Perhaps it was because we didn’t have the opportunity to go snowshoeing last year because of the drought, or even much the year before, but to celebrate New Year’s Day we had planned to go. Without checking to see just how low the temperatures where we were headed would be, we excitedly dusted off and packed up our snowshoeing gear, layered ourselves up and headed to Hope Valley for a day in the snow. Well, we knew it would be cold. We just didn’t know how cold.As we approached Tahoe, the temperature gage in the car was reading fifteen degrees. We acknowledged the temperature dropping to each other as we were driving on Luther Pass to Hope Valley in Alpine county. Thirteen degrees. Twelve degrees. “Um… are we gonna be alright?” Now nine degrees. Pulling in the parking lot, eight degrees. Uh huh…eight. We sat in the car watching ice crystals whipping around, blown by the wind. “What are we doing?” “Are we out of our minds?” “We’re here. Let’s try it, even for a short time.” Out of the car, we put on our boots, hooked on our snowshoes, added more layering, and grabbed our poles. Hands were already numb. “Okay, we’re doing this, but only for fifteen minutes!”Our faces were stung by the freezing winds, noses were running from the cold, my hands were numb (I was the one taking pictures), but it was exhilarating and worth the drive! We’ll be back when it’s not quite as cold!
On to the cafe at Sorensen’s Resort, we warmed ourselves with hot drinks and vegetable beef soup, and then braved the cold once again just to trudge through the grounds ever so quickly, before getting back to the car and blasting the heater to head home.So much winter beauty to behold!
The Little House series, Anne of Green Gables, Charlotte’s Web, The Wind in the Willows, and the writings of A.A. Milne. These were favorites of mine as a child. I have such fond memories of my mother taking my two brothers, my sister and me to the public library every two weeks to choose books to borrow. We would all browse the shelves, gathering whatever we were interested in reading at that time. I remember feeling so rich in books. Library day felt a bit like Christmas. All these years later I still get the same feeling with the riches and comfort of good books to read.
This charming garden courtyard, where vines climb up old brick walls is where my book group friends and I set up and dedicated our official Little Free Library nearly a year ago. It’s been such a pleasure to care for it and keep it stocked with quality books. I must admit my heart skips a beat when I notice someone lost in a book which was borrowed from our library. I took these photos on a quiet morning when the shops had yet to open, but most days this place is hopping! It brings me great joy to know that it’s loved by others and getting used regularly.
Right now wreaths, lights, Poinsettias, and a Christmas tree add sparkle and shine to this little nook just off Main Street in Placerville. Many thanks to the owners of the hair salon and the boutique who are the Christmas elves behind all of the festive holiday beauty. Isn’t it gorgeous?
Ta dah! Here it is! This cheery yellow and blue box is full of good reads for all ages, with fiction, non fiction, and classics on the top shelf, and picture books, middle grade books and young adult books on the bottom. Go get yourself a delicious mocha from Totem Coffee (closed on Tuesdays), open up the door of the little free library and pull out the book that speaks to you. Go ahead and take it, it’s yours! Now find a seat at one of the many tables in the courtyard, get comfy and let the magic of a good book unfold.
“To the free mountaineer all the woods are accessible alike from the firs that girdle Shasta to the giant forests of the Tule; but the…timebound must follow ways and means, and I know of none better than those of Calaveras… a flowery glade in the very heart of the woods, forming a fine center for the student, and a delicious resting place for the weary.”
Three miles north of Arnold off Highway 4 stands the grandeur of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This is the place where in the early 1850s the world first came to know about the Giant Sequoias, the largest trees on earth and native only to the western slope of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.There are many trails to hike within the park, but on this beautiful but chilly day in mid November, we took the North Grove Trail, only about 1.5 miles long. We found the trail was covered with a blanket of snow and was even iced over in some locations.The largest trees here could be anywhere from 800 to 3,000 years old and can reach a height of 325 feet and a diameter of 33 feet. It truly is amazing to think of all that these trees have experienced in their years! In addition to the Giant Sequoias in the park, Sugar Pine, White Fir, Incense Cedar and Ponderosa Pines exist alongside each other in the splendor of this mixed conifer forest.
Inspired by REI’s decision to close on Black Friday, Save the Redwoods League is sponsoring free admission to 49 participating California redwood state parks on November 27th. They invite everyone to experience the joy, renewal and inspiration found among the natural wonders of the ancient giant redwoods. To find out which state parks are participating and to download a free pass, check out the website above.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all and happy hiking on Friday.
“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
~Lauren De Stefano
“The heart of autumn must have broken here, and poured its treasures out upon the leaves.”
~Charlotte Flake Bates
“Winter is an watching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn, a mosaic of them all.”
“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”
“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket then all the other seasons.”