Yesterday I took the kids to the Animal Shelter just to look and a disappointing attempt at going to Castaic lake for a quiet afternoon. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to the lake but when I lived in Castaic about 14 years ago it was free to go to the lake. Now they charge $11 for parking. It didn’t matter that there weren’t more than a dozen or so people enjoying the lake. Understandably the city needs to make money because people don’t seem to know what a trash can is. But, eleven dollars is pretty steep. For eleven dollars I could park at Santa Monica and still have money leftover for a couple bottles of water on a hot summer day. For eleven dollars I could buy 2.6 gallons of gas. It’s sad how mankind is making it impossible to enjoy nature.
Rather than stick around the empty lake, and parking lots, I drove back towards our house and found my way to Placerita Canyon. The canyons are filled with hiking trails and the city even has botanical gardens. So the three of us hiked. It wasn’t so simple. First, Scout was in her stroller. The kind that’s not make for hiking in the mountains. Second, while the day was peculiarly warm, (mid 80’s), I got hot very quickly. My body wasn’t quite prepared for a trek, trails or not.
But the environment was beautiful and it was worth the bumps and stops along the way. It was a little bit overwhelming to be somewhere that only the sound you heard were woodpeckers, hawks and crows talking amongst themselves. You could hear the amazingly fast wings of a hummingbird fly by your ear. By your feet you can hear the scurrying of little lizards protecting their lunches in their jaws. And the flowers and trees! They were in abundance! It’s hard to believe that so much of the land was consumed by the fires last October.
There were pinecones:
And tree trunks with amazing swirling patterns:
There was an Indian teepee preserved by the nature society:
There was this:
And there was that:
And there was some much needed relaxing eating granola bars and drinking water on a bench by the Oak of the Golden Dream. I wish I could have gotten some better shots of the oaks but they were by the highway underpass and I couldn’t do the beauty justice.