Last night was absolutely amazing. I could never have forecast our adventures, however.
Fifteen of us gathered for a Toddler Trek at Santa Teresa Park in San Jose. With several folks running late, it was a bit of a slow start, but after a few minutes of hiking, we all managed to amass beneath a gorgeous Manzanita Tree, with toddlers ambling on its branches, feeling the smooth, cool bark beneath their skin. Fred helped us wonder at deep, huge footprints of what appeared to be a flock of wild turkeys, but some folks postulated were running dinosaurs. We ogled at tiny fish or tadpoles that Kathy found in Oak Creek, spotted at least half a dozen wildflowers, and spied groups of wild turkeys and deer on the ridges.
In the three years of Stroller Hikes, we have never had a scheduled daytime hike occur into the dark night until last night. And ambling over tons of rocks and around tight switchbacks in darkness is anxiety-provoking, to say the least. A hike I anticipated to take 90 minutes stretched to two hours for some of us, and I feared the worst
What could have been “I can’t see” was actually “Look, there’s a star.”
What could have been, “It’s so rocky, I can’t walk” led to giggle-producing bumps and silly ways to straddle the terrain.
What could very well have been, “I’m tired” was instead toddlers running alongside each other, sharing found sticks, made up games, and silly songs and language.
The kids were amazing. I attribute much of this to what we’ve shared with our children being outside, facing unknown adventures with excitement, is important. I attribute a great deal as well to the unity of the group. I’m pretty sure that if it’d been just Max and I, we would have turned back earlier on, with him using some of the aforementioned complaints. But alongside friends, all enjoying nature, the adventure, and each other, we persevered, and made one of my most memorable hike memories, and certainly one I’ll hear about for quite some time, from Max.
Thanks for all of those participating for your patience and perseverance on our long hike!
Here are this week’s events:
Every Tuesday at 9 am Loren and little Angelo will lead a Toddler Trek at Guadalupe Oak Grove Park. We will meet at the Vargas Dr. Entrance which is a break in the fence with plenty of street parking. The walk is unpaved and stroller friendly. Dogs welcome. We will make a 1 mile loop stopping midway at a playground. This will be very unstructured with plenty of time for the kids to explore and collect treasures. If we are lucky we will see some squirrel friends, acorn woodpeckers, and maybe even a hummingbird. To find this trail head south on Almaden Expressway, take a right onto Coleman (just before Almaden Lake Park), then a left onto Recife Way. Recife Way will dead end at Vargas Dr. and the trail head. If are running late give Loren a call at 831-227-6737. Come join on our adventure!
Tuesday, March 16th at 1:30 pm join Amy B. and her wee ones for a hike at Byxbee Park in Palo Alto. Meet at the Byxbee parking area. We’ll hike up and down the lovely crushed oyster shell paths around the artistic installments to Byxbee Park, then hike over to the Palo Alto Baylands Park, stopping to check out the birds around the duck pond as well as any artists trying to capture the interesting landscape. The trail works fine for all types of strollers. Dogs allowed! For more information about the parks and directions to Byxbee’s main parking lot, see Byxbee Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Byxbee/Byxbee.html) and Palo Alto Baylands Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/PABaylands/PABaylands.html). If you’re running late, call Amy at 408-368-7161.
Thursday, March 18th at 4:30 pm join Debbie and little Max for a Toddler Trek at Bol Park in Palo Alto. Meet at Bol Park near the corner of Matadero Avenue and Laguna Avenue (on Laguna Avenue). This trail is entirely paved, so any baby transport will work, but we’ll encourage toddlers to walk. The trail is a widely used multi-use path that was converted from an old railroad line – a little history here! Come visit the donkeys and chickens and see a piece of “old” Palo Alto. Meet at the playground in the middle of the park. For more information, see The Bol Park Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/BolPark/BolPark.html). Call Debbie at 650-776-1082 if you’re running late.
Friday, March 19th at 9:45 am Jenn W. and little Scott will lead at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino/Los Altos Hills. Meet at the equestrian parking lot(just past the entrance head immediately downhill). This is a different starting location than other Rancho San Antonio hikes of Jenn’s. For more information or directions, see the Rancho San Antonio Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/RanchoSanAntonio/ranchoSanAntonio.html). Sorry, dogs not allowed. We’ll get a little hill workout, climbing the hill from the equestrian parking lot to the water tower, then enjoying the fun turns downhill to the farm, where we’ll have a break. The hill is tough for toddlers to walk, so bring a carrier or stroller for the first part of the hike. Large wheeled strollers/joggers or carriers/backpacks recommended if your little one isn’t going to walk. Plan on a 1.5 to 1.75 hour hike. If you’re running late, give Jenn a call at 210-859-8721.
Saturday, March 20th, at 10:30 am join Bike Buddies for a Family Friendly Bike Ride through downtown San Carlos. The ride will last up to an hour. For more information, see SanCarlosGreen.org’s Website (http://www.sancarlosgreen.org/home/bikebuddies.html).
Enjoy the adventure!
-Debbie and little Max