[do not feed the goats...seriously]
[a happy goat eating to its little heart's content]
[mike on the trail with his new found hiking stick]
[our hiking sticks waiting at the trail's head for 2 new nice people to use them to fend off any vermits]
So I'm sure I've said once or twice, but Mike and I really think the gem of the East Bay is Tilden Park. It is such an oasis in the midst of suburban living.
A few Saturdays ago, we spent the afternoon hiking. We chose a trail that overlooked the Tilden Golf course, which was great because we were at a much higher elevation so we could enjoy the views of the golf course and a nice nature trail, AND as a bonus, we were still able to hear the golfers yell, "Fore!" One could say it was a nice juxtaposition between city golf course and remote nature preserve. I would say that I'm reading a new book (Heartbreaking work of a staggering genius, this book deserves its own post when I'm finished but the family in the book lives just outside of Tilden Park, so it's a great read for a girl like me.) that uses a lot of big words like juxtaposition and I wanted to use it myself. We saw one snake, luckily it was about 6 inches long and without a rattle, but it still scared the bejesus out of me. Neither one of us like being approached by legless animals, so we kept our hiking sticks close at hand to fend off any critters.
Once we completed the trek - which was all on a service road because the path that we thought about taking back was overgrown with poison oak. Now, I've never experienced poison oak or poison ivy, but I saw leaves of three, so I let them be, as the saying goes.
After the hike, we made our way (by car) to Lake Anza - it's all in the same park, but it's a BIG park. Lake Anza is the first real lake other than the man-made ponds or reservoirs I've seen on the East Bay. It was nice and felt a lot like home to walk around a lake for a change. There's a large green space next to the large free parking area, which = hippie haven. We had a surprise on the way in of the natural lawn mowing area of goats and sheep. We can't quite figure out why a nature preserve that most likely wouldn't mow a steep incline anyways, would need to have goats and sheep maintain the grass at a management length, but this is California and we are having a budget crisis...