We met our friends, Jim and Amanda, at Garrapata State Park last weekend for a hike.
The kids were with us, so the 7 mile loop that included A LOT of steep climbs and descents was out of the question. Instead, we hiked the Soberanes Canyon trail (this part is normally the end of the loop trail). We went in about 1 3/4 miles and then came back out the same way we came in – making this our longest hike to date with the kids.
The trail was very well-maintained and the scenery was beautiful.
An old barn near the beginning of the trailhead provided the perfect backdrop to snap a quick shot of this little man.
The trail quickly made its way into the canyon. We had the ocean behind us, and the Santa Lucia mountains in front of us.
Vegetation on Soberanes Canyon trail varied widely. The beginning of the trail was strewn with cacti, the middle of the trail had brush and wildflowers, and then we walked through a beautiful redwood forest.
Trenton hitched a ride on the Piggyback Rider for maybe 25 yards, and then decided to walk on his own. There were far too many fun stream crossings and he wanted to be the hike leader.
Charlotte rode in her backpack most of the way, but got down and did some of her own hiking too.
The kids loved taking a break at the stream crossing on our way back out of the redwood forest. They didn’t seem to be bothered by the cold stream water.
There was a huge redwood trunk laying across the stream about four feet off the ground. Trenton wanted to go out and sit on it, so I took him partway across to check it out.
Of course once Trenton went out on the log, Charlotte wanted to check it out too. I led Trenton back to the bank, grabbed Charlotte, and started leading her out on the log.
Charlotte and I were almost to the middle of the log when I heard some shuffling behind me. I looked back to see Trenton sitting on the log trying to scoot out to me and Charlotte. And in a split second, he was losing his balance falling backwards off the log. None of the adults were close enough to catch him. He caught my eye as he was falling, and he looked so scared. It was like he was falling in slow motion, but there was nothing I could do to help him. Talk about a horrible feeling! Trenton fell onto the bank on his back with his head landing only a couple of inches away from a protruding rock. I scurried down the log with Charlotte, handed her over to our friends, and went to check on Trenton who was being comforted by Jarrod. The fall hadn’t even knocked the wind out of him. He told us that he wasn’t hurt and that the fall just scared him. He and everyone else! I was so thankful that Trenton wasn’t hurt, but boy did I feel like a horrible mom.
It didn’t take long for everyone to calm down, and we were back on the trail headed to our cars. Trenton and I took the lead. Jim found a lizard for the kids to look at. After it scampered away, we were on the lookout for more. Trenton and I came around a corner and I saw this in the trail.
A Northern Pacific Rattlesnake. Not the kind of lizard we were hoping to find! I am surprised I didn’t have a heart attack! How were we going to get back to our car with a rattlesnake blocking our way down the trail?
Jim broke a big branch off of some brush while the rest of us backed up. Jim poked at the snake until it retreated far enough into the brush for us to make our way by. The snake wasn’t really big, maybe two feet long, but boy could it rattle those rattles!
We made it safely down the trail and back to our cars with no more issues. I’m pretty sure we had angels watching over us on our hike. It was a wonder that no one got hurt. We made sure that our prayers that night included thanking God for keeping us safe. Trenton thanked God for keeping him safe when he took his tumble, from the snake, and from the “smoking volcano that didn’t have hot lava yet.”
(The fog started rolling in as we were finishing up our hike.)