Sometimes, life washes over the top of me and I don’t object. It is a mixture of difficult and delight, the former a necessary duty, the latter the recharging antidote. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and we are blessed with beauty abundant if a person will go out into it or stop to look.
It is a good thing, for so many around me have been suffering the ravages of mental illness – not Lafawnda, who is doing great! – and the fallout is a terrible and expensive thing indeed. The Lady F and I have realized there is only so much we can do to save the world and we have definitely been doing our share. Then we take off into the beauty that surrounds us so our souls and our psyches can recover. All the pictures I am going to put in this post are from within 15 miles of our house (except for the Napa Valley, which is 60 miles away) and all were taken within the last two weeks.
The Lady F and I have joined the Regional Parks Foundation Trails Challenge 2013 program in which we will hike 5 parks or 26.2 miles minimum this year. The parks are part of the largest urban park system in America. We’ve already hiked 3 and are hoping to hike as many more this summer as we can fit into our schedule. Our kids are catching the fever, too!
Only about 30 of the 65 East Bay parks are part of the challenge this year, but we have hiked some that are not on the list, too. We also hike further than the minimum even though we don’t get “credit,” because it is for the beauty, the fresh air and the exercise that we are doing it.
These images were from our hike of the Coyote Hills Park. We hiked a bit more than 3.5 miles through marshland, hills and bayside. We saw a fox up close, egrets and a muskrat along the way along with a wide variety of plants:
In between, we went to Napa to help Lady F’s mother, 87 but doing really well. While there, the three of us took off to enjoy some of the valley. Oh, and then do some cleanup of yard and windows although one of the workers seemed decidedly hostile! LOL
Wednesday, while driving home, I turned the corner two blocks from our house and ran right into a gorgeous sunset! I pulled off the side of the street and took this photo. The photo is unretouched and all these photos in the post are from a Canon Powershot ELPH that I carry in my pocket at all times.
This past weekend, we took the kids to Tilden Park sitting in the hills right above Berkeley, part of the Trails Challenge. The first view is over the Bay and we were all looking at San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. The rest were inland on our 7.1 mile hike!
Life can be very challenging and is often busy. But when we head back into these beautiful park lands, it is like leaving civilization behind. Ah, sweet nurturance!