I celebrated July 4th by taking a hike along one of my favorite Lake Natoma trails. There are quite a few spots with overgrown weeds and berry bushes as well as poison oak; I had to negotiate fallen trees and trail damage from last winter’s storms. I rarely meet anyone else on the trail, and this morning I had it all to myself except for a couple of trout fisherman at the far end. I’m sure later on in the full heat of the day, Negro Bar State Park will be bustling with kayakers, swimmers, picnickers, and sunseekers. But just for this brief moment, it was peaceful and cool.