Themes

Allison sent a request this week for location ideas for her son’s birthday party. She wanted to do an adventure hike to the theme of Star Wars. How cool!

Although a thoroughly moist place similar to Yoda’s home eluded us, it was fun to think about Stroller Hikes in a different light, with a theme uniting all trekkers, and nature seen in a new, fictional light. We suggested places with old relics, like Alum Rock Park, which still has little baths and fountains that were built around stinking, mineral-rich springs a hundred years ago. We also suggested trails with shady woods and bogs, which have formed due to geological activity along Skyline Ridge, like at Monte Bello and Long Ridge parks. We also suggested places like Sunol and Uvas Canyon with bustling waterfalls. Then there are remote huts, like Hiker’s Hut in Sam McDonald Park, which feels isolated yet comfortable, like some of the residences in the Star Wars movies.

Suggesting all of these places made us realize how behind we are in posting them to Stroller Hikes – Hikers Hut, Sam McDonald Park, Monte Bello, Long Ridge, and Sunol are all in the works, but things move slowly in the volunteer-based nonprofit world. In addition, replying to Allison was inspiring for seeing all that an outdoor excursion could be, and bearing witness to the drive by one more family to favor getting kids outside for recreation. Allison’s choice of themes was also inspiring, rich in lessons, characters, and other details thanks to the many books and films produced in the last several decades.

We discussed themes this week over silk screening fun, as well. Many of us shy away from the popular themes of children’s toys and clothes, be it the most recent animated character or even the classic super heroes (Max loves Spider Man, though he has yet to see a show, read a cartoon, or even fully understand what Spider Man is). It can be irritating as parents to have to contend with marketing on everything from shoes to lunch boxes. While we printed T shirt after T shirt, it crossed my mind that we were being hypocritical in pushing the Stroller Hikes brand, given that we really don’t care for the other commercial brands pushed upon children these days. However, Amy reminded me that each person finds their calling and voice, and Stroller Hikes ours. Either way, it gave me great pleasure to watch Max proudly don his Stroller Hikes T-shirt and ask to wear it for three days straight. Honestly, we’re only a little bit hippie – we’ve never let Max wear anything for that many days in a row – but we unabashedly allowed it.

Be it Star Wars, Spider Man, Sponge Bob, or Stroller Hikes, we hope you take pride in the themes you immerse your family in, choosing them carefully to reflect what is exciting, wonderful, and inspiring in the world, fictional or real, around you.

If you’d like to purchase a Stroller Hikes onesie, T-shirt, flag, or backpack, please let us know! You can see some samples and check out prices at http://strollerhikes.com/PrintedGear/PrintedGear.php. Our goal is to help market Stroller Hikes, keep our kids well clothed (and fashionable), and raise a little money to keep Stroller Hikes providing great events and online resources. If you’d like to buy a Stroller Hikes T, onesie, flag, or backpack, please e-mail Debbie (admin@strollerhikes.com) with your request (including sizes and colors you prefer), and she’ll request a payment from you through PayPal or some other means. Products can be personally delivered to you or mailed (we’ll charge just what we need to, to ship). You can also come for a printing party next week to print your own item, help us print our flags and last shirts, and receive a 20% discount on your purchases. Reply to this week’s poll, and information will be sent to you about this option.

Here are this week’s events:

Monday, September 20th at 7:45 am join Debbie and her two wee ones for a run along Stevens Creek Trail beginning from the Sleeper Trailhead in Mountain View. Bring a jogging stroller for kids – parents will be running. Meet at the water fountain at the Sleeper Trailhead. For more information about the trail or directions, see The Stevens Creek Trail Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/StevensCreekTrail/StevensCreekTrail.html). If you’re running late, call Debbie at 650-776-1082.

Monday, September 20th at 11 am join Amy B. and her wee ones for a hike and picnic at Byxbee Park in Palo Alto. Meet at the Byxbee parking area at the end of Embarcadero Road. 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! Bring a picnic for your family. 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.

Monday, September 20th at 4:30 PM join Pippa and Ruth at the Palo Alto Baylands Duck Pond, for a slow-paced loop around the pond. We’ll see lots of birds and airplanes landing at the airport. It is often windy, so please bring a sweater. We will be encouraging the little ones to walk, but if you want to bring a stroller, any kind should work. Go right to the end of Embarcadero Road, over the 101, past the golf course and airport. At the t-junction turn left. The Duck Pond is on the left with a sign-posted parking lot. Ignore this car park and continue along Embarcadero Road to the second car park. Meet by the pond next to this parking lot. For information about the pond and Palo Alto Baylands Park, as well as further directions on how to get there, see The Palo Alto Baylands Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/PABaylands/PABaylands.html). Sorry, no dogs allowed. If you’re running late, give Pippa a call at 510-621-7471.

Tuesday, September 21st at 2 PM join Megan and little Vera for a Stroller Hike at Stevens Creek Trail from Creekside Park off of Easy Street in Mountain View. Any stroller or carrier will work; the path is a lovely two-lane paved one. We’ll have the option of walking towards the bay or towards the hills (the trail has been extended through Mountain View). For the bay direction, the first and last quarter of this hike is well shaded, and we hope to have some bay breezes, in case it’s warm. For the hill direction, the trail is shaded for the majority of the hike. For more information about the trail or directions, see The Stevens Creek Trail Webpage (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/StevensCreekTrail/StevensCreekTrail.html). If you’re running late, call Megan at 408-409-3206.

Wednesday, September 22nd at 9:15 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 parking lot, next to the bathrooms (follow the park road to the right and downhill). 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, Samuel, and little Shira will lead this hike. If you’re running late, call Lisa at 650-892-8678.

Thursday, September 23rd at 4:30 pm join Debbie, little Max, and wee Holly for a Toddler Trek at Los Alamitos Creek Trail. The path is entirely paved, so any strollers or baby transport will work. We may linger afterwards to play in the playground, visit with the ducks, or have a snack on the nice, green lawn. Meet by the play ground next to the Bocce Ball Court, near the “back” entrance gate. Dogs are welcome, and this is a toddler-friendly path that is great for new tricycle or bicycle riders. For more information or directions, see the Los Alamitos Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/LosAlamitos/LosAlamitos.html). Be sure to follow the directions at the website, as there are two entrances to the park, and we’re meeting at the side that allows dogs. If they are charging for parking and you don’t want to pay, park along the street just outside the park entrance and walk in. If you’re running late, call Debbie at 650-776-1082.

Friday, September 24th at 9:30 am join Melissa and Maxwell for a Stroller Hike out to Arastradero Lake and beyond it towards Sobey Pond along Arastradero Creek Trail at Pearson-Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto. Meet in the main parking lot off of Arastradero Rd. We’ll stop to play alongside the lake. It’s sunny here, so bring a hat and water! Baby joggers or backpacks/carriers will work for this hike. For more information, see the Arastradero Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/Arasradero/Arastradero.html). Call Melissa at 650-224-5461 if you’re running late.

Wear your heart (and theme) on your sleeve!

-Debbie, Max, and wee Holly

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