Easter

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I hope you Easter weekend was filled with peace, love, joy, and gratitude. Hopefully you got to spend it with the special people that means the most in your life.

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I decided to have our Easter Egg Hunt indoors this year, and then spend the afternoon hiking. My daughter is not spoiled with material things. We live a rather minimalistic lifestyle. It was pure joy to hear her laughter, and see her surprised face, when she opened some eggs that had little toys in them, instead of candy. She did not expect that.

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She just couldn’t believe her eyes. She believes that the Easter Bunny is the one who brings the eggs. Naturally we had to write him thank you notes. We wrote them on balloons.

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She decided to bring two of her new toy animals on the hike later. She danced her way all the way up to Whiskeytown Falls. The trail is about 3miles out, and back. The way up to the falls is pretty steep on some places. The difficulty of the hike is rated as a moderate. We’ve done the hike many times before, it is a very beautiful hike.  This is just one of the four waterfalls in Whiskeytown National Recreational Area. Crystal Creek Falls, that I visited last in February this year, is close by.

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Picnic next to the falls. I usually try to time this hike when I know there won’t be so many other people on the trail. Yesterday there was a lot of people. Still beautiful though.

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My German Shepherd Gretchen was a little frustrated that she didn’t get to have any off leash time. I did walk next to the water, so that she could get in, she is crazy about swimming. She wasn’t quiet content with that. Dogs are allowed on this trail, but only on leash. Along with all the people we met, there was lots of dogs on the trail.

The hike back is mostly downhill, and it feels like a breeze after hiking up to the falls. My daughter initiated counting different things. Things we saw in nature, like lizards, and plants, and also things she were grateful for. Laughters and smiles dominated the weekend, something I am very grateful for.

Have a wonderful new week!

 

Love,

Ms Zen

Crystal Creek Falls

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On Sunday evening I craved a nature experience. Whiskeytown National Recreation Area was close by, so I suggested a spur off the moment visit. It’s a gorgeous 39 000 acres wilderness area, with over 70 miles of well maintained trails. I love hiking there, and enjoy this area quiet often.

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It has four amazing waterfalls. Neither are that challenging to get too. However, Crystal Creek Falls, the one we visited on Sunday, is by far the easiest. You can drive almost the whole way there. The “hike” is 1/4 mile one way. It was perfect for an unplanned visit, with limited time left off the day.

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That said, with a place that is so easy to get too, you can’t expect to have the place to yourself. We did have to wait a while, before the two families that got there before us, decided to move on. When there were no-one there I let Gretchen off leash for a few minutes, she was dying to get into the water. To her it doesn’t matter if it’s cold, she needs to jump in. She is usually a very quiet dog, (she only barks on command, or if attacked.) While waiting for our turn to enjoy the falls she sat next to me, longingly looked at the water and whined…and whined.. She was SO happy when I finally set her free, and told her to play.

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After visiting this waterfall last weekend (February 2018,) I was inspired to dig out a photo from last spring. To compare the water levels. This last photo was taken in April 2017.

This is the perfect place to visit if you’re just driving through, have a disabled, or elderly person in your party. Everyone can enjoy this beautiful waterfall. There’s picnic tables, plenty of parking, and clean restrooms. You do need a park permit. You can get that at the visitor center (daily/weekly/yearly permits available.) During our hot summers, this is still a good place to visit, the thick surrounding forest provides plenty of shade. If you want more solitude there’s plenty of other hikes nearby, that provides that. Further up the same road, there’s Whiskeytown Falls, that is a bigger 220ft waterfall, that also requires a little more effort to get there. It’s a 2.8 mile out and back hike, the way there is almost all uphill. It’s not too bad, my daughter have done that hikes many times, the first time she walked the whole way by herself she was 2,5 years old. It’s rated as a moderate hike in most hiking apps.

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Whiskeytown National Recreation Area Visitor Center

If you’re interested in visiting these waterfalls, or just enjoying the magnificent lake that this area is named after, I suggest visiting the visitor center first. It is a real nice visitor center, with knowledgeable friendly staff, and you need to get a permit anyways.

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Last Years Annual Park Pass

They usually have free maps off the area, and are more than willing to direct you to any place you may desire to see. This is the address to the visitor center:

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
14412 Kennedy Memorial Drive
Whiskeytown, CA 96095

 

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Whiskeytown Lake seen from the visitor centers parking lot. The waterfalls in this post is on the other side of the lake, only a short scenic drive away.

I truly hope you get to enjoy this area in person ❤

 

Love,

Ms Zen