Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Off Path Paradise

Last week while tramping around in the woods with her nature class Evelyn forgot her backpack at Off Path Paradise, her backpack with her knives in it, the ones she uses for whittling, the ones she treasures.  Off Path Paradise lies off the Ridge Trail which is a mile long hike straight uphill (which is only a wee exaggeration) from Canyon Meadow. I'm not given to whining about one mile hikes of any verticality, but every single one of us was sick.

Since burglars (which Greta calls "gurglers") got into our house last fall...during the day, minutes after we left the house...I worry about leaving the kids home alone.  So, oh poor me, I had to strap on the Ergo baby carrier I haven't used in a year and carry Greta up the mile long hill while sick.  You can pin my medal right over my heart, thanks.

Off Path Paradise is a true child's paradise.  It is marked by a forked branch leaned up against a tree.  Its chief appeal is that few know it is there.  The kids found it by searching a topo map for flat areas.

It is home to dented and rusted and broken things dating from my childhood.

Nearby lies "Glass Valley". 

The kids have made it their own in ways that are familiar to me from my own, much more free, childhood.
Sweet-smelling, medicinal yerba buena grows there.
And Ev's backpack was there, safe and sound if slightly damp and covered by a few windblown leaves.

On the way up I didn't look past my own two trudging feet.  On the way down I saw the sluggish me had missed a few things.

Down was such easy going that the kids even broke into a run.

Here's where I'm supposed to say we were all invigorated and even healed by our foray into nature.  But it just wasn't so.  Still I was glad to have had a glimpse at the kids' Off Path Paradise.


The Stone Age Techie said...

Beautiful pictures!

And, I can see that medal glowing, just over your heart. You are a better mom than I.


patricia said...

You hiked a mile uphill with Greta on your back, while sick? It's not like she's a toddler these days! Maybe instead of pinning a medal on you, we should send over some bath salts for soaking.

I love the little fellow who found his way into your header. Is it a newt? That is one stunning photo. Guess you got more than just a returned backpack for your efforts!

Susan said...

Karen and Tricia, Oh dear, I checked a map and the uphill part is not quite half a mile! Then it is another fairly flat half mile along the ridge which Greta walked. With Greta on my back that climb sure felt twice as long. :) Can I still keep my medal?

Kristin said...

Those objects are so appealing. I want to go there with you. I can't carry Greta--you sturdy woman you--!
But I'll bring pastries...cocoa and hot coffee. Let's explore!

Ergo Baby Carrier said...

I cant agree more on how these baby slings come in really handy when moving around anyplace....comfort and care altogether !

JeaneP said...

I'd like to go too when Kristin goes so I can get in on the pastries and hot coffee. The photos of the unexpected finds were lovely - great place the children found!JP