Archive for the ‘Hike’ Category

Mission Trails today. #latergram


teensy snail





And then we went back in time.

caterpillar dude

The marine layer is slowly moving out.



a shellful of hermit crabs

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On Saturday I drove the kids up to Barona to check out their museum. I’d also planned on a hike and when I realized we were driving right past Stelzer Park where I knew a few trails to be, we decided to stop for lunch there.

The hike was lovely. A very simple trail with lots of good educational signs along the way. Right along a stream and almost entirely under oaks. We only got so far as the point where the stream gently crossed the path when we turned back. We had to make it to the museum before closing and I didn’t want to argue with Elliott about how it’s really OK if shoes get wet.


animal prints

it really is pretty though, isn't it?


fuzzy wuzzy was a caterpillar

elliott found a black acorn

The kids watched a tiny whirlpool in the stream, found acorns of varying kinds, found a fuzzy caterpillar (I think it may be a wooly bear, or a tiger moth), learned about poison oak, and hunted for animals tracks.

We did not stay for more than a few minutes at the Barona museum because Elliott was having a bellyache – I think he just needed to use the bathroom, but public bathrooms don’t feel as comfortable as home and since we were so far from home I felt it best to leave quickly. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside the museum, and it was very small anyway so, while I’d wanted to stay longer to study how to prepare and cook acorn, we pretty much saw it all in those few minutes. I think I’d like to set up a field trip there, I bet that would be fantastic.

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And the day after that big crazy thunder storm? We went camping. Naturally. The weathermen were still predicting thunderstorms, but we had this reservation and some plans to meet friends up there so we decided to at least head up and see what we see. This is what we saw:

storm clouds

And then it started raining. And pouring. But! It ends well. Shortly after we arrived it was a mere gentle rain, and then by the time the tent was set up, the sun came out to stay and everything dried up quite nicely and the day even became quite warm. The kids played until dinner time and, after marshmallows, snuggled down in the tent and fell asleep in roughly 30 seconds. We had flashes of lightning all night and one storm around 4am that moved in pretty close to us – which was scary for us city folk – but we lived to tell the tale.

In the morning I took the kids on a short walk where we were greeted by a small rainbow and where we observed some of the local plants. Also wild turkeys. (And the day before we’d caught a glimpse of deer!!) Later, we took a beautiful hike with some friends and saw a lizard (which I am pretty sure must be a fence lizard of some sort), tons of acorns, moss, poison oak, and more. We came out of the forest for a view of the valley before us. Incredible. We can’t wait to go camping again!

wild turkey!!

eating 'smallows


singing the double rainbow song

climbging naturey stairs


oak leaves


blue lizard

the view from the topish

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My computer made me put those fancy characters there. I have no idea if it it’s uppity or correct or just plain awesome.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I took the kids out for some early morning Garage Sailing (it’s how *I* spell it). The goal was to gather camping supplies, and we did get a good deal on a camping stove as well as a Camelbak for only $5! But the Universe saw fit to bless our library as well. We got all this for only $4.50! Not bad, eh?

garage sale WIN

We’ve also been hiking some more. We tried out a new path at Mission Trails and it’s one of my favorites (they are all my favorites, honestly). It led us down to a large oak tree that the kids spent quite a bit of time climbing, each time pushing themselves farther past their initial fears. While there we observed lots of carved initials, including one with the incorrect Roman numeral, “XIIII” so we talked about why that was wrong (*ahem* also morally wrong to carve a tree) and we reviewed Roman numerals in general again.


tree dweller

We also saw some new plants we haven’t been able to identify yet. Anyone know these two? The second one is a lettuce-ish-shaped grayish succulent with this stalk of gorgeous pink flowers.

cottony seeds

pink succulent

Our Independence Day was perfect. After we got home from the hike, we grilled steaks for dinner and then met some friends at a local hillside park to watch fireworks shows all over the city. This was the first year Elliott enjoyed them and that was pretty special, too. Some people in front of us brought (illegal) sparklers and were shooting curses at each other with them (which was awesommmmmme to the Harry Potter geek in me). Elliott totally wanted one. Now. I promised him that next time we visit grandpa, we can try sparklers. I don’t have any pictures of fireworks this year, but here are some I took last year.

And then we came home and Margie was sick with a head cold. *sigh*

I had intended to begin our summer session this week, but have been taking it easy due to the illness. I’ve taken the time to finish organizing my homeschool planner and I’m so excited because I think I might have finally found the system that works for me. I may share it in a few weeks. Anyway, what we have been doing is Independence Day related. Today she read this kickass book from Colonial Williamsburg. I want to buy a copy for our home.

I think that sums things up for now. Be back soon with some fun stuff, I hope!

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Originally I had hoped to try a new trail, but Margie has a mild cough and we got a very late start so we stuck to the short version of a trail we’d already done before.  It was fun to check out the visitor center, though, and to take Dad on the hike we’d done before.  I didn’t realize how much Kumeyaay info is in the visitor center.  I am planning a unit soon on the local native cultures so that will likely be a hike we take again in a couple of months.

This is not what the entire walk looks like, these photos were all taken at my favorite spot where the oaks congregate around a small stream. As much as I love the area of the world I live in, I do long for more foresty areas like this. Just knowing such a place exists within San Diego makes me feel peaceful in my heart.

Here are the kids in a Kumeyaay ‘ewaa. There is another at the visitor center, but its nice to see this one in a less modern-looking area.

And, of course, the requisite shots of Margie posing with an animal statue.

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