Stroller Hikes E-Newsletter : Box of Chocolates (1)

James was presented with his first box of chocolates yesterday, when I caught up with Amy for lunch. Amy explained that each one had a different filling, and you didn’t know what you were going to get.

I think it’s funny how some people will just cringe at the thought of this. The future is unseen. What will happen? Will you end up with the raspberry filling or the coconut? It reminds me of the 80s when Jelly Bellies were gaining popularity, and there were all sorts of brown flavors. I’d get rather anxious wondering if the brown one I picked up was root beer, chocolate, coffee (yuck!), caramel, popcorn, or a mis-shaded watermelon (my favorite). If it was watermelon, I couldn’t possibly pass it up. But coffee?!

Some of us carefully pick and choose to limit the “chance” we are exposed to, much like picking over the tomatoes at the store to get the perfect, unblemished one. Others of us go the more adventurous route, accepting the whole crate of organic goodies, finding a use for all bits and pieces, cherishing every color, smell, texture, and shape as being a marvel in its own right.

James was an adventurous spirit, but he clearly had his limits. He took a great big bite out of a marshmallow-filled chocolate, then questioned the merits of his choice. Amy traded him for her yet unchosen chocolate, and he put careful thought into his next choice, but was excited and optimistic all the same. Through his inquisitive 3-year-old eyes, it was a delight to see him try to explain the tastes and colors he saw in each one.

As the summer draws to a close, school resumes, and the economy continues to change, it’s comforting to remember that our children’s ability to face choices, uncertain outcomes, and the diversity of life mirrors our attitudes about these things. I encourage you to invite your children to play, cook, explore nature, and challenge themselves. If you’re in need of opportunities, remember that Stroller Hikes offers free events all year long – camping, biking, hiking, and running. If you feel strongly about offering these free resources (information and events) to others, please consider donating to Stroller Hikes today. An orange donation button is at StrollerHikes.com – no amount it too small – or you can deliver a donation to any of our event leaders!

Here are this week’s events:

Saturday, August 8th at 10 am join BetterBurlingame.org for the Family Fun Bike Ride in Burlingame. Tricycles, training wheels, and trailers are welcome! The ride starts at the parking lot of the Broadway Caltrain Station on California Drive. As described on BetterBurlingame.org’s Website (http://www.betterburlingame.org/Family_Bike_Ride/page109.htm): ” We bike over the new Broadway Bicycle-Pedestrian Overpass, and cruise along the Bayfront bike path for about a mile to the small City park next to the beautiful Anza Lagoon. Return trip: We retrace our route, ending up at Preston’s on Broadway for FREE ICE CREAM for all the kids.”

Saturday, August 8th from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm join Stroller Hikes’ board member and yoga instructor extraordinaire, Julianne Rice, for a yoga class for the whole family. Want to encourage yoga, acrobatics, flexibility, and exercise in your family? Julianne’s Partner Yoga for the Whole Family: Acrobatic Asanas for Two or More, may be right for you. This class costs $20 per person, $30 per couple, or $40 per family. You can register online and find more information at www.yogaisyouth.com. The class will be held at the Yoga is Youthfulness Studio in Mountain View off of Castro Street.

Saturday, August 8th at 8 pm join us at Coyote Lake – Harvey Bear Ranch Park for a full-moon hike near Gilroy. What a treat to share sunset and witness some critters settling down to rest, while other creatures come alive at night! We’ll hike Martin Murphy Trail, a 2 mile paved loop, with excellent vantage points for seeing stars and looking for bats flying to catch insects, while offering plenty of safe space for toddlers and children to hike with us. All family members welcome! This is a Santa Clara County Play Here (http://www.parkhere.org/) activity. Register at the Santa Clara County Website or by calling or e-mailing Carrie Grisenti at 408-355-2240 or Carrie.Grisenti@…, or just come out to join us! To get to the trailhead, drive towards Gilroy on Highway 101. From the Highway 101 exit at San Martin Avenue, drive East for 2 miles on San Martin Avenue. The Harvey Bear Ranch entrance to the park is on the left, a quarter mile East of Foothill Avenue, on San Martin Avenue. The event is free, but a parking fee may apply.

Sunday, August 9th at 10 am NorCal Bike Forums and William Symons and his kids lead a leisurely bicycle ride down the Stevens Creek Trail. Meet at Sleeper Park, at the intersection of Sleeper Road and Franklin Road in Mountain View. The ride should be over by noon. This ride is suitable for parents with infants and toddlers, as well as very young independent riders (all ages!). William will teach a brief safety class, discuss trail etiquette, and lead the ride to the Central Expressway Bridge (where train sightings are common!). Riders can ride to nearby cafes for refreshments or stop at the parks along the length of the trail, on the way back. For more information about this NorCal Bike Forum event and other events, seeNor Cal Bike Forum’s Family Events (http://ical.mac.com/WebObjects/iCal.woa/wa/default?d=5&u=rockyshores&v=1&y=2009&m=6&n=NorCal%20Bike%20Forums%20Family%20Rides.ics). For more information about the trail, see the Stevens Creek Trail Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/StevensCreekTrail/StevensCreekTrail.html).

Monday, August 10th at 10 am we’ll meet at John W Christian Greenbelt. Amy L. and little Adelina will lead a speed walk / jog along the lovely wide, paved greenbelt in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. Dogs allowed but be sure they can manage on a faster-paced walk/run. We’ll take a break around the halfway point for the trip, to play at the large playground for toddlers, along the greenbelt. Meet at the pedestrian bridge on Ahwanee Avenue and San Junipero Drive (the bridge is just NW of San Junipero Dr.). Here is a Mapquest Map of the Starting Location (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/Ahwanee+Ave+and+San+Junipero+Dr+Sunnyvale+CA/). For more information about the trail, see the John W Christian Greenbelt Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/GreenbeltSunnyvale/GreenbeltSunnyvale.html). If you’re running late, call Amy at 650-207-6556.

Tuesday, August 11th at 8:30 am Loren and little Angelo will lead a mellow stroller jog around Almaden Lake and down Los Alamitos Trail. Meet at the water dragon by the big playground near the bathrooms and swimming beach in the main parking lot near the intersection of Coleman Avenue and Almaden Expressway. No dogs allowed! Jogging strollers are best, but this is an entirely paved trail, so smaller-wheeled strollers are also OK. Walkers always welcome! For more information about the area or directions, see The Los Alamitos Creek Trail Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/LosAlamitos/LosAlamitos.html). If you’re running late, call Loren at 831-227-6737.

Tuesday, August 11th at 2 pm join Amy B. and little James and Sadie for a hike at Shoreline Park in Mountain View/Palo Alto. The trail is paved, so it’s great for all strollers or kid carriers. Meet at the lake next to where the sailboats are kept (to the right of the cafe / bathrooms building) in Shoreline Park. There are plenty of play structures and a beach for toddlers – we’ll stop to play after the hike! Sorry, no dogs allowed. For information about the park and directions, see Shoreline Park Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Shoreline/Shoreline.html) and Emily Renzel/Byxbee Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Byxbee/Byxbee.html). If you’re running late, call Amy at 408-368-7161.

Wednesday, August 12th at 9:45 am we’ll hike at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino/Los Altos Hills. We’ll do an almost entirely paved, flat path going to the farm, and possibly go past it. The road is perfect for trikes or bikes, if toddlers or young children want to ride. Any baby transport will work. Meet at the main lower parking lot at the water fountain in front of the bathrooms(just past the entrance, turn right, then follow the road until it ends). For more information or directions, see the Rancho San Antonio Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/RanchoSanAntonio/ranchoSanAntonio.html). Sorry, dogs not allowed. This hike is at least half shaded. Lisa and little Samuel will lead this hike. If you’re running late, call Lisa at 650-892-8678.

Thursday, August 13th at 4 PM at Sunnyvale Baylands join Debbie and little Max for a Toddler Trek. This trail is entirely paved or packed dirt, so any stroller will work! Meet next to the recycled water test garden (take a left after entering the park). For more information or directions, see the Baylands Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/BaylandsPark/BaylandsPark.html). The park charges a fee for parking this time of year; for free parking, park at the baseball park next door, then walk a short distance along the sidewalk to enter the park. If you’re running late, call Debbie at 650-776-1082.

Friday, August 14th at 8:30 am join Loren and little Angelo for a hike at Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Backpacks or baby carriers are best, as this hike will be moderately hilly. Loren will lead you on a one to two hour hike in the hills of this gorgeous historical park. Meet at the Haceinda Park Entrance parking lot, just past the Casa Grande Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum off of Almaden Road. To get there, exit onto South Almaden Expressway from Highway 85. Travel seven miles on Almaden Expressway, then turn right onto Almaden Road. After 2.5 miles, turn right to the park entrance and Hacienda parking lot. Loren will lead a hike down Deep Gulch trail, beginning from the south edge of the parking lot. You’ll go past Deep Gulch Tunnel and other historic mining sites and cabins. For a shorter hike, Loren will turn right to return on English Camp Trail, then turn right to return to the parking lot on Mine Hill Trail (2.5 miles). Be sure to pack some water and snacks. We’ll take breaks as the babies (and parents) need them. If you’re running late, call Loren at 831-227-6737. This is a Santa Clara County Healthy Trails (http://www.parkhere.org/) outing.

Saturday, August 15th from 8:30 AM to noon come out for an event to celebrate the opening of the Bay Area Ridge Trail’s 3.6 mile addition off of Coyote Creek Trail in San Jose. There will be activities for the whole family, and 100 children’s bike helmets will be given away to early attendees. A free shuttle will be running to allow bike riders to ride 19 miles of the paved Coyote Creek Trail. For more information, see RidgeTrail.org’s Website (http://ridgetrail.org/about/news_detail.cfm?id=169).
Saturday, August 15th 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).

Take a risk!

-Debbie and little Max

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