Monday, October 12, 2009

I am a wilderness wimp

Okay, I admit it. I love the theory...but the reality, um, not so much. I love wildlife and beautiful vistas and the scent of the ocean and the rocks and trees, etc. I don't like getting dirty or sweaty or dealing with bugs or worrying about touching poison oak or stepping on snakes/tarantulas/scorpions/fire ants, etc.

Oh, and I also LOATHE getting up early...especially on a Sunday morning.

So yesterday's Cub Scout hike was a bit of a mixed bag of experiences for me. There was a lot of the dirty/sweaty stuff and not nearly enough of the wildlife or breathtaking views part.

And after two and a half hours, I was pretty much done. Especially since we were given a choice of turning around at that point or continuing on for another hour that was going to be ALL UPHILL.

Yeah, I'll let you guess which one I chose. I was the only one who wanted to turn back - it was so humiliating.

But in my defense, I was the ONLY MOM who got up at oh-dark-thirty on a Sunday and came out to the hike at all. The rest of 'em stayed home and sent their husbands on the trek. Since I don't have one of those any more, I got stuck with the job.

And I was D-O-N-E. Once again, I do NOT win the Mom of the Year prize.

Anyway, here are a few highlights of what it's like to hike in Laguna Canyon at a ridiculous hour on a Sunday morning in the fall:

I know, you're wondering why I took a picture of this half-dead bush. It's definitely at the end of its season (and we're in a terrible drought anyway) so not many flowers left, but during the right time of year, it's supposed to be lovely. But the real reason I took a picture of it was the name of the plant. It's called the "Sticky Monkey Face" plant. And I just wanted to be able to write that in my blog because I am 12 years old and find that kind of stuff funny.

One of the most predominant plants in the area are Liveoaks. And, with oaks, you get acorns. They were a principle food source for the Native American tribes who originally lived in this area. However, since acorns are actually poisonous, they had to go through a laborious process to get the poison out of the ground nuts before they could use the flour. Or at least that's what I vaguely remember from my 4th grade social studies project.

That tree is kind of in the way, but I tried to get a picture of one of the many rock caves in the area. We stayed away from most of them as they make good daytime resting places for things like coyotes and bobcats. And possibly mountain lions although there's never been a confirmed sighting in this particular park.

No way to know for sure who's home right now, but we did see coyote tracks and scat along a trail leading up to this cave.

This particular cave was right by the trailhead and mostly open on two sides so it was deemed "safe" and all the kids had to crawl through it, of course.

I know you've all heard about California earthquakes, right? Well, this is what causes 'em: an earthquake fault. This is a bitty baby one, but I thought it was kinda cool to see one up close. It actively moves a small amount each year.

This entire area was once an underwater reef and over the years, a lot of fossils have been uncovered. When I was a kid, they found an entire skeleton of a pre-historic whale and somewhere at my parents' house is a container of fossilized shark's teeth that I collected when I was about 10 or so. This picture is of a boulder that contains fossilized clam shells.

Somewhere, a snake is a little bit bigger today than he or she was yesterday. We have a lot of snakes around here including three different species of rattlesnakes. There are also king and garter snakes. The guide thought this was probably from a garter snake.

Okay, writing about the hike was a lot more fun than actually going on it LOL!

Hope everyone else had a great weekend. Tonight, I'm taking my son on his first "dinner date." With triplet girls. What can I say, the kid is a chick magnet LOL!

Tomorrow, back to the beads (and any funny kid stories that I get out of dinner tonight).



SummersStudio said...

Kelly, I am indeed impressed with your fortitude. And in a world of dads and boys no less. I give you the best mom award!

Mellisa - Chinook Jewelry said...

I think you came across so many wonderful sights (but I totally get how the wonder can disappear on long communes with nature- especially when they're uphill!). Thanks for sharing all the brushes with critters (without me needing to get sweaty or off my couch). :)

WonderfulWire said...

Excellent post!! lol! Loved the last two photos the best of fossils and snakeskin :) Cool!