Category: hiking in state parks

Two Popular Ways to Hit the Trail

Wren has a site at Cactus Country RV Park just outside the city limits of Tucson close to the entrance to Saguaro National Park. My husband, a young friend, and I have hiked the trails there many times over our three-week stay. The senior pass we have includes anyone in the car, so we all get in free. The visitor center has good exhibits, books, video screenings, and rangers to answer questions. We’ve had no trouble “getting our Fitbit steps.” We hit the trails on foot, unlike many who choose to bring a horse and get much further than we can into the interior of the park.

Camping among Giants

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This photo was taken at Nisene Marks State Park just south of Santa Cruz in Aptos on a hike with Jerry and Bess. I’m wearing four light-weight layers because the trail we used is quite flat and the day was overcast and in high-fifties only. The Sequoias are loving this cool, damp weather, and I’m loving their deeply-grooved bark, their lofty heights, the green of their needles on the branches, and red of the ones that have fallen at their base to cover the forest floor.

We camped for a week in Big Basin Redwood State Park in the hills outside of Santa Cruz, then moved to a private campground in Felton, CA, among the redwoods for another four nights. Two of those days were rainy, so we got to appreciate days when the sunlight does eventually filter through the crowns of the giants to where we are far below. The young redwoods are a mere 150 feet tall, the elders 300 or so. Those who stay and live among these trees clearly love them and the micro-climate they create for other plants and animals.

Fungi Fungi Everywhere

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This member of the Amanita family, Concorra, was seen in abundance on the weekly walk at Big Basin Redwoods State Park outside of Santa Cruz, CA., the week before Thanksgiving. I was lucky enough to be camping there that day and on a small group hike of seven hours with three docents from the area. We had the joy of spying so many fungi up after a recent and unusual rain in the coastal redwoods. Sometimes on the road you just hit it right.