Thursday 16 April 2009

A quest for wildflowers

An active fun-filled outdoorsy weekend. Just the kind I like. Some days ago, I planned a weekend excursion to see wildflowers. I see them everywhere now in the city, noddling their colourful heads in the breeze. They look so pretty and alluring that I started getting visions of flower-strewn wilds a la the Yash Chopra flicks. I researched online and asked around some, and found out that the best place to see spring wildflowers, was the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve near Palo Alto. So I asked S's second cousin and his wife if they would like to come, got everyone excited about seeing thousands and thousands of flowers, and off we went on Saturday morning.
45 minutes and a long winding drive later, we were there. And ahem. Not a hint of flowers anywhere. Plus it was windy and cold. Brrr. I was getting dagger-like looks from everybody including S for having dragged them to this god-forsaken place. But we gamely started hiking the Ridge Trail, which was a moderate 1.5 mile hike designed to show us the best views of errr.....wildflowers. The trail was pretty typical, lots of greenery all around and the trees forming a thick canopy over our heads. Less than half a mile of this and abruptly the scenery changed. The trees fell away, disclosing verdant green slopes falling away steeply into a valley, and blue hills in the distance. Breathtaking. The wildflowers were there and they were very pretty but we probably jumped the gun and came early in the season so we didn't see as many as we could have. But the sun came out, the exercise kept us warm and the beauty of the countryside warmed us some more. Ads was very good about walking all that way uphill and I felt proud of myself for doing the same with a 16-lb baby strapped to my front. We had a picnic lunch half-way up the trail. We could have hiked the entire trail at the end of which we were supposed to be able to see the SF Bay and the Pacific ocean, but Ads was getting tired so we never made it that far.
On Sunday, we had a date at Shoreline park in Mountain View with some more relatives. They have a large lake and Ads had fun putting on a life vest and paddling in the boat. A relaxed ending to a very nice weekend.

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