So, this is my first post here. I was going to post in the Socialize forum, but I figured that since this post is going to be image heavy, I'd just post it here instead! Yay! As mentioned in the description for this 'blog' is that one of my goals when losing weight was to be able to go hiking around where I live. I live in the same mountain range that Yosemite is located in, actually I am about 20 minutes 'as the crow' flies away from Yosemite. (About 2 hours driving), my forest is the same forest. I hardly go to Yosemite anymore, because it's vastly different than from when I was a little girl, however my parents met and I lived in the park until I was 4. I grew up with a healthy appreciation for the mountains around me, and about 10 years ago I had an opportunity to move back 'home'. So, I snagged it, and here we are. Being able to hike without getting winded is an amazing feeling. I am not even afraid to cliff crawl, or rock hop, my weight no longer makes me frightened about moving. It's freeing and exciting. My husband, bless his soul, has tagged along with me so far, but I can tell that his body hurts after the hikes we do, and it may just be me from this point on, but we will see.
The first 'hike' we really went on since reaching goal weight was heading to Table Mountain. Table Mountain formation is the result of violent volcanic eruptions where lava flowed into an ancient stream channel, displacing the water and solidifying as a great lava cast of the river. The result is a 'mountain' that is fairly flat on top filled with volcanic rock. Getting to the top is 4.6 mile hike, that includes rock climbing. Which for myself was fantastic, for my 5 (now 6) year old daughter, well, I am glad my husband was with us. Here are some pictures from that hike :
Start of the trail, this is my daughter Kira and myself.
My husband Charlie, and Kira :
At the top :
(In the above picture, see that guy with the orange shirt? See the cliff, yeah, that's what you have to climb up to get to the top.)
Vistas from the top :
So, the next hike, was actually the same 'mountain'. We were hoping to go into the caves that go under the mountain. When you hear about the great gold rush of California, these mines were apart of it. However, when we got back up there, there were bees coming out from both mines and I didn't really want to go traversing with bees, so we decided to go down the other trail instead. Eventually, it led to an out pouring of volcanic rock, just piles and piles of it, I assume from when they blasted the mountain to get to the gold, and it's the remaining debris. My husband opted not to go, but I went climbing up the rocks.
This doesn't look like much, but to the left of me, that's about 50 feet up. All of these rocks were moving by the way, and some very smart birds were using the spider webs between the rocks to get some food. At this point I texted my husband I was fine, because it occurred to me that I could fall, and he wouldn't be able to find me. Course, he didn't receive said text so it was a moot point nonetheless.
This is the view of table mountain, from the side :
The picture above, with me holding my daughter with a lake in the background, yeah that was at the top of these rocks.
The sun coming out was spectacular.
Selfies, because.. why not.
And, as I was looking at a hundred foot drop, this butterfly happened along my path, so I leaned forward to snap a picture, and the rock under me started to wobble. So, the Ediths's Checkerspot butterfly that tried to kill me :
On to the next hike! Today we went down to "Natural Bridges", It's a beautiful 2 mile hike through poison oak infested woods to spectacular limestone caverns that were carved out by Coyote Creek on it's way to New Melones lake. It was interesting hiking down, because one, teaching my girls not to touch anything was 'great', but you can see wear from 40+ years of people hiking on the rocks. When we got down there we ate lunch and my older daughter, Brin, and I went to the left, while my husband took Kira down to the right. My son stayed home, which my husband called him "the only smart one". Regardless.. This is what Brin and I found :
This waterfall is coming straight out of the mountain, it's really interesting, I managed to get a good picture of my daughter :
And I got one of me :
Then I realised I was wearing Kira's hat, because she stole mine :
Then we walked down to the caves and joined up with Dad and Sister.
That waterfall behind her, is what was flowing from the waterfall that we found above.. but the most amazing site was the caves :
One of the 'pools' of limestone :
Then Brin and I decided to go swimming :
So, I surrendered my camera and phone to my husband, and went after my daughter. At this point, I realised that I not only had my glasses on, but my fitbit on, and my body was starting to react to freezing water by hyperventilating. Regardless, I surrendered to the moment and enjoyed the quarter mile of swimming through the cavern with my shoes and clothes on, with my daughter. No pictures, I just enjoyed being 'in the moment'. Next time though, wet suits and water shoes are a must.
Regardless, I am glad to be 'at goal' and doing one of the things I was looking forward too the most, hiking and enjoying the area that I live in.
(All of these are 'thumbnail' pictures, if you want to see the full size ones -