Monday, April 27, 2009

Sun, slugs, and sweet potatoes...

Monday, April 27, 2009

After a gardening-intensive Saturday, my SH and I decided to spend Sunday afternoon exploring the oft-praised Big Basin Redwoods State Park, conveniently located a mere 20 miles from our house. I'm always amazed, and a bit ashamed even, to realize that such splendor exists at such a short distance. A mere ten minutes into our drive, we found ourselves winding upwards through the Santa Cruz mountains, shafts of golden sun barely peeking through the enormous redwoods lining each side of the road. We rolled the windows down, allowing the cool fresh breeze and scent of the forest to permeate the car, admiring the sights of rolling hills, vineyards, and horses grazing and chattering excitedly about how we needed to be doing this kind of thing every weekend.

By the time we arrived at the entrance to the park, we were already smitten, though our experience in the redwood forests hasn't been minimal. I think we were mostly just overwhelmed with excitement about how close this particular vision of forest loveliness was to us. We chose a decently rigorous trail, and spent the next few hours trekking through the forest, stopping often to take pictures and gaze in awe at the tremendous size of the aged trees. Of course, I had to capture a picture of the banana slug-my morbid fascination with appalling-looking creatures rears its ugly head again (Wait, have I not posted about my status as an amateur herpetologist? How could I have neglected it?)

On our way home, we happened upon an absolutely beautiful lookout, which led to several trails. It was breathtaking, and I know it's simply one of many, many similar spots all along these Northern California roads. As we looked out over the mountains, I saw a lone woman, perched peacefully on the side of the hill with a book in hand, and I couldn't help but feel unbelievably lucky, once more, that such perfect, untouched places exist.

To top off our amazing day, we stopped for dinner at The Counter, my FAVORITE hamburger joint (here in California, that is-it's no Kincaid's!). The concept of the restaurant is custom building your hamburger-when you arrive you're handed a neat check-off list attached to a clipboard with a huge variety of cheeses, toppings, and even bread choices. Despite my desire to "mix it up a bit," I inevitably order a well-done burger topped with blue cheese, bacon, and grilled onions. What can I say? In the words of Frances, that wise sage of a badger, "I always know what I'm getting, and I'm always pleased." Perhaps even better than the burgers is the side dish that I always insist upon, the "fifty-fifty", half fragile, spicy shoestring onion rings and half thinly sliced sweet potato fries. DELICIOUS!

After having undone all that good, cardiovascular effort on our hike with our huge, dripping-with-goodness burgers, we drove slowly home and crashed on the couch with some good television. It was a GREAT Sunday. I loved every minute.

1 comment:

Jeb said...

Oh mama! looks good!