caryn hewlett

adventuress. photographer. writer.

New Year’s Adventures | January 2021

Happy New Year! It’s finally 2021, and after what seems like the longest year ever, I am hopeful for what is to come in this new year: vaccines, friends, and adventures.

It was a bit odd to start this year of uncertainty with any resolutions, so instead I made an intention that I should hopefully be able to keep: I want to complete 52 hikes this year.

They don’t need to be long, but my first hike definitely was! I had decided I wanted to go to one of the few waterfalls in Santa Cruz county on they first of the year, so my husband and I headed out to the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park to try to find it.

Unfortunately, the parking lot was full when we arrived so we ended up adding a couple miles each way to our hike just trying to get to the trailhead!

We were surrounded by the beauty of the redwoods after a rainstorm. There were mushrooms and funghi everywhere and so much to stop and look at. We crossed a creek and ran our hands through sword ferns, and we managed somehow to turn right at the wrong fork and got a little lost.

We ended up not finding the waterfall that day, but we know which way to go next time we try and we ended up stumbling upon the epicenter of the Loma Prieta earthquake, which was a pretty cool discovery!

On our long hike back out of the park, we had a moment of fear as we heard the thunderous crack of a giant branch above our heads. We grabbed onto each other and ran, looking up as the branch fell to where we had just been. The people around us yelled to see if we were okay, which we were, luckily. It was a reminder to be mindful of what’s happening around you in nature – because anything could happen!

All in all, we ended up hiking 15 miles (whoops) and had a lovely time exploring the muddy forest and all its splendor.

Hike 1/52 complete.

Where should we hike next?

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