Mission peak – Take 2

I sure hope there are at least a couple more takes of this hike which goes to say we didn’t make it to the summit this time either. We took sometime to research jogging strollers and ended up getting one. So this weekend we tried to hike up the mission peak with the baby in the stroller. The weather was relatively cool and we were all revved up to do better than last time. I kept telling my husband that my only wish was to somehow get to the second marker bench which would at least be the midpoint from the start to the top. Going uphill made no difference to me either way coz I neither carried the baby backpack last time nor pushed the baby stroller this time. But boy oh boy I realized that resolution and will power will only take you so far, beyond that you need physical endurance which tragically I do not possess. By the time we reached the first bench, I thought we were going right back but to my surprise my husband kept pushing forward like a maniac. He really wanted to turn my stupid wish true. The path beyond the first bench was more winding, steeper and rougher but also alluring and even a tad bit shadier. My husband actually begged to stop in the shade once. That was when he declared that carrying the backpack had felt better than pushing the stroller. I tried pushing it to give my husband a few seconds of respite but soon gave up. When the second bench finally came in sight, I was glad we made it. The view was breathtaking! Blue waters from the bay, green velvety rolling hills and open blue skies, not to mention the wonderfully cool spring weather. I have every intention to make it to the third and eventually to the final bench as well. Now, I certainly believe persistence is key and that mental stamina charges you to push your physical strengths. With this new-found philosophy, I do hope to make it to the top soon!

View from the second bench as taken from our cell phone!

Mission peak – Take 1

After two beautiful lakeside picnics, we decided its time we challenged ourselves and decided to hike the mission peak this past weekend.

We got ourselves a baby backpack carrier and started our journey at about 10 in the morning. Daddy carried him uphill and mommy downhill. The hike was beeeeeautiful, well actually the locale was beautiful the hike not so much. The hike was exhausting to say the least. I realized I had the stamina of an 8 year old. The distance from the start to the summit is apparently marked by 4 equally spaced benches or so I heard from other hikers. I wouldn’t know coz we never did make it to the summit. By the time we reached the first bench huffing and panting, I was ready to go back. Baby was fast asleep. We stopped for a bit, took a gulp of water from our bottles, made a quick backpack transfer from the husband’s back to mine and headed back. Going downhill was at least 5 times easier than going uphill.
The trail in itself is beautiful. Its just acres and acres of grass covered terrain splattered with trees and a silent creek flowing nearby. Its a pretty steep hike so even from our first check point (the bench), we got a pretty good view of the city and the bay. The path is mostly unshaded so unless the weather’s really good only morning or midmorning hikes are recommended. Carry your own water and snacks and please wear shoes with good traction coz the trail does get slippery at times especially when you’re going downhill. I still have a long way to go before I can call myself fit but my goal is to be able to hike to the summit one of these days. As they say ‘baby steps’, our next week’s target is to try and hike upto the second bench.
Lesson learnt: maybe the baby backpack carrier is not such a great idea, especially since the baby is only going to get heavier. Would an all terrain stroller be a better investment? With the added benefit of using the stroller storage to carry water bottles and snack packs, an all terrain stroller is definitely worth thinking about!

My husband J with the little one in the backpack!

Lake Del Val

Encouraged by the success of our first picnic, we planned another one this weekend. I am surprised that after all my talk about us being outdoorsy, we weren’t even aware of this beautiful place. The drive to the state park is simply breathtaking. The only other drives that had captivated me so much were the ones to Stinson beach and to Mt. Tamalpais. Its just mounds and mounds of greenery all over and somewhere in the middle a big body of soothing blue water. Lake del val is truly a jewel of a place. It is so cut off from the city and traffic and highways that you get an unobstructed unpolluted view of nature in all its resplendence.
Once we got there we parked and chose to spread our blanket under a tree rather than sit on a bench. We chomped away on our kebabs, rotis and salad while baby had his puréed veggies and fruits. Fruit yogurt for dessert and some cookies and hot chai latte (brewed at home and carried in a thermos) for snack time completed our picnic hamper. Lazing under the dappled shade of trees, giggling and fooling around with our precious boy, long meaningful conversations with each other made our picnic that much more beautiful.

Since I couldn

Lake Chabot – East Bay Hills

Now that sonny boy is close to being 9 months old, we decided its time he learnt to appreciate and enjoy being outdoors as much as we do. My husband and I, we both love being outside. Saturday mornings are especially reserved for drives to the beaches, mountains, parks, trails or woods. This weekend, We decided we’d picnic at Lake Chabot. For those who have never been there, let me tell you its one awesome place to fish, hike, camp or just picnic with your family. The trails are simply beautiful.The trail we followed was alongside the lake all the way through. As we kept walking up the path, steps lead down to little fishing decks that jutted onto the lake. The weather was perfect, bright sunny and breezy. Our stroller’s not really trail friendly so we walked only about half a mile and found the most picturesque picnic spot. It was just a nice clean bench in the shade of a couple trees. A few feet beyond the roots of the trees, the land sloped to join the lake and here there was another small bench. All this place lacked was a hammock.
For his first picnic, baby had a remarkably good time. We took lots of pictures, we even had a tripod so got some awesome family shots. All in all we had a glorious day. I am hoping this is the first of several more such amazing trips with my boys.

at the bench by the lake