Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Spring Hike at Riley Wilderness Park

Last Tuesday we met our home school/nature study group for our weekly field trip. We traveled down south to Orange County. I had heard great things about Riley Wilderness Park and it did not disappoint.
Spring is such a beautiful time to hike in Southern California. Everything is green from winter rains, there are wildflowers to exalt over and a cool breeze to temper the already warm sun. It is just beautiful.
Lilly was trying so hard to keep up with the boys. Then sweet Sofia came along and held Lilly's hand. I heard Sofia say proudly to another little girl, "Mrs. Eskridge told me to help Lilly and if she goes off the trail I have to make sure she gets back on because there are snakes."
At the risk of repeating myself, I am so, so happy witnessing these kind of moments. Lilly was thrilled to be with big girl Sofia, and Sofia was thrilled to be taking care of little girl Lilly. It's perfect.
Although the kids wanted to hike this big hill, it was already hot, so we chose the path more traveled.
We lunched in this wooded glen. We just found a shady place with no red ants, plopped down on the trail, and the chatter of 8 moms and I don't even know how many kids filled the air. No wonder we didn't see any deer!
There were wildflowers. This reminds me of a primrose, but I really have no idea what it is. We have a bird guide and a butterfly guide. Next up: trees and wildflowers.
The wind blew through the grass making it look and sound like the ocean. I showed the kids and they loved seeing the "waves" blowing across the hill. We talked about what it must be like to be in the vast prairies of the Midwest and see the grass waves blowing for miles and miles. Just like Little House on the Prairie.
It makes me want to go there.
And this reminded me of my favorite valley, just east of Cambria on the Central Coast. It's one of the places I dream of living in. This would do nicely too.

And a perfect ending to the day was a little time to play in the creek.
Getting our toes wet, well, actually our whole bodies, exploring, making mud cakes, pies and balls, and....
burying our friend Emm in the sand. She's the cactus whisperer, the bug catcher extraordinaire, and apparently enjoys being buried up to her neck in sand. We love her.
Just another day at school! What fun!

If you go to Riley Wilderness Park:
Parking is $3
I suggest going early in the morning or later in the afternoon. It gets hot.
And you might see those deer we missed.
Bring a change of clothes for your kids--the creek is too much fun to pass up.
The trails are dirt, but can take a stroller with big wheels, such as a jog stroller.
There is a port-a -potty.
They are closed after rains, and you can check their web site here for any up to date info.

Let me know if you go and try some other trails.
Happy hiking, friends!

1 comment:

Lillian said...

I love the picture of our Lil's hurrying down the path. You caught her mid step. I can feel her movement. Really a great post...makes you want to be there for sure.