Three Sisters is a hiking destination about an hour and 20 min NE of SD, in Cleveland National Forest, which is kind of funny because there are not many trees. The “sisters” are pools of water, stepped below one another. When water is really flowing, there is a natural water slide one could ride between the two lower pools, but today the flow was a trickle, so no one tried it.
On the way we saw a snake:
Not a rattler, fortunately. We also saw lizards, birds, tadpoles, a squirrel, a wild turkey and a dog that was probably someone’s pet but resembled a coyote.
We got an early start, a little after 8. Temps were nice then. The trail began with a slight descent that eventually took us through a shady valley, where we saw poison oak along the trail. We’d been warned: thanks, Grandma.
The trail got a little technical as we neared the pools. There were some rocks to navigate. We came upon the first pool, and realized then there would be no swimming or sliding since the water was pretty low and stagnant. But it was still a nice place to sit and eat PB&J sandwiches.
We were able to make our way with the help of fixed ropes to an upper pool that was fed by a true, but low-flow, waterfall.
WordPress is telling me I don’t have the room to upload more pics, so that has to be it for now.
JJ had the day off, so we went for a hike at a small mountain nearby. We had to drop the van off for some service, and a guy at the dealer mentioned there was a loop trail we should try, that continued on from the summit but would take us back to the start. So we hiked up to the top and ventured beyond and down the far side of the mountain.
We saw a bunny. Later, we saw a snake. JJ said, “get a picture!” I said, “no way!” Here was our view as we descended down the far side of the mountain:
Although it was cloudy, the visibility was great. The lake is Sweetwater Reservoir, and beyond you can see downtown, Pt. Loma and the ocean. Also, note the MH-60R helicopters overhead. I actually know helicopters now.
Perspective was wonky, and it was difficult to see where the trail might take us. After we had descended quite a distance, we began questioning whether we were on the right trail. We decided to backtrack and venture up to find a trail that would take us across the side of the hill. After about an hour, our view looked like this:
Not much different. We continued heading upwards. It was really steep.
We eventually got back up to the summit, and decided it was best to just go down the way we’d come. Here’s looking back at the hill after we descended the final time. It doesn’t look that big, but as I said, perspective is wonky. You may see a woman in a blue top and black capris coming down about 1/2 way down the lower most prominent trail, to give you an idea. Or you may not.
Our 2.5 mile, 1 1/2 hour hike turned into 6.5 miles and 3 hours. At least we earned our breakfast burritos today. And our naps.
JJ had to go on a work trip, but the kids, dog and I hiked an out and back trail in a canyon about 15 minutes to the east. One thing about living on the edge of civilization; it doesn’t take long to get to the middle of nowhere.
Low and slow water ran through the canyon, feeding roots of live oaks that shaded the way.
This bench about a mile in made a good resting and turn-around spot. It was a short, flat, easy hike, but plenty of variety in landscape and views nonetheless. And no complaints.
I hiked with a couple friends today, and when we reached the peak (after a momentary crouch to avoid a swarm of bees) I was reminded of the other reward after the view this time of year – the butterflies. Last spring I hiked several nearby hills and found them flitting about at the top each time. Today, a couple shots came out okay, but none could compare to one I got last year, which is posted last here. I will blame it on the SoCal haze and keep trying.
Today we hiked a trail near Lake George with JJ’s cousin and her family. It was the perfect distance for a party ranging in age from 6 to 44 years, and allowed us to see sights including evergreen forest, stream, water fall, and Lake George itself.
I was reminded by visiting another blog that I can insert a slideshow into the post, so here it is (thank you Dino Alves!):
We treated ourselves to ice cream afterward, as all true outdoors people should. Although some of the pictures, particularly at the lake, were shot in HDR mode, the ice cream shot was the only one I edited. I cropped it in Photoshop Express, removed an ugly table display with Touch Retouch, and added some blur and vignetting in TiltShift Generator.