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A Hike Along The Ernie Maxwell Trail, Idyllwild, CA

A Hike Along The Ernie Maxwell Trail, Idyllwild, CA
Small Waterfall

Small Waterfall

We are three weeks into 2015. I hope you have had a great start to this year. 2014 ended in difficulty for me, and 2015 shows no relief. I think to myself I’ve got 11 more months to make this a great year.

One of the things I find comforting is to take a walk in the woods. When I hear bird calls, water flowing, and the wind tickling the tops of the pines, every care melts away.

The Ernie Maxwell Trail

The Ernie Maxwell Trail

Yesterday, February 20, 2015 dawned as fabulous spring day in the middle of winter. The temperature was in the mid 60’s with light streaky clouds. I decided to wipe the cares off my shoulders and take a hike. The minute I stepped onto the Ernie Maxwell Trail in Idyllwild, CA, my senses became more refined and I started listening to my animal friends. The first thing I heard was the screech of a hawk high overhead. Then the chime of finches talking to each other took over. A chipmunk scurried across the path to get out of my way. I stopped to listen to the rhythm of the wind dance in the tree tops.

Chipmunk

Chipmunk

Looking closely, I revel in the colors of the forest. The rocks hold beautiful shades of pink, orange, yellow, tans and browns.

Boulder along the Ernie Maxwell Trail

Boulder along the Ernie Maxwell Trail

I feel as if I become part of nature while I am on these hikes rather than a human separate from it. I appreciate the land, water, and sky and say a silent thank you to mother nature for providing all of the elements people need to survive.

The forest that surrounds the Ernie Maxwell Trail

The forest that surrounds the Ernie Maxwell Trail

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Snow Days In Idyllwild, CA

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The road to my house after the snow plow came

The road to my house after the snow plow came

Last month, I was snowed in at my home in Idyllwild for two days. I was able to enjoy the coziness of my wood burning stove, home-made soup, and the entire 1st season of Homeland on DVD. No one was pressing me for work because the whole town stayed home too. Appointments were rescheduled and life slowed down.

National Forest at the end of my block.

National Forest at the end of my block.

Once there was a break between storms, I bundled up and ventured out to the National Forest at the end of my block. The views are always stunning. By the third day, when the storm completely passed, the temperature rose high enough to go snowshoeing in a T-shirt.

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Snowshoeing out Cowbell Alley.

These are the reasons I love any kind of weather. There is enjoyment in all four seasons, and fortunately, Idyllwild has them all.

If you are thinking of visiting Idyllwild, I have a great apartment vacation rental. Check it out on FlipKey.

 

A Walk Along The Cape Fear River Trail

Lone duck on a pond along the Cape Fear River Trail

Lone duck on a pond along the Cape Fear River Trail

Christmas Eve 2012. Time is our friend, but the weather is not. My husband and I decide to chance it and take a 4 mile walk along the Cape Fear River Trail in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The last time we attempted this, we got rained out. We are hoping mother nature will be calm for a couple of hours.

We begin at the Jordan Soccer Complex parking lot and walk past homes and forest. Not long into the walk is a beautiful pond. There are still ducks scattered along the shoreline.

A pond along the Cape Fear River Trail

A pond along the Cape Fear River Trail

The sky is gray and heavy, but no sign of rain yet. We continue on the trail and are treated to a gorgeous view of the river. In spring, summer, and fall, it is hidden by the trees and bushes. All of the leaves have fallen to the forest floor, so we can see through the branches to the softly rolling water.

A view of the Cape Fear River

A view of the Cape Fear river

Passing railroad tracks, an outhouse, and several hikers and runners, we approach a small waterfall and old bridge.

An old bridge along the Cape Fear River Trail

An old bridge along the Cape Fear River Trail

An hour into our walk, the sky deepens to a blue/purple/gray, and we smell rain in the future. We turn back at the 2 mile mark. I want to take some photos closer to the river bank, so we step off the path a few feet. There, laying on top of some leaves is an animal skull. It is too large for a squirrel. It has a long snout, so perhaps it is a skunk or opossum. It has been there for quite some time, but even so, there are a few strands of hair still attached.

An animal skull found in the woods along the bank.

An animal skull found in the woods along the bank.

We walk back to the car, and get in just in time. The sky coughs, then opens up and rain pelts down around us. We are dry, very well exercised, and ready for the Christmas Eve feast waiting at home.

To see a short video of the walk with more photos and video of the waterfall, click here to go to my You Tube channel.

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