Michelle, Pilar and I made it out for our first hike of 2008 on Sunday morning. Last year we only went hiking once (oh, the shame!), but this year we have the best of intentions to get out more and explore some of the nearby places we haven't been to yet. It can be challenging to keep a six-year-old enthused about the adventure, especially after a little scraped knee and rising temperatures with little shade. Fortunately the wildflowers were still in decent bloom, so it became Pilar's job to find all the new ones, and it was my job to take their pictures. Both tasks were quite enjoyable. (Click the flower to the left to see the rest of the shots over at Flickr.)
Pilar also took it upon herself to count all the mountain bikers as they passed; I think the final tally was ten, although I'm not sure she counted the guy who was pushing his bike up the hill.
We took Stile Ranch trail, which winds up a moderate hillside until you get a fairly good look at the southern portion of the valley. According to the map at the county's website there's a portion of the Mine trail that you should be able to take to get you from the end of Stile Ranch trail over to Fortini trail. This would make for a nice two mile loop, but when we got there we found that that portion of Mine trail has been closed. (Kudos to Michelle for hiking ahead and scouting out the options.) Disappointed, we reversed course and walked back to the parking lot at the Stile Ranch trailhead.
Even though we didn't get to walk our planned route, it was great to get out and spend some time in the fresh air and sunshine. Let's hope there are plenty more occasions as well!