Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Stroller Hikes originated equally out of thrift as it did out of a need for
nature, exercise, and social experiences. Why spend hundreds of dollars each
year on social group membership and gym fees, when we could exercise with
friends in open spaces for FREE? Growing up, my family instilled in me a high
value for free and low-cost experiences like hiking, camping, and garage
sale-hopping. In today’s world, thrift is very popular, not only because it
reduces money-centric stress in today’s tough economic times, but it also often
means a greener approach to life. As Max might tell you “The Curious George
Guy” (Jack Johnson) croons: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

This weekend marks one of the Outrageously Outgrown events. If you have never
attended, Outrageously Outgrown is a business that collects used, high-quality
kids stuff, and then holds big resale events where the public can come to buy
anything from shoes to toys to furniture to carriers.

When Stroller Hikes began in 2006, The Smiling Frog was just down the street,
and we made it a habit to sell and buy used clothes, toys, shoes, books, and
carriers with them. The business was one of the first to leave our neighborhood
when the economy turned more sour, but luckily Max’s growth was less weed-like
by then, so we could get by with less new-to-us clothes.

I grew up in a small town without malls, where there was generally a steep
difference between new clothes at one of the town’s boutiques and used duds at a
thrift shop. We loved scouring the racks for cool new-to-us stuff, and I still
love visiting the OSU Thrift Store with my mom and sister. Back then, you could
find weathered denim well before you could find weathered denim in a brand new
pair of jeans at Macy’s, and you could find cool old blazers and caps to dress
up your denim too (now I’m sort of dating myself, but these fashions are
suddenly hip 20 years later with teens). When we outgrew something, we cleaned
it up and consigned it at the Thrift Shop, then delighted when a couple weeks
later, we could collect a few dollars and feel good knowing someone else was
loving the wares we resold there.

I’ve used Freecycle.org and Craigslist to offload stuff and find some things for
baby Holly lately, but I miss that scour-the-rack resale experience (scouring
the Internet is NOT nearly the same). So if you’re like me, head on out to
Outrageously Outgrowns this weekend for some great deals! They’re at Santa
Clara County Fairgrounds this weekend, Friday through Sunday (more info at
http://www.outrageousoutgrowns.com/index.html). You’ll likely find strollers
and carriers so you can head out on a new kind of hike with your child, great
cool, wet, and snow-weather clothes so your outside experiences don’t have to
stop when the clouds begin to repopulate the sky, and maybe a new-to-you toy or
book for your child to make the car rides a little more interesting when you’re
heading out for Stroller Hikes event. And don’t forget – the holidays are
coming, so money you save on gifts can go towards family experiences, like
picnic lunches on Amy’s Monday outings, a bike rack so you can haul your bikes
out to San Carlos for their monthly rides, or new flashlights for one of our
monthly moonlit hikes.

Here are this week’s events:

On Saturday, October 16th 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).

Monday, October 18th at 11 am join Amy B. and her wee ones for a hike and picnic
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. 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. Bring a picnic for your
family. 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). If you’re running
late, call Amy at 408-368-7161.

Monday, October 18th 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, October 19th at 2 pm join Megan and little Vera for a Stroller Hike at
Sunnyvale Baylands Park. This trail is entirely paved, 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 parking fee this time of year, if a ranger is present or the automatic
payment kiosk is working. If you’d like to park for free, park at the baseball
complex next door. If you’re running late, call Megan at 408-409-3206.

Wednesday, October 20th 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, October 21st at 4:30 pm join Debbie, little Max, and wee Holly for a
Toddler Trek at Santa Teresa Park in San Jose. Come out to see the wildflowers,
look for checkerspot butterflies, try to spy a deer, and find serpentine rock
formations. Much of this route follows the Juan Bautista De Anza Trail. To get
to the trailhead, take the Almaden Expressway exit from Highway 85, then travel
south on Almaden Expressway. Turn right onto Harry Road, then left on McKean
Road. Turn onto Fortini Road, then park at the dirt parking lot at the park
entrance (where San Vicente Avenue also enters the park). The trail is a 2.5
mile loop; we’ll follow Fortini Trail along the Santa Teresa Creek for almost a
mile, then turn left on Mine Trail, then left on Stile Ranch Trail for some nice
views and a return back to the parking lot � don’t worry; we’ll be back before
dark (those of you who came last time are laughing about that!). There is no
parking fee at this park entrance. If you’re running late, call Debbie at
650-776-1082. This is a Santa Clara County Healthy Trails
(http://www.parkhere.org/portal/site/parks/) outing.

Saturday, October 23rd at 6:30 PM join Jen and her family for a Stroller Hikes
Moonlit Hike at Vasona Park in Los Gatos. Meet at the playground parking lot
inside Vasona Park for this wonderful family-friendly hike. Look for bats,
listen for frogs and crickets, and see what other animals come to life as dusk
falls at this lovely park with paved trails. Jennifer Snedeker will lead this
family-friendly event, suitable for baby transport of all types. Meet at the
Vasona playground parking lot. Bring some layered clothes if it cools down, and
also bring water, a snack, and a flashlight. Jennifer is a wonderful educator
who will break up the hike with games and exploration, depending on what
critters the group sees. This event is co-sponsored by Santa Clara County Parks
and Recreation. For information about Vasona’s trail and directions to get to
Vasona, see the Los Gatos Creek Trail Page
(http://www.strollerhikes.com/Hikes/LosGatosCreek/LosGatosCreek.html) or Santa
Clara Parks and Rec’s Page about Vasona
(http://www.parkhere.org/portal/site/parks/parksarticle?path=%252Fv7%252FParks%2\
520and%2520Recreation%252C%2520Department%2520of%2520%2528DEP%2529&contentId=54a\
698ba77784010VgnVCM10000048dc4a92____&cpsextcurrchannel=1
). As this event has
been very well attended in the past, please register before attending at
www.parkhere.org.

Flex your thrift!

-Debbie, Max, and wee Holly

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