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Somewhere in the Mojave Desert, California, United States
Gazing into this abyss called Life and wondering.....what's next !?!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The bonding powers of nature...

Can you remember those pivotal times in your life when your parents did something with you that changed your perspective on life? I can but enjoying nature wasn't one of them. It wasn't that my parents didn't appreciate the great outdoors. I just don't think they appreciated it the way I have learned to. And, as a parent myself, I try to instill that appreciation and necessary respect for it with my own children. So far, I think I've succeeded.

The other day, my youngest son and I took a tram nearly 2 1/2 miles straight up San Jacinto Mountain....about 8,000 ft. above sea level. From there, we hiked one way, just over 8 miles to a state park near the town of Idllywild. I've done this hike 2 times before, the first time with my daughter - we discovered the 'shorter, easier' route quite by accident. It is also, to me, the most scenic route. I would do this one quite regularly if it weren't for the tiny problem of finding someone to pick you up at the trail's end and take you back down the mountain to your car at the tram station. 

Luckily, some wonderful hiking buddies obliged us with a trip down for the small price of sharing a well-earned dinner and warm conversation. The experience of sharing the day and the journey with my son was priceless. This was his first hike of this length ever. And I don't think it will be his last. It was fun to see how he marveled at the things that crossed our path that day... (Lucky him, he saw a bald eagle...!)

Here are a few snapshots of our special day together:


Fresh and ready to go....














                            The beginning part of the hike sported many of these protruding straight up from bare dirt. My friend, Virginia, said they were 'snow flowers' which grow right up out of the snow. Lucky us to still get to enjoy them for a bit longer...














Only 6.8 more miles to go! We had already gone almost 2 miles at this point - mostly up, up, up....

















Getting into his hiking groove...  It was nice to share the hike together yet have some quiet reflection of our own as well...











Lunch break and cooling off the tootsies at Willow Creek.  The soothing sound of running water is a treat for desert dwellers like us...












           More lovely, gentle things to see and smell along the trail..............

















Crossing Willow Creek, again, and encountering more up, up, up....

















        Ah, a more level path with shady spots and lots and lots of green.......  Last October, when I did this hike with friends, all these ferns were gone, leaving wide open dried up space under the pines. I love how the trail is defined by the richness of the green...














Love the name of this area. No, it doesn't stink like one.....












And more green to stroll through amongst the tall, stately pines....  Can't you just smell the freshness?











A welcomed sign. Almost to the end!














I love this shot. My son, contemplating the horizon and the view. In the far distance are several large man-made lakes and ranching/farming communities below. There is also the town of Idllywild, an arts community, nestled in the pines directly below us.











We had a very special day. One I'm sure he will remember and, hopefully, pass on to his own children - should that figure into his future.....

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