Sunday, April 25, 2010

Create your own holiday

Todd had a couple of floating holidays that he had to use up or lose in the next few weeks, so he took them this week.  We decided to take them for a great camping adventure in Yosemite National Park, but a well timed winter storm dumped a foot of snow on our camp site.  We like roughing it, but we draw the line at mucky muddy snowy freezing cold camping with our eight month old baby.  We had to resort to Plan B.


Plan B was the Portola Redwoods State Park.  We decided not to camp because most places require reservations, many campgrounds haven't opened for the summer yet, and we didn't want to run into the tail of the snow storm that hit Yosemite.  Portola Redwoods SP was recommended to me last summer when Annika and Ryan came to visit, but we got sidetracked (translation: lost) on our way there and never made it.  We decided that this would be a great opportunity to check it out.


It was a really beautiful day.  The park was green and damp and sunny, with the sound of a small river audible everywhere.  We were the only people in the park on a Thursday.  We were excited to explore.  After a picnic lunch, we picked a trail and started hiking.   We hiked for a few minutes, only to find the trail blocked by fallen branches.  We turned back and started on a second trail that branched from the same trail head.  We hiked up some steep switchbacks only to find that this trail was also blocked, this time by a fallen tree.  By this time, Jared was fast asleep.


We decided to try to walk the short nature walk trail around the park office, which connected to a longer trail.  We followed the path until it came to the edge of the river, only to find the bridge pulled up next to the water.


We started on a fourth trail which also came to the edge of the river where yet another bridge was pulled uselessly to the side of the trail.  By the time we returned to the trail head, Jared was awake and ready to eat.


There were a bunch of blue jays hopping from tree to tree around the picnic grounds.  Jared, who is generally very confident and happy, turned out to be terrified of blue jays.  It took a lot of soothing to get him to sit on the table and eat, and he kept glancing warily around every time a bird called.  We rested for a while, and then headed out to try the last two trails.  We were just starting to think that the next trail would actually go somewhere when we found it blocked by a whole grove of fallen trees.  We tried the last trail, which crossed into a bordering county park.  We crossed the border, rounded a turn, and this is what we found.


That is a fallen sequoia tree five feet across.  We tried every trail in the park and found them all blocked. We wanted our day use fee back!  A park ranger told us that the sad state of the park is due to budget cuts.  The trail situation was pretty dismal, but that didn't stop us from having a good day.  We made a fire to roast hot dogs and marshmallows, relaxed in the shade, read together, threw rocks at blue jays, and enjoyed our beautiful spring holiday.  

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