Santa Clarita, California
Ezra saw his doctor and got the necessary antibiotics for his sinus infection, Tessa spent an afternoon getting her teeth super-cleaned, and Bill and I both went in for our dental appointments. Everybody's all good now :-)
With near perfect weather, and the area draped in intense Spring green, we got out a few times to enjoy the beautiful hillsides.
|The road to Lake Piru|
|One of dozens of colorful hillsides - such a beautiful Spring!|
|We're surprised to see Lake Piru still fairly low.|
|Entrances to one of the many ranches|
|in full bloom.|
|We explored for a bit, looking for treasures washed down from the mountains. Nada.....|
|Some water continues to flow, but nothing compared to what was clearly a deep, fast and destructive flood here.|
|The day use area is closed for now.|
|We couldn't figure out what this bright white "thing" on the top of the hill was until I uploaded the pic. The remains of a burned palm tree.|
|The huge oak trees took a battering from the flood, and were close to the fire line, but most look hardy and healthy today.|
|Mommy really makes him smile.|
Although we learn in history class that gold was discovered in 1848 near Sutter's Creek in the northern part of California, it was actually first found right here in Santa Clarita. Specifically, by Francisco Lopez in 1842. His story goes that he was dreaming of being wealthy while sleeping beneath an oak tree in Placerita Canyon. He woke to dig up onions beneath the tree and found gold stuck among the roots. Over 200 gold hunters came to the area in search of riches.
This was a Mexican territory at the time and not big news for Americans. Several years later, the first oil in California was also found in the area - a rare white oil that burned much cleaner, but that soon ran out. It's fun to learn the rich history of our old hometown!
The Placerita Canyon Nature Center was spared major damage, but the grounds are being cleared of debris and trails are being reinforced. Francisco's oak tree is protected here, and a small interpretive center educates local schools on the flora and fauna of the area.
|The Botany Trail meanders around the center.|
|Artifacts of the Tatavian Tribe date back to 450 A.D. They lived in multi-layered huts like this one. So many orbs in this little shelter!|
|The trail to the Oak of the Golden Dream passes under the highway. Thick mud and water about a foot deep fills the trail.|
|Got the chance to test the water-proofness of my Keene's. They passed :-)))|
|The original murals sustained some damage in the flood, but most of the rich colors and lovely detail remain in tact.|
|The location of California's first gold find.|
|It's hard to find the beginning of this one.|
|Every straw is a Jedi sword. Raising him right!|
|Oh this little boy.|
And yes, the movie is wonderful. I want to go see it again!
|Jillian and Jodee in our cool shirts.|
Daddy hides with him behind a bush and they jump out to "scare" mommy and grandma. Hearing him giggling in anticipation is priceless. He signs "more" then signs "scary" and "tickle" to indicate it's scaring that is fun. Soooo smart, already figuring out how words work together.
|In the little town of Agua Dulce, off Highway 14|
|Lots of people up on the high points of the many out-croppings|
|leaving the trails fairly empty - nice.|
|Ezra loves getting up on top - in his sweet hiking boots.|
|His "real" light saber and Jedi hood.|
|Brian, Ezra and Shalise|
|Ezra hiking solo.|
|Yes, he knows stuff we don't......|
|The sunny skies|
|turn to gray with cold winds.|
Back home we start getting ready for Sunday's BBQ with the rest of the family.