Today I slept until 4:30 am. My jet lag is improving, as I try to get on local California time at Family Nature Summits.
Everything at Family Nature Summits seems to start at 8 am. So Isa and I have breakfast together. With daypacks and my hiking poles in hand, I walk her over to her Junior Naturalist program a few minutes early. She’s not the first one here.
Then I fly down the hill to find my shuttle van to my first FNS hike – Five Lakes Trail in Tahoe National Forest.
At the trailhead, a sign tells you to watch out for unexploded military shells and explosives used for snow avalanche control. What?? Am I in a war zone?
Since the hike is partly in the Granite Chief Wilderness, the 12-hiker maximum rule applies, as it does nationally.
The trail is wide and generally smooth; after all, I’m out west. The land is open, filled with huge pine trees, with little understory. Indian paint-brush, bee balms and yarrow are some of the flowers that we recognize. But the wide open spaces and rocky landscape are stunners.
After I picked up Isa from Junior Naturalists, we both participated in a Treetop adventure. Even the easy beginner’s course wasn’t easy. It required concentration, balance and a healthy belief in the equipment.
We got suited up and we looked good. Then Isa and I hit the green course, the beginner section – green – of the Squirrel course, the beginner’s course. (The Monkey course is the advanced course.)
Both Isa and I were hesitant but we did the green course slowly. We had to do it twice to get promoted to the blue course.
I didn’t want to do the zip line, so I bailed out. Isa continued on to the blue course. With the help of the great staff, Isa finished the blue (intermediate) course.
We were both exhausted and skipped the evening program.
We’re relaxing in our room and getting ready for another full day, tomorrow.