Last of the Giants…

…at least for now.

Chillin' at the foot of the Giants

When we visit the cabin, we often like to hike the Columns of the Giants trail in the Stanislaus National Forest. It’s not a difficult trail, which is why we are able to lure Ian on it with the promise of snacks at the glacier. Not that we see the glacier at the end of the trail. But we can sit in a little well scooped out of the rocks that lets us feel the cold of the glacier. Even in the height of summer.

Though we’ve been many times before, this latest trip at the end of June was different in that there was both a first and last element to it. The First had to do with the discovery of naturally colored Jelly Bellies at Andy’s Mountain Deli where we ate breakfast. Ian was so excited, we let him purchase the magic beans himself. Megan was excited that the existence of natural JB’s means I’m now willing to take the kids on the JB factory tour that all her friends have taken.

The Last has to do with the makeup of the trail itself. This trail has always been billed as disability friendly. For us, it is due to non-strenuous and short climbs that we can get Ian “bribed” into taking. But for those in wheelchairs, there are some tricky spots. And I have no idea how they’d get to feel the glacier, which is the big selling point of the trail. Upon arrival this time, we weren’t sure we’d be going on the hike at all. A big sign said the trail was closed due to construction and listed wheelchair-friendly improvements underway. When we looked at the dates, we realized they must be getting a late start and hiked it anyway. We are all wondering what the paving of the trail will mean for both the sensory experience of the place and the wildflowers that currently grow along the edge of the gravel trail. But we explained to the kids the importance of having at least some trails that everyone can visit.

To see more photos from this trip, including photos of the wildflowers and the river rushing higher than we’ve ever seen, visit my Columns of the Giants photos on Flickr.


Quotes of the Day:

Ian: When can I have another piece of All-Natural Jelly Belly Superfruit Mix?

Megan: Hold still Mom. This time I’m taking YOUR picture.

BTW, Megan took the video footage that makes up the background of this chapbook trailer:


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