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Published: September 8th 2018
Luckily, after waking up this morning at 3, I was able to get to sleep again and woke up at a more culturally acceptable time. Tali and Noah were getting the kids ready for school and Tamar was just getting up as well. Coffee was definitely in order!
After we got the kids to school we prepared for our hike. It would be just Noah, Tamar and I. Oh, and Joker too. So we prepared sandwiches, got water and off we went. The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is only about a half hour drive from Noah's place.
We got to the reserve and parked. At the entrance to the park there's a fire hazard meter, set to High. We don't see those at home! At the entrance to the trail there's a whole set of signs with explanations on the place, about coexisting with coyotes and the rules and regulations of the reserve. All about the opening hours and how you'll be trespassing if you come early, about how your dog should be on a leash at all times and on and on. Americans really like their rules! So we followed the rules and started up the 'Way Up'
trail. Seemed to make sense to go up the hill on the 'Way Up' trail. All along the way were signs reminding us to keep the dog on a leash. I guess some people need to be reminded of that frequently.
All along the way we saw some great views of the mountains and valleys, and lots of vegetation. Mostly low bushes and dry brush, very different from home. We stopped a few times to rest and cool off along the way, as it got really hot! At the top of the hill there's a picnic area with tables, shade trees and water. There's even a bike repair post with a variety of tools, even a bike pump! And from the picnic area there's a view to the Olivenhain dam & reservoir. So we stopped for a snack and a drink there, refilled our water bottles, and enjoyed the view of the lake up in the hills. It really is a lovely view. The deep blue lake surrounded by the browns and greens of the hills and the dam to the right holding in the water, with the clear blue sky above.
We continued along one of the
trails for a little farther before deciding to turn back.
At some point down the trail Joker decided he'd had enough and lay down in the shade of a bush. I guess he was hot, and maybe his feet were starting to burn. So we gave him some water and splashed some on him to cool him off. Then Noah carried him the rest of the way down. Lucky he's a Jack Russel terrier and not a labrador!
Along the way down there's a turnoff to the Botanical Trail, so we took that. There are several signs pointing out the different plants and trees along the way, with some explanations of each. Very informative, even though nothing is flowering now. Wrong time of year. The trail down is a little steep at times, but eventually it leads through some taller trees, more shade and even crosses a stream. We stopped at the crossing where Joker splashed in the water a bit. I don't know if it was intentional or if he just slipped, but he felt much better after cooling off in the stream!
We saw some dragonflies, a few fish and even some ducks in the
stream. From there it was just a short walk back to the car. We loaded up and headed back home. Joker crashed almost immediately and Tamar followed soon after.
Along the way we saw a very Jewish Tesla. So funny!
We got back in the early afternoon, and after a rest Noah and I went to play some soccer with Eldad. Maor and Tamar joined soon after with Milli in tow and we all spent some time together.
We're back now, relaxing and getting ready for our Friday supper. I think I'd better go shower...
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