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Summer is For Hiking

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I really mean to post our Outdoor Hour Challenges but somehow I just keep getting distracted. I am avoiding too much work this week because it feels like the summer sort of thing to do.

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Hiking is our activity of choice these days when we have family time. The boys are old enough now that we can take some fairly decent day hikes and enjoy some awesome Sierra landscapes. Wake up, pack a lunch, and lace on your hiking shoes….out the door.

Cascade Falls Looking to Tahoe
Last week we took the one hour trip over the mountain to the Cascade Falls trailhead. We had two choices…the falls or Desolation Wilderness. Since this was a day hike we opted for the easy mile and a half, out and back trail to the falls.

Top of Cascade Falls
You actually hike to the top of the falls and look down over Lake Tahoe.

Tree in the Falls
It was not too hot so we decided to find a place and just enjoy the scenery. The sound of the falls, the blue Sierra sky, and the warm air is so refreshing and worth the effort to get there.

Wildflower at Cascade Falls
It always amazes me that anything can grow on these giant slabs of granite. They seem to find little cracks and spaces to hold fast to like this wildflower at the top of the falls. In the top right of the photo you can catch a glimpse of the lake and how high we are up on the waterfall.

Waterfall at Woods Lake
This past weekend we took another one hour drive in a different direction and ended up at Woods Lake. A short, short hike around the lake takes you to a small but pleasant waterfall.

Hiking at Woods Lake
We let the boys blaze the trail back and at some points there was a lot of scurrying over rocks. They always assure me that it is “easy”. They forget that I am getting a little old to scramble over rocks and to jump down from logs.

Woods Lake Snow
Yes, that is snow. There were actually still numerous spots around this high altitude lake that still had snow.

Woods Lake 2
The rest of the afternoon my husband and I were planted firmly in chairs on the side of this gorgeous lake. I did some watercoloring in my nature journal and he took a little snooze. Perfect.

Woods Lake 1
The boys didn’t sit still very long and they were lured around the opposite side of the lake for a little more exploring. Let’s just say that shoes got wet on this little outing. 🙂

We found a long time ago that we can explore so many different places by using a simple idea. Take a map and place a big dot on your home town. Now determine an hour’s distance from your home and draw a circle around your home at that distance. Make a list of all the places you can go that are within that hour’s distance and then start one by one giving them a try. We have been following this concept for over a decade and it always amazes us what we can find to do that is within that short distance range.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

5 thoughts on “Summer is For Hiking

  1. What fun. I love the idea of drawing a circle around your home town and continuing to check out spots within an hour’s drive. We are always wanting to head far and wide to explore – and there is still so much to see right here. If we only make plans that way. Easier, less expensive too. Thanks for the practical inspiration.

    Beautiful photos. Love your queen anne’s lace at top too.

  2. So glad your allowing yourself the grace to enjoy all your summer hiking with your beloved ones. You have been so very faithful to provide more inspiration and then some for so many families…Love the hour idea around our own homes…thank you for the inspiration once again. Your right, we just discovered a new hiking spot, dh took our family for an hour drive, we hiked about a 1 1/2 to these hidden falls…they were almost dry, but enough water to get refreshed, enjoy lunch and eager for us to try at the beginning of spring…

  3. I love the hour circle idea. I think we will try that sometime. However with my girls only 6.5 and 4.5 and having a 16 mo. old we’ll have to see what we can do that they can all enjoy.

    I really love your pictures and the OHC. I still can’t seem to keep them going so well, but I keep trying. We have been able to keep up with our focus study – birds, but that’s about it.

  4. Kelly,

    Stick with your focus as long as you want to and see how it goes. No pressure but remember just to keep your studies fun and interesting at such a young age.

    They will all grow up some day and you will be able to do more details. 🙂

    Tricia and D,
    Thanks for your comments.

  5. We’re a full week behind on our study so we don’t mind the week to catch up. We’ll have to try the hour circle thing… I think we’ll be surprised at what we find.

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