Two weeks ago, Caleb was on spring break so I took them for a hike at Garland Ranch. I was hoping to see the wild lupines. Garland Ranch is such an awesome place to take kids for a hike. There are both flat and hilly trails. We did the trail, which was 2 miles with a 250 ft. elevation gain. I’ve never taken the girls on a hike this long and with some hills to boot! But they did great. And I was smart and put Eliza in the hiking pack.
The hike started with the bridge crossing. I was so happy to see the creek full of water!
I was so impressed with Caleb’s rock-skipping skills. I’m thinking that all boys are just born with this skill. I’ve never been able to skip rocks. Or maybe that’s because I don’t really care and I’ve never really tried that hard. ha!
We took the Buckeye Nature Trail, which met up with the Mesa Trail and then the Cottonwood Trail.
On the very first hill, Charlotte started complaining. “Mommy can you carry me?” “I want to go home.” “Uuuggghhhhhh. I’m soooooooo tired. Uuuugggghhhhhhhhh.” “My tummy hurts. I need to go home now.”
Ana was a trooper.
Caleb thought this moss covered tree was super cool. I was shocked that he actually posed for a picture. I didn’t make a big deal. That was very very difficult.
A California bay laurel! I’d never seen fresh bay leaves before! They smelled soooo good. There was an informational sign that explained that the native indians used the leaves for medicinal purposes. It made me a little sad to think that people once lived there and lived off of the land. And now they don’t.
These trails are good for running!
I loved these informational signs along the trail. I felt like a good mom when I actually stopped and read them out loud.
The hike up to the lookout was impressive. And the change in Ana and Charlotte’s attitudes was interesting. Charlotte went from complaining to charging up the hill on Caleb’s heels. Ana went from content to overly cautious because she was afraid she would tumble down the hill.
Maidenhair ferns in their natural habitat! These are my favorite ferns. These lined much of the trail on the way up to the lookout.
The view from the top. I’m glad there was a bench. Perfect place to stop for a snack.
On the way down we came across this huge rock. Wow!
This is the grinding rock. Native indians used this to grind acorns for food.
When we got to the Cottonwood Trail we saw a few lupines popping up at Lupine Meadow! We’ll need to go back in a few more weeks to see them in force.
We planned to go back to the truck by using the other bridge. But it’s actually a seasonal bridge and had been taken down. So we just hung out and the kids had a great time.
I love that we can be home with the TV, Wii, toys, bikes, etc. and I will hear “I’m bored.” But give them a creek, rocks and sticks and they are good to go. They were not happy to leave.
I swear, I did not set this picture up. Eliza has taken to wanting to hold hands with the other kids lately. It’s just adorable.
This is hike #67 from my Monterey Hikes list.
Hiking distance: 2 miles round trip
Elevation gain: 250 feet
Configuration: out-and-back with large loop
Best for… active preschooler and up, nice little workout for parent carrying baby/toddler in a pack