Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Year!!!!

Hallelujah!!!  I read so many of your year in review posts, and I loved them.  I thought about doing one.  But the truth of the matter is, we really just want to forget all about 2013.   We were eager to say goodbye, and greet this new year.  Clean slate, new beginnings, new year. I wish you all a very Happy New Year!  And may it be a good year for all.  Now...moving on, I have several posts stacked up in my mind to do.  But I will start with what was a really fun day yesterday.  Our daughter and her family had taken a hike in our local foothills on Saturday and raved about how fun it was.  They invited us to join them on Sunday for a repeat.  I reluctantly said yes.  I am very out of shape, but knew that I would love going, so go I did!  We loaded our backpacks with chapstick, kleenex, trail mix, camera, and water bottles.  I put my thickest socks on, and a mediocre pair of tennis shoes.  And off we went.
This photo was actually taken after the hike!  Gennifer got one of all of us before the hike.  You can see that there are many cars parked at the trail head.  From this spot, it is quite a hike just to where the hike begins.  But oh so worth it!
You would have thought that with all of those cars, we would have seen many people on the trail.  But no, we did not!  There are several trails to choose once on the main trail, and so much space, that we only saw a few people.  It was very quiet, and very beautiful!!!  Away we go.
The trail was clearly carved, and it was not difficult at all.  A very gradual incline, making the ascent easy to do, even for this out of shape Grandma.  My two little granddaughters had no problem either.  There was a bit of whining on the way down, but I tried to keep it mostly, it was little Clairey.  And they had done this hike the day before too!!!  So they did remarkably well!!    We ambled our way up, and enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful chaparrel and majestic oaks that surrounded us.  We hoped to see some wildlife, but didn't on this trip.  However, my friend Maryrose and I, have seen deer on hikes in these hills. 
I have no idea how Gennifer had my camera on this shot with me in it???   Oh wait, now I remember.  She took this shot of Greg and I at this spot.
About 1/3 of the way up, we stopped and had some lunch.  There are some benches underneath the shade of the centuries old oaks to rest your tired legs.
 While still having our rest and a bite to eat, up comes this shirtless, and CUT young man, with a very cute girl.  The buff young man was holding the leash of a very strong, and okay, I'll say it....scary looking dog!!!  I was honestly looking at the dog, making sure it didn't come eat any of us, when I hear the muscle man say..."Greg?  Jake?"  And I am thinking this guy must play ball with them or something?  Then he says..."It's BRADLEY!!"  YELDARB!!!!  It's the younger brother of Brian!  Our Brian!  Brian has been a buddy of Drew's forever, and he has become very close to all of us.  We had not seen Bradley in many years.  He had grown up!!!! 
We had the nicest chat with him.  It was so good to see Bradley!!!!!  But the dog still scares the bejeebers out of me!!
After refueling, we kept on going.  Up, up, up the trail.  The higher we got, the prettier it was!!  Water began to flow in the creek, and pools were formed here and there. 
Fallen trees, made good photo ops.
The girls really amazed me!  They were such troopers.  Just trekking along, enjoying it all, and taking it all in.  So much fun!  The trail was beginning to get a little more challenging, the further up we got.  More boulders to climb over, and more water to navigate through.  Lots of ferns, and shade, and beautiful things popping up between the wet rocks.  The micro climates making the changes so interesting, both in appearance, and temperature! 

We heard the bird song of several different types of our feathered friends.  A very large crow, or raven with an apple core in his beak.
The girls climbed every possible boulder!!!

There were old mining caves, that are now covered over for the safety of the hikers, but still allowing the bats to enter and exit.

 Truly, I wanted to keep going.  Up, up, higher.  The more I saw, the more I wanted to see.  I loved it! 
But, we had been hiking for two hours, and what goes up, must come down!  So, reluctantly, we began our descent, and left this beautiful canyon behind.
I was feeling rather smug, having not taken a single fall or stumble.  But, was quickly reminded, that the trek down the hill can be far more difficult, when I took a tumble in some unstable earth, trying to save
Claire from a fall.  Instead I went down.  Hard.  On my elbow and bum.  Both are sore!  Ouch. 
About 2/3 of the way down, I began to feel it.  My body was talking to me.  But I had so thoroughly enjoyed every part of this hike, minus the fall, that I didn't even mind the soreness that was creeping in.
We made our way back down to the start of the hike, taking a few minutes to take in the beauty again. 
Looking a bit disheveled, but still smiling.....downward we continued.
Until finally, we reached the place where we began.
And from this point, it is another mile or thereabouts to the spot where we had parked our cars.  We hiked for 5.3 miles, and just under 4 hours!  LOVING every, single, second we were there!  We took the girls home with us, so that Genny and Jake could go see The Book Thief.  Greg and I had seen it the night before.  Fabulous movie!  Go see it!!!!   We got cleaned up, and then crashed watching a movie.  What a day.  What a hike!  What fun!!!!
Thank you Gennifer and Jake, for inviting us to join you.  We can't wait to do it again!  Well, maybe after I can walk again, that is.  Feeling a little bit sore this morning!  But a good kind of sore.
Thanks for coming along on our hike with me. 
I will be back soon with some of the things we have been doing in the past couple of weeks.
Happy New Year!  And by the way, my word for the year...CHALLENGE!  I am challenging myself in 2014.   Already stepping outside my comfort zone to challenge myself with this hike.  But I challenge myself to accept the things that life throws our way, good and bad.  To greet them head on, and make the best of them.  2013 was a tremendous challenge.  And though it seems odd to use the same word that describes the previous year,  I am challenging myself to handle life's ups and downs in the best way possible for 2014.  So bring it!!!!  I am ready.
XO  Kris


Jeanna said...

What a great day! Thanks for sharing with us Kris. You have a beautiful family!

Good luck with your 2014 word...I'm sure you will do well with it!

Gloria Baker said...

dear Kris Really hope the next year will be great for you dear!

Home Meadows said...

Hi Kris, what a great way to start the new year. I enjoyed your photos and joining your family on the hike. Wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy new year. Blessings. Heather

Holly said...

So proud of you! What an accomplishment. I hope for only great things for you and yours this year!!

Holly said...

So proud of you! What an accomplishment. I hope for only great things for you and yours this year!!

Gracie Saylor said...

Cheers for you and yours, Kris! And thank you for letting us see some of what you saw on your hike. Life certainly is a mix of ups and downs along the trail. Even points where we lose our footing, it is so wonderful to be able to appreciate the beauty around us, including the love and joy of family and friends.
You've got me all charged up to go out and about with a friend and go swimming this afternoon :)
Thanks! xx

priscilla said...

What a fun family day ! Hope 2014 is great for you Kris ! -14 here schools closed today and tomorrow , when did we move to Alaska :) ??

Joolz said...

I loved reading about your hike and the pictures were lovely. Hiking is not something we are into but seeing it as more of a gentle amble, we might give it a try one day. I think weather plays a big part and your day looks glorious. Best wishes for a great and 'challenging' year ahead!

Cheers - Joolz xx

Amy at love made my home said...

Challenge is a great word for your year Kris, and it looks as though you made a great start. The trail is beautiful, so lovely to be able to go for such a great walk out. Fantastic views. I hope that you have a great year ahead. Happy New Year!!! xx

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Good for you Kris! You are a trooper and a good sport. Hope you took some Advil or the like. Sounded like fun and the terrain was lovely. I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year and I hope it is a GOOD challenge for you.

Linda said...

That looks like a great hike! We love going out hiking with the kids and Lola..we found a great trail near Escondido a while back...stunning views at the top. I hope 2014 is a great year for you and your family!!

Karen L. Bates said...

Congrats for grabbing ahold of whatever this new year brings. I am sorry it was a rough one but things will look up now.

I am having trouble getting anything on my blog...sorry. Maybe I will have to challenge myself to get it done.

Linda said...

Hi Kris!
Looking forward to your Challenges this year....I was real resolutions...I guess..except to stop being sick all the time!
Counting down the days, 'til we leave for sunny Florida...enough snow already!!!
You have the most beautiful face...I love it!♥
Linda :o)

Teresa Kasner said...

Hello my friend.. what an inspirational post! You have the best attitude about life. Gracie and I met for Chinese food for lunch and then swimming for an hour. We're all starting 2014 with good intentions!

((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Tania @ Out Back said...

Wow Kris! What a great hike, and to do it with family even better! I bet you slept well that night, and the limbs would have been stiff and sore in the morning.

Challenge is a great word. Mine this year is Less, let the big declutter begin! Now that will be a challenge, so your word is really appropriate for many things!

Loved taking the hike with you xx

Lynne said...

Great post Kris! I love hiking, and wish I could get out more often. Happy New Year!

podso said...

That looks like a whole lot of fun and good family time. And amazing to run into that friend … now on to the new year and expecting good things!

Debby said...

What a great way to start the new year.....the hike not the tumble. But at least you saved your little one. Great pictures. So small our world is sometimes isn't it. The friend is quite muscular. Now that dog is a scary one. I feel bad for pits as they do look scary . Hope you continue to have a good start to the New Year.

Deb~in~Denver said...

What a beautiful hike! Loved all of the pictures, you and Geeps sure make a cute couple! The grand-girls are adorable.
2013 was quite a challenge for you and your family, I hope 2014 lets you take on the challenges YOU choose! I pray it's going to be a great year for you!

p.s...that dog would have scared me, too!!

Melissa C said...

What a beautiful place to hike, we are living in EXTREME opposite climates right now Kris! I am SO very jealous of your temps...We are at -35 degrees about now with strong winds too. School has been cancelled the last 2 days! anyhoo, hope you are healing from your fall, Love the pic of Greg n you!
and I love your word, your perspective will make all the difference this year, Happy New Year Kris!

Betsy said...

Hi Kris,
Thanks for taking us along on your hike. The scenery is certainly beautiful a round your part of the country. You have a lovely attitude about life and the ups and downs we all must endure on our journey.
Hope your aches and pains go away quickly so you can resume your journey without pain.

Debbie said...

What a beautiful hike that was! I for one was glad to be brought along...may 2014 be a GOOD year, full of great health, peace, love and happiness to you and your family Kris! HUGS

Grammy Staffy said...

How amazing.... what a great hike. I wonder if I could do it? It looks fun but if you slipped and fell coming down I probably would too. I hope that you get over the aches and pains quickly.
I'm so glad to see this post. I've missed you. I've been having some health issues but I am getting better. Happy New Year 2014 and good luck with all of your challenges. Hugs, Lura

Dawn said...

What a terrific day, I enjoyed al the photos on instagram too :) Wanna trade, we are buried in snow here?

Astri Bowlin said...

You are way cute Kris. Love the Happy, Happy, Happy shirt - it describes you and your hike!

That's a long hike, I hope your aches are gone soon. Take care and thank you for sharing this wonderful time.

Sarah said...

What a fun thing to do as a family. Great way to start the new year too! Awesome pictures. It's so pretty. We're covered in snow and ice here so it's nice to see some earth!

The Garden Bell - Kate said...

You got that right about 2013 being a year to say goodbye to. I'm with you all the way on that one. Nice to see someone out there can wear shorts, tees and sneakers. We are freezing our you know what's off back here. I have never felt it as cold as yesterday at -18 with wind chill to -48. That my friend is making wish for Florida all the more. But, don't think ORD is fairing very out the door I go to an afternoon jazzercise. Can you believe they cancelled all day yesterday and this morning. Now, that is some serious weather. Here-Here to have a better 2014....Hugs to ya, Kate

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

What a lovely post, Kris! This looks like a great family time...and the scenery is beautiful! I love your word for 2014...we all should challenge ourselves! Wishing you a wonderful 2014!

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, I loved seeing your terrain-so opposite than where we were. WE didn't go nearly as far but girl talk about a workout. I'm not in the best of shape either. Hope to lose 5 lbs before we go to Hawaii in April. I was sore last night.
Sending love.

DaCraftyLady Debb said...

Hey Kris,
Wonderful post looks like your hiking day was one of fun and adventure, but I must admit I think I have been gone way too long from blogging because I didn't recognize you as a look great....So you have joined us aboard....I too was ready for 2014...~~Debb~

Jann Olson said...

Kris I think you look just darling! Love the photo of you and hubby. We love to hike and yes; I am not in the greatest of shape. I just take it slow and steady. You saw some gorgeous scenery and I loved the photo ops! And yes, coming down is harder. Especially on my bad knees. Good exercise for them though. Great word!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

You are a trooper, Kris! This looks like a wonderful hike to do -- I loved all the greenery I have yet to go on an upward hike in our foothills as yet -- maybe this spring I will try it.

Happy 2014 to you and your family!

Poppy said...

Happy New Year, Kris!

You and your family are always up to fun and adventurous activities, like this great hike! What an invigorating way to start the new year, with a challenge such as this, all together, in the open air and breathtaking scenery!

Thanks for sharing,


Val said...

Looks like a beautiful and peaceful place.

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