Weekly Stroller Hikes E-newsletter: Silver Linings (1)

Hello all!

This newsletter is coming out early, as we’ll be technology-free for a few days this weekend.

It’s amazing how the littlest “silver linings” can convert an otherwise sour experience into something quite pleasant. I was reminded of this frequently today, as my sinuses were swimming with liquid (I have a head cold and allergies at the same time) and I rushed from job to job. Job #1 involved hiking with 40 teenagers. Most were completely wiped out after an hour of hiking, peppered with instruction from a “tour guide.” As they crouched over, as if cramped and exhausted, distraction drew out new energy, as they marvelled at a dragonfly, blossom, or lizard doing push-ups. Five hours later, on another hike beneath the blazing sun, humor from a new tour guide lightened the mood, and students began asking questions, their situation improved by being the center of attention for a few minutes. Finally, the days exhaustion, sweat, and dust were forgotten when an instructor pulled out popsicles – nothing more than frozen juice on a stick, that served as a metaphorical cherry to top off the students’ day. Job #2 and #3 provided the same insight – that the simplest things can make the most mundane, tedious, or uncomfortable situations pleasant. Perhaps some neuron wasn’t getting the oxygen it needed (remember, my sinuses are clogged), and that’s why this trend was so apparent today. I am thankful for it, however, as it made my sinus situation more bearable. I hope that you get a healthy dose of silver linings, too. And perhaps you’ll get to see some in 4th of July fireworks, as well.

Here are next week’s events:

Monday, July 6th 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, July 7th 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, July 7th at 2 pm join Amy B. and little James and Sadie for a hike from Ryder Park in San Mateo. Come walk the lovely, paved Bay Trail. Beautiful views of the bay, sailboats, windsurfers, and airplanes using the airport. Also enjoy the nice picnic, dog play, and playground facilities. Hike will commence from the playground adjacent to the entry parking area of Ryder Park. Dogs welcome! For directions, see The Ryder/Seal Point/Harborview/Coyote Point Parks Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/RyderNSeal/RyderNSeal.html). If you’re running late, call Amy at 408-368-7161.

Wednesday, July 8th 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, July 9th at 10 am, Jennifer and little Kayla will lead a short hike and bird watching at Palo Alto Baylands. Meet by Lucy Evans Interpretive Center. There are wide flat trails here that are paved or dirt, so most strollers should work fine. Walking children also welcome! For directions or more information about the area, see The Palo Alto Baylands Page (http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/PABaylands/PABaylands.html). If you’re running late, call Jennifer at 408-470-0463.

Thursday, July 9th at 4 pm join Debbie and little Max for a Toddler Trek at Stevens Creek Dam in Cupertino. This was so much fun the last time we came! We’ll trek across the dam to the edge of the reservoir, and spend some time making stick piles, finding acorns to throw in the water, and making other discoveries. The path is coarse gravel across the dam, but with some steep banks to navigate, to get to the reservoir and beyond, so baby carriers or backpacks are recommended for little ones not able to walk. Toddlers manage the embankments well, and there are not a lot of hazards here, so it is well suited for toddler exploration! It’s sunny here, so bring some sunscreen. To get to the park, take Foothill Expressway into the Cupertino Hills until you see the reservoir on your left; Foothill Expressway will become Stevens Canyon Road – the parking area is on the reservoir-side of Stevens Canyon Road, just prior to a junction with Montebello Road. Meet at the roadside parking lot just uphill from the reservoir, off of Stevens Canyon Road. You can pay for parking, or park directly off of the road (instead of in the parking lot one foot away) for free. If it’s too hot this day for in-sun exploration, meet at this parking area, and we’ll drive down the road a mile to check out the shade of the park West of the dam, which also has access to water. If you’re running late, call Debbie at 650-776-1082.

Friday, July 10th at 8:30 am join Loren and little Angelo for a hike at location to be determined.

Friday, July 10th at 11 am come out to Soquel for some fun in the shady woods by the creek! We’ll say “hi” to the chickens, then tromp through the woods, play along the shallow creek’s rocky bed, and dig in the sand. Come play in nature’s playground! Liza and little Sasha and Nico are hosting! This location will be the same one where our annual camping trip is at, for Labor Day. Bring a picnic and some outdoor toys. If you want to buy some snacks, a mini-mart is just across from the driveway, and the town of Soquel is just a few minutes away. This wonderful location is at the back end of ranch property that has been in Liza’s family for several generations. Please e-mail Debbie (reply to this e-mail) or call Liza (phone number below) to get the gate code, ideally at least 24 hours ahead of time. To get to the ranch, take Highway 17 South towards Santa Cruz, then exit right on CA-35 Summit Road. Follow Summit Road over highway 17 for about 3.8 miles, then turn right at San Jose Soquel Road (just past the Summit Store). Travel 7.8 miles, then turn right into the Casalegno General Store. The entrance to the ranch will be on your left hand side directly across from Casalegno General Store, at the big yellow mail box, but do not turn left to directly enter the driveway from the road – the turn is tight and the driveway is narrow. Proceed down the driveway to the gate. Pass through the gate and drive to the parking area in front of the villa, then continue left through the parking area and down the grassy road to a second gate. Pass through this gate and past the porta-potty to the “camp” area. You can also get to the house easily from Santa Cruz: Take Highway 17 South toward Santa Cruz, then exit Highway 1 South towards Santa Cruz. Take the exit at Porter, then turn left. Porter turns into San Jose Soquel Road as you cross Soquel Ave. Travel about about 3 miles, until you see the big yellow mail box across from the Casalegno General Store. Turn right to enter the driveway, then navigate as indicated above. If you get lost, call Liza at 408-224-1307.

Enjoy the holiday!
-Debbie and little Max

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