Tag Archives: San Diego mission trails

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Through

I had a photo all picked out for this week’s WordPress photo challenge, until I took my boys to a local county park called Dos Picos this past Saturday. It’s one of the very few local parks in the San Diego area with a good amount of trees and green grass. Well, let’s enjoy the green part until it turns yellow as soon as our daily temperatures start rising up.

While at the park we played on the large playground, had a picnic by the pond and went for a nice walk in the woods later. As we were walking on the path, I found the perfect setting for the photo challenge. This is the most “through” the woods you can walk in this park and I really like it. If you look closely, you’ll notice an opening right after the first set of tree branches, then another set of tree branch coverings.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Through

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Through

As we were walking back towards the parking lot, we noticed a park ranger giving a talk to a group of kids and their parents. I didn’t feel like crashing the party but one of the moms told me it was free to attend and participate so we joined in. The boys got a chance to take part in the building of a native American house (our local tribe is called the Kumeyaay). The house is called an “ewaa” but my four-year old kept referring to it as an “ewok”. Should I mention the kid has never seen a Star Wars movie? 

Here’s what an ewaa in the making looks like. The structure is made of larger and smaller branches tied up with ropes (originally strings made from yucca leaves). The Kumeyaay would then cover the whole structure with reed leaves they’d collect by the pond.

Building a Kumeyaay ewaa at San Diego's Dos Picos County Park

Building a Kumeyaay ewaa at San Diego's Dos Picos County Park

The park ranger then took us on a nature walk and we got the chance to spot and try an adventure bite of “miner’s lettuce (officially named Claytonia perfoliata). My five-year old was very excited to pick something off the ground and eat it “without having to wash it first!”

Our nature walk was then followed by a beading session. The kids got to make their own necklace and they loved it. I had no idea taking a walk through the woods would lead us to such entertaining activities but it was a great way to spend our Saturday. We’re all for doing this again in the future, especially since Ranger Ron does this every Saturday. Shame on the regional park closest to us (San Diego Mission Trails) for organizing nature walks for kids only on school days, and not during the weekends or vacation time! You’d think they schedule the classes this way on purpose…

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WordPress weekly photo challenge: Down

As soon as I read this week’s Wordpress photo challenge, I knew what would be a great choice to illustrate the theme. As I found out a couple of months ago, going down is always easier than up, especially when little kids are involved.

I’ve started taking the kids hiking at a local San Diego regional park called Mission Trails to increase their endurance, reduce their whining when put under effort, and of course enjoy the nature we’re lucky to live close to. Unfortunately the first time I took them on the visitor center trail, I had no idea how it went. The map said it was “moderately easy” so I thought it’d be a piece of cake. That’s until we reached a GIANT long and steep hill after hiking up and down for over 40 minutes and the kids decided to give up on me. I ended up having to take turns carrying each of them up the hill so we could make it back to the car before the end of times lunchtime.

Besides this particular hill the trail is very nice – mostly in the shade in the morning, beautiful vistas, plants and animal, variable terrain, and a few trees the kids enjoy climbing along the way. So now we just take the trail the other way (it’s a loop) and this is what it looks like going down. So much easier!

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: down

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: down

 Unfortunately the trail curves to the right so I can’t take a photo from the very top to show you the very bottom. But trust me, it’s a long way down. The photo above shows what the hill looks like about a quarter of the way down. In the far distance you can see an uphill trail my kids said they’d really like to explore when they’re physically ready for it – I love their optimism and forward thinking!

This is what the hill going up looks like when you turn around. Argh, I’m getting painful flashbacks just looking at it…

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: down is easier than up

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: down is easier than up

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