If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram I am sure you are already aware of this exciting news. So consider this the formal announcement. We have expanded our small family by 50%! Introducing Mighty Thor, ruler of naps, the back yard, and our hearts. We’re still working on the ‘Mighty’ part, but he’s big and blonde so Thor seems to be a good name. David picked out the name long ago, but I wanted to make sure the name fit before I committed to it.
I’ve been in California for fourteen years, and until now Gold Country was simply something standing between me and the mountains. We’d drive through quaint old west towns on our way to the high country, and I’d always tell myself that one day we’d come back to explore. Last weekend was finally the time for that exploration. Over two days, we drove from Sonora to Auburn via the historic highway 49. Along the way we learned a lot about the history of California’s gold rush, explored antique shops, stayed in a ‘haunted’ hotel, and spent a night on the town in one of the bigger remaining cities along the route.
I’ve decided to wrap up each month with five items that have captured my interest during the previous four weeks. Enjoy!
1. This POV of a Luge Run in Sochi
2. This story about Andrea Mead Lawrence
The first American skier to bring home two golds, resident of Mammoth Lakes, CA, and most recently the recipient of a Sierra peak name designation.
3. This insane GoPro footage from Felix Bumgartner’s free fall.
4. This story about Yosemite’s bid for the 1932 Winter Olympics
5. The preliminary results of a John Muir Trail hiker survey
While it can be fun to review complicated outdoor gear like backpacks and tents, I tend to get the most joy out of simple things like socks and water bottles. I’ve had water bottles and bladders from practically every brand under the sun, but in the past six months or so I’ve really settled down on a favorite: the Hydro Flask. In the past year I’ve managed to accumulate quite a collection: most bought, some won, and some given away at events I’ve attended.
So what’s with my Hydro Flask crush? They aren’t the lightest of water bottles, but here is what they are:
Rancho Cañada del Oro is an Open Space Preserve just south of San Jose. It is one of my go-to parks for a quick hike since it’s such a short drive for relative solitude. Even on its busiest day you’d never guess you were a 20 minute drive from the 10th largest city in the US! I decided to head there on Sunday morning to get in a couple of hours of hiking in the ‘pineapple express’ – the warm rain that is currently falling over California.
Although I didn’t get the typical sweeping views or blankets of wildflowers, the hike was still beautiful. The lack of views made me look more closely at my immediate environment where I discovered newts, twisting ancient oak trees, and fresh tracks from the large mammals that live in the park.