My absolutely amazing father Jim Hacker describes the day he almost died in the wilderness of frozen Sierras while snowshoeing. For the El Dorado National Forest Interpretive Association (for whom he volunteers).
Originally posted here.
A couple of months ago, a neighbor in the middle of a house remodel stacked a ton of wood in his driveway, free for the taking.
I’d been thinking our coffee table was long-in-the-tooth — legs squeaked every time we touched it, and not very mobile – wouldn’t it be great to have it on casters so we could wheel it out of the way to play Kinect games?
Decided to have a go at building some furniture.
After a couple rides on the bunny hill, Miles and I ventured up a longer lift, where M promptly took a wrong turn and headed down a hill he wasn’t ready for and took off like a bat out of hell. Doing his full pizza, but running on the edge of control. I was scared as hell, but he held it together!
We call the Havey Canyon Trail (hills above Berkeley, CA) hike our “reverse” hike because it starts at the top of a valley, descends quickly and steeply into Wildcat Canyon, then slowly up the other side of the canyon. Coming back, you end your hike with a major steep climb (most hikes start at the base of a hill, and you end by coming down).
The elevation map ends up looking kind of crazy.
Wonderful evening out with Amy, Miles and a friend doing this regular favorite of ours. Just four miles round-trip, but pretty strenuous on account of all the up/down.
The kids had a great time talking their way through an imaginary “Hunger Games” type world/scenario (they were from the “poison” district).
Feeling sad now because my dear Aunt Ellie passed away today, surrounded by her children and family. As a child, my brother and I spent many summer weeks at her house, being inspired by her kindness and cheer. She was a rock for the ages – a tireless mother of seven who dedicated the last few decades to the library where she served her community.
This evening, Miles and I hiked up into the El Cerrito hills, where we found a stand of eucalyptus at sunset. I said my farewell to Aunt Ellie through tears, thanked her for life, and offered blessings for her journey. Miles said he had never seen me cry before, and we walked back down the hill in silence.
Thank you, Eleanor Hastings, for all of your wonderful years. You will be sorely missed.
Aunt Ellie’s obituary in the San Jose Mercury News.
A while ago, Miles and I discovered that the fire road leading from Little Farm in the Berkeley Hills led all the way to Alvarado Park (a wonderful old WPA park) in Richmond, near his school – around seven miles through winding, rolling hills. After working out a detour for the section that doesn’t allow bikes, invited a bunch of parents and their kids to gather for a multi-family ride, which happened yesterday in absolutely gorgeous post-Thanskgiving weather.
Generally downhill on the way there, generally uphill on the way back, kids only had to get off and push a couple of times – was so proud of them for having the gumption to go for it and complete the 14-mile RT. Wildcat Canyon Trail still a bit muddy from recent rains, but getting mud stripes up our backs just added to the fun. Such a fantastic way to start the day, and way more fun than fighting crowds in the Black Friday scene.
None of my photos came out that great, but did manage to capture a usable GPS track. Here’s the live version.
Group photo by Rachel Hollowgrass:
Miles went “Hobo Classic” this Halloween – every kid has to do it at least once (rite of passage?) Here’s the mean-face version.
Only a hobo…
Friend Joshua Glenn has co-authored a great-looking book for parents and families of turned-on kids:
Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun: Elizabeth Foy Larsen,Joshua Glenn,Tony Leone,Heather Kasunick,Mister Reusch,Mark Frauenfelder: 9781608196418: Amazon.com: Books
Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun [Elizabeth Foy Larsen,Joshua Glenn,Tony Leone,Heather Kasunick,Mister Reusch,Mark Frauenfelder] on Amazon.com. *FREE* super saver shipping on qualifyi…
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Found yesterday in Miles’ fort. If I can find a good way to remove the wasps safely without getting stung, planning to take it down and turn it into a night light.
Hornet nest (?) found in Miles’ fort!
Two hours of ukulele and another fantastic hike with family on the Havey Canyon Trail, El Cerrito Hills. Caught this amazing cluster of thistles trapping all of their own fluff, which had blown off in recent winds. The fluff glows when afternoon sun filters through it.
Two houses of ukulele and a great hike. Thistle fluff on a lovely Sunday.