Stroller Hikes E-Newsletter: Structure (1)

Hello Mommies and Daddies!

As many of you know, I teach high school. School resumes for my students on Monday, and despite fretting over what to wear and bring to lunch, many students and teachers are happily eager to have a little more structure in their lives.

On Fridays at Max’s preschool, the teachers rush about cleaning every toy and play structure and packing up a week’s worth of art projects, so there is minimal structure to the day. When I visit, kids practically mob me, eager to play with an adult and be part of a collaborative group with a common goal.

When Max was first born, the lack of structure in a day was striking, and it made me quite nuts. Sure, there was regularity to Max’s nursing and sleeping schedule – our obsessive documentation of this provided proof in our sleep-deprived state when chaos seemed to reign. But I longed for structure in terms of getting out of the house, following a routine to help me towards achieving some greater goal, like getting back in shape. This is fundamentally why Stroller Hikes began, in July of 2006, and went live as an online resource in October of that year.

Structure helps us feel like valuable contributors, and adds value to our time and resources. Structure helps us balance exertion with relaxation. I hope you’re able to add Stroller Hikes to the structure in your life – either to make a fitness routine, get outside to socialize with other families, or explore nature. When Max was first born, the three or four times per week that we got out to hike or run made a huge difference in making parenthood sane.

Don’t forget that you can use to find events or information about locations that are family-friendly for hiking, biking, camping, running, and water play. As a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization, we gladly accept tax-deductable donations; thanks to those of you who have donated recently! Look for the orange “Donate” button at to donate through PayPal.

Here are this week’s events:

Monday, August 24th 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. There is a water feature at the playground, so bring a towel and extra change of clothes if you plan to play in it. 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 ( For more information about the trail, see the John W Christian Greenbelt Webpage ( If you’re running late, call Amy at 650-207-6556.

Tuesday, August 25th at 8 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 ( If you’re running late, call Loren at 831-227-6737.

Tuesday, August 25th at 2 pm join Amy B. and little James and Sadie for a hike at Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino/Los Altos Hills. We’ll do an almost entirely paved, flat path or a hilly, packed dirt route, depending on who attends. Both trails will go to the farm, and maybe past it. Any baby transport will work, and bikes or trikes can be used on the flat route. Meet at the upper parking lot where model airplanes are flown (just past the entrance, turn right, then left into the first parking area uphill from the lower two). For more information or directions, see the Rancho San Antonio Page ( Sorry, dogs not allowed. This hike is at least half shaded. Call Amy at 408-368-7161 if you’re running late.

Wednesday, August 26th 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 ( 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 27th at 4:30 pm – New Time!- we’ll meet for a Toddler Trek of Coal Mine Ridge/Portola Valley Ranch. Debbie and little Max will lead this rustic hike, mainly through shaded woods. Toddlers will be encouraged to hike and explore on these narrow trails with new sights around every corner. For non-walking children, a baby carrier or backpack is recommended. We’ll talk about Spanish Moss and look for animal trails, while we talk about how critters access water when the creek is so far below this hill. For information about the hike and directions, see The Coal Mine Ridge Webpage ( Dogs not allowed. If you’re running late, call Debbie at 650-776-1082.

On this week’s poll, you’ll see all of the events above as well as a question about a future fundraiser: Self Defense for Moms. Are you interested in a course on self defense strategies? A friend of Stroller Hikes who teaches at a local Martial Arts school, has volunteered to teach this class. If there is interest, we’ll put together a venue, time, and a fee ($20 or less, likely). No experience necessary! Please indicate if you’re interested – we need at least 6 to put this class together. If you know someone who is interested that isn’t part of the Stroller Hikes group, you can reply to this e-mail to let me know.

Enjoy your week!

-Debbie and little Max

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