The weather was perfect for t-shirts and jeans, excellent hiking weather. First we went on a fairly short "educational" hike, where we learned some stuff about nature. We tried to be good environmentalists and stay on the path, but it was very challenging. The trees were just calling us to come, play, explore. So I admit we did go check out a few.
It was fascinating, a lot of the trees had been damaged by fire during their thousand-some-year existance. A lot of the bottoms were completely hollowed out, with gaping caves the size of my college dorm room, but the trees continued living and growing despite this.
Next we had a little lunch, then we went on a longer hike, about 3 miles. Here we saw many more redwoods, a little waterfall, and a "slippery rock". The slippery rock had a memorial, which concerned us, but it turned out to not be a memorial to the souls who'd lost their lives sliding off slippery rock.
This hike ended as dark was falling, so we drove back down the long winding road off the mountain.
Later that evening we had a fabulously huge meal at La Fondue in Saratoga. Charming decorations, and positively wonderful food!
I did have one unfortunate mishap yesterday. After lunch I was heading to the bathroom. I set down my waterbottle and, turning away, my arm swung down and hit my leg. I felt something caught between my hand and leg, then little crawly insect legs clinging to my hand. I quickly started to shake my hand, but before I could I felt a sharp stinging pain in my palm.
I looked at my hand and there was a bee stinger, still embedded in the fleshy part of my palm just under where the index and middle finger begin. The bee was gone, but there was still part of a bee-butt attached to the stinger. Also, in one of the more disgusting things I've ever seen, the bee butt was still wiggling back and forth.
It was in my right hand, and I am right-handed. I didn't want to accidentally break off the stinger, so I asked K if she could remove it for me. She was a little worried though, because she thinks she may be allergic, so she didn't want to touch it. She tried pulling it out with a leaf, but that wasn't working. So we wandered off to find SGT. After looking around for a few moments we found him, and he successfully extricated the stinger from my hand. My hero!
Fortunately I am not allergic, so it wasn't a big problem. My hand got fairly puffy, but I kept it elevated and it didn't bother me too much during our hike. Today the top of my palm (and even a little bit on the back of my hand!) is still somewhat swollen, and it hurts to move my index finger much. But it's getting better. I'm glad it happened at the beginning of the trip, because I'm not sure how easy synchro would be...grabbing or holding things is still pretty painful! Good thing I've got several days to heal.
We decided afterward that every adventure needs at least one injury to be exciting though, so I was just the one to take the fall for the group. That's okay: one bee sting is a fair trade for a day of such fun!