Thursday, February 2, 2012

Oh, The Places We’ll Go!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.  And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.  

Great resolution for the next 12 months… Go On More Hikes! We've put our feet in our shoes and steered ourselves in 3 directions already. Well, actually, no. Make that 2 directions and 3 hikes. Here, let me show you..

This New Year’s Eve, just at dusk, the neighboring ranch torched off a huge brush pile. Though chilly, it was a beautiful and peaceful evening & being outdoors set the tone for our adventure the next day.

New Year's Day Papa and I drove up to Old Station and hiked the Spatter Cones Trail.

It was clear and cold but the walk was invigorating and warmed us right up.
(not snow- it's permanent frost on the trail's north side)
 I especially liked the way the trail crews lined the path with rocks. 

Besides the splendid vistas...

...I was equally impressed with all the natural rock 'steps':

Though we went twice in 2 weeks I have no idea just how many caves, fissures, and holes there are in the ground; the second trip we found some that we hadn't noticed before. There are so many I have a feeling we still have more to discover...

Both times we saw rabbit, fox, & coyote tracks and scat, an owl pellet, and birds feasting on dried berries, but not another living soul. Had the place completely to ourselves. 

A little ways into the start of our second hike I decided it was going to be colder than the New Year's Day trip, so I told Papa to continue on up the trail while I headed back to the truck for my extra jacket. Got the coat and then started out again. At one point I thought I'd lost my way and couldn't really see the designated path for all the rock and tall overgrown manzanita bushes and sage brush.
I traveled a bit further while searching for signs that I was still going the correct way.
Suddenly, the rockiness turned back into sandy soil and THERE were my favorite set of duck-walk footprints. I'd found Papa's trail :)

As the trail widened I climbed up another cool set of rock 'stairs'...

...gave the family whistle-call, and there he was!
(enlarge to see Papa at the skyline)

Being a huge fan of artistic rock-work (well, ya, and just rocks in general :) I was impressed with the stone bench they’d built along the path.

The exercise felt great and it was a terrific way to spend several hours out in the wilds Between the Volcanoes ;) ..and a plus for hiking in the wintertime? No worries of running into rattlers!

Next entry I'll post pictures and a short video clip or two from our Frog Pond hike.


  1. OH MY! I cant believe I didn't comment on this one. Its my favorite to come back and re-read. Brings back early childhood memories and more recent ones too:
    Thanks for the online transport to the volcanoes :)

  2. ohhh, garsh. .. glad I could help with the online transporting (clever girl =) I checked out your link (and left a note ;)