Thursday, July 26, 2012

Take a Hike

It's been almost a year since Thatboy and I have been hiking.  And since we had a nice day with nothing planned we figured we should take advantage of it.

We headed over to Elfin Recreational Reserve.  Only 1.4 miles from the parking lot to the dam.  Sounds easy enough right?

They even lull you into a false sense of security by having the trail start at a beautiful creek.  This is also where the trail ends.  And I'll share with you a little secret.  Thatdog like bridges.  He DOES NOT like crossing creeks by jumping rocks or wading through them.  I think the last part of the hike was most traumatic for him as we tried to coax him across.

 The trail itself though was not an easy hike.  It was all uphill, steep, unpaved, and windy.  As someone who gets carsick, I was thankful we were on our feet.  My feet were not quite as thankful.  And Thatdog was rethinking his constant desire to head out with us.  Thatbaby slept through the whole thing.

But it was all worth it at the end.  We reached the oasis - a refuge with drinking water, restrooms, benches, and a view that explained why were doing this in the first place.

 We stayed here a while and rested - we deserved it.  Thatbaby woke up and tried to eat rocks and dirt - which are apparently some sort of gourmet delicacy given by the tantrum he throws when you try to stop him.

The way back down was much easier and more pleasant.  Downhill is funny that way.  When we got to the bottom we were sore before even making it to the car. Thatboy complained all day the following day.  We were hot, sweaty, and dirty.  

We needed a filling dinner, but nothing hot and heavy.  Shrimp with yogurt sauce made the menu and I'll share that recipe with you tomorrow.  As a side dish, I took some of the bounty of summer and threw it together for an easy summer salad.  There's nothing especially summery about black beans, but for some reason, black bean salads are one of my summer staples.  With crisp cucumbers, sweet tomatoes, and creamy avocado, it's the perfect refreshing side dish.

Summer Salad
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 avocados, peeled and  diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 red onion, minced
2 tbsp cilantro
juice of 2 limes
salt and pepper (to taste)
  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


  1. The one time I've been hiking, it was seriously traumatic and way more intense than anyone thought it would be! I think it ended up being five miles of rugged terrain. And wasps. Many wasps. I definitely needed something this refreshing afterward!

  2. what a beautiful time to spend ... i love to hike too.. but in my country no place to hike. have a nice time with your family.