One recent day after work, I drive with my backpacking pal Wild Bill to a favorite hiking spot — 10 minutes from our neighborhood. We parked his car by a horse hitching post and headed down the river trail in Russian Gulch State Park in Northern California.
A mile and 15 minutes down the trail we reached Russian Gulch Waterfall, gushing rainwater from recent storms.
We stood there silently looking at this 50-foot high beauty surrounded by misty redwoods.
I broke the silence and told Bill that with snow levels at half their normal level, we ought to be able to get into California mountain wilderness areas as early as June.
Says Bill, “You realize we live 10 minutes from this waterfall and redwood forest and we’re talking about getting away?”
I looked around and marveled at my surroundings. Twenty minutes later we sat at his house, perched above the ocean, watching the sunset and talking about our summer trips. Of course, we did, spring will be here soon and the wilderness is calling to us and it’s not too soon to plan.
Be safe. Be light. Be one with the pack.