Hiker at large

This week I did a couple of hikes at different sites to the north and west of Vacaville, California. One was the Brown’s Valley Open Space; the other was Lagoon Valley Park, just off I-80. Even though I normally prefer to hike in the cooler morning temperatures, I wound up cutting my exploration of the Brown’s Valley site very short — I made it to the top of the first hill and stayed there, enjoying the view for 30 minutes or so before heading back to the car. That was… not how I expected my morning to go down, and I was feeling pretty disappointed in myself as a hiker. It wasn’t until after I’d eaten some lunch and discovered a quiet trail in the northern part of Lagoon Valley Park that I hit my stride.

Brown’s Valley Open Space

So much open space!

Once I returned home and was going through the images on my cameras it finally dawned on me why I enjoyed my second hike of the day so much more than my first. The penny dropped when I looked at the photo below and was momentarily confused, wondering how one of my Folsom Lake pictures wound up in the Vacaville file.

Of course, when I looked closer it was obvious this image wasn’t shot at Folsom Lake. But the trail curving around the hill beneath oak trees is so familiar to me that, even if I didn’t notice while I was actually hiking there, I felt completely at home in a way I did not when I gazed down into the mostly treeless valley.

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