Thanks to Debbie

HollyNMamaLast August, the visionary and energetic founder of Stroller Hikes, Debbie Frazier, stepped down as president of the organization. As an outdoor enthusiast and new mom, she started Stroller Hikes more than eight years ago, creating an immensely informative website and a community of parents who support each other in outdoor family activities. She is such a resourceful and impressively able person that it is going to take a team of eight people to replace her. Thank you, Debbie, for inspiring us to get outside with our children!

 

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Out of the Ordinary

IMG_0639For many families, like mine, the last two weeks of the year are a time when the regular routine gets thrown out the window and is replaced with celebrations, traveling, unusual sleep patterns, different eating habits, new climates, and other disruptions. Some of my children thrive on this out-of-the-ordinary time: for them, variety is spicy, exciting, and energizing. Others of my children react poorly to disruptions in the usual schedule: for them, variety is overwhelming, uncomfortable, and exhausting. Both parties benefit, however, from some unstructured time outdoors, exploring the natural world and familiarizing themselves with a new environment. While there are no official Stroller Hikes events for the next two weeks, see if you can use some of the holiday down time to experience a place you’ve never been. If you’re staying in the Bay Area, check out our interactive map of hiking locations (http://strollerhikes.com/interactive-map-of-locations/) and pick a place that’s new to you.  If you’ll be away, make a point to get outside and enjoy your novel location (snow?). Either way, a family hike is a great way to take advantage of this out-of-the-ordinary time of year.

 

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Riding the Pineapple Express

Puddle JumpingAlthough “Pineapple Express” sounds like a fruity and fun ride at a tropical amusement park, it’s actually the nickname for the huge rainstorm that hit California over the last few days. Despite the inconvenience of flooded streets and soggy mail, we had some fun jumping in puddles. Hope you all enjoyed the much-needed rain, too!

 

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No Bad Weather

A wet log is a slippery new climbing challenge and a hiding place for many salamanders.

A wet log is a slippery new climbing challenge and a hiding place for many salamanders.

It’s raining, it’s pouring, but hikers aren’t snoring. Although hike attendance is typically lower on rainy days, my children and I have had some of the most gorgeous and rewarding outings during wet weather. Admittedly, it takes extra effort on my part to get geared up and out the door when it’s raining, but I’m always glad when I summon the energy. The world feels different when it’s wet, and my children enjoy the new situation–worms and newts come out, spider webs and leaves collect drops of water, smooth climbing logs are slippery, and mud is a delight for small hands and feet. Provided we have the right clothes and a washing machine that will take care of the mud, there’s no bad weather. Join Stroller Hikes through all kinds of weather for year-round nature experiences.

 

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Redwood Magic

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Standing before the enormous roots of a fallen redwood

My family and I spent several days this week on the northern part of the California coast in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Wow! This unique part of the world is indescribably gorgeous and the massive size of the oldest redwood trees inspires a hushed awe. In between scrambling over fallen trees, bush-whacking through ferns, and scouting out elk herds, my husband and I read up on the super-cool characteristics of redwood trees and on the history of the redwood forest. Hooray for preservationists who had the foresight to protect a tiny piece of these grand forests and hooray for the people in the State Parks department who continue to care for these amazing places and make them accessible to us.  

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