couldn’t have been more than two feet deep below it, and the trail of what was probably a rattlesnake that had recently crossed before us.


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Another favorite is this picture of what diversity of foliage that is so California, because in this photo, there is a giant cactus(native), palm trees, a tall eucalyptus in back(not native),  An old brush oak and trees, I can’t name.


Hike #2 was on the Manchester Preserve somewhere between Escondido and Rancho Santa Fe, about 30 minutes south from home not far off the 5 freeway.  It was a bit deserty, but no less beautiful.  The flowers were gorgeous and with the exception of those cactus flowers, these were tiny, despite their size in the photos.


Again, we are in a valley between residential neighborhoods.


I loved the contrast in this picture of the new cacti among the skeletal remains of the old.









And someone leaving us a reminder to…


Steps to one of the neighborhoods above and a bee seeking nectar from a flower.



and of course, a smaller gnarly branch.



I hope you enjoyed the walk with us and if you’re ever in southern California, look us up, we would gladly take you with us into the unknown and less know canyons of SoCal .

13 thoughts on “Keeping Busy – The Story of Two Hikes

  1. Thank you for the nature walk and all the wonderful pictures along the way of these interstice gullets, the spaces between neighborhoods. The diversity is stunning. Such splendor in the flowers and gnarly trees, cactus and bee. Gnarly trees are one of my faves as well. So rugged and with so much character. If only they could speak, oh what stories would tell. This was great. I enjoyed the walk with you guys.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We are in Arizona a bit north of Phoenix and many of your photos are reminiscent of the flora we have here. Glad you got a chance to get out for a hike. Slowly, slowly things are starting to turn back toward normal. If ever there was a spring, May 2020 is it. Cheers!

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  3. Thank you for the tour. My only time in CAL was courteous of Uncle Sam and the US Army. I did my training at Fort Ord in the Monterrey Peninsula, where it was generally cold and damp, even in July. There was a ground cover that was everywhere, a thick, viny plant that grew like grass. It seemed to be moist when cut. It was pretty country. I believe the Fort is closed now.

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    1. It is closed from what I hear. I had a BF who’d been drafted training there and at night, I’d smuggle pizza’s in to the guys. One time, they got caught and were made to eat the pizza in the shower. That may have been the last time before they got shipped out to ‘Nam. He was a medic. The viney thing you mentioned, may have been ice plant. California has a lot of it. They used to have them on the banks near the freeways to prevent erosion. Since I moved back most of it seems to be gone or dried up.

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      1. Oh Carmel and Monterrey are both lovely. I’d often stay in Monterrey. For me it was ’67. My friend was never the same afterward, I hear. He was a lovely person when I knew him and that’s how I choose to remember him.

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