Upper Bidwell Park

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Spontaneous. That was Thursday night. Wednesday night had been a thunderstorm. Thursday was cloudy and cool, if not slightly muggy… there was adventure to be had.  More adventure than tacos on the couch and Office re-runs could offer. (Note: sometimes, tacos and re-watching episodes of The Office are exactly what this soul needs!) So Ryan grabbed his camera and his wife (that would be me) and we jumped in the car. (I don’t actually recommend jumping into a mid-sized sedan, there are complications that usually result in a head injury…but let’s just go with this for the spontaneous imagery it evokes.)

We strolled thru the Downtown Thursday Night Market. Bought a jar of local honey and a beautiful bouquet of flowers (happy birthday to our dear friend Becky!).  As the sun started to sink towards the horizon we set a course to Upper Bidwell Park. Feeling footloose and fancy free we took a road that we were pretty certain neither of us had ever been on… just to see where it took us!  If you have the time or inclination I highly recommend taking an unfamiliar road. We rolled our windows down and breathed in the damp velvety scent of lush, wild landscaping floating in balmy air. Skirting along the north-west side of Lower Bidwell Park we saw a bunch of beautiful old houses with pillars, or porches and white picket fences. Our detour dropped us out near Hooker Oak Park and we made our way to the parking lot by Horseshoe Lake.  There were more than a few amateur anglers lining the marshy waters edge, each with a line disappearing into the murk… are there fish to be had here? There must be… Ryan pointed to a ridge on the opposite side of the lake and as the sun dipped lower we hustled past multiple sets of adults laden with aluminum framed camping chairs and brown paper bags full of chips and juice as children orbited them like inebriated bumblebees.  We eschewed the main trail in favor of speed and scrambled straight up the side of the hill. Dodging poison oak and manzanita scrub we summited in about five minutes, breathing a little bit harder, and smelling a bit more of sweat, rewarded with this spectacular adventure in light.

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