I'm catching up on all my favorite hikes. The first morning home was a 45 minute loop around the ranch to check out the seasonal changes since I left in early June. It's so dry, there is literally not a blade of grass on the whole ranch. The cows were moved out weeks ago, just no feed. The old jack rabbit was out and about; I was surprised to see a cotton tail. No birds, no deer. They must all be in the high country!
Saturday morning, Favorite Nephews S. and G. and I took an early morning hike in the Red Hills near Chinese Camp. We hiked out the South Serpentine Road to end of sensitive area and the back to car. Creeks, naturally, were bone dry, but S. noticed a small pool of water hidden in the rocks of the creek bed and surrounded by willows. It must be a spring. We decided it would be the favorite spot for wild life. These trees are locally called "bull pines".
Calaveras Big Trees was next on my list. Sister, Auntie, the boys and I planned for a picnic and walk. S. and G. choose the South loop because the "cave" tree is a super place to explore.
This redwood has a split at the base that creates a walk-through.
This is a big section of roots at the beginning of the cave tree.
A Redwood along the trail.
Today the temps dropped close to 20 degrees, perfect for a day in the mountains. No doubt there is plenty of summer left, but we also saw the very first signs of fall on a dog wood tree.