Dan and Hannah’s Bunion Surgery – Part Deux

As driving partners in the Bunion 500 for Foot Health, Hannah and her surgeon Dr. Juris are, in the far turn, pulling away from her pathetic little right foot bunion.  Her bunion seems ready to wave the white flag.

Let’s back up, despite how much fun I’m having with the racing metaphor.

On May 13, 2020 Hannah had bunion surgery on her right foot at the Scarborough (Maine) Surgical Center as a day patient.  Both walker and crutches proved beneficial for her rehab.

Bunion2 Hannah with boot

During her first five days, the crutches were valuable in getting up and down the one step from our living room to our outside deck or maneuvering through the small doorway from our bed to the bathroom.  On the other hand, the walker was easier on her arms and wrists as she navigated around the dining room/kitchen area; though it was cumbersome in the hallway turns of our quirky home.  Though, for steadying herself in the shower, the walker takes the pole position!

In time, the crutches threw a piston and crashed into the far wall as they hurt her hands.  Fortunately, five days after surgery, she was put in a walking boot.

Scooting around effortlessly, Hannah regularly rocks seven to eight thousand steps on her Fitbit.  You just can’t keep a good woman down for a long pitstop.

Bunion2 the walking boot

Even so, she is revving her engine in neutral ready to walk with me on the beaches of York and Ogunquit as well as bike our country roads to Mount Agamenticus together.

Hannah did take the recommended Naproxen every twelve hours for the first two and a half days.  But what about the narcotic, Oxycodone, the calling card of opiate abuse?  Hannah was advised to keep ahead of the pain.  So she took a half tablet the first night, then the next morning another half to stay ahead of the pain, even though she felt no pain.

Wondering, then calling the good Dr. Juris, she learned from him to take only the Oxy if she needed it.  She didn’t need it; it wasn’t that she toughed it out, she just didn’t have the pain.

A little later the following week she was slacking by not elevating her foot often enough. She paid the price of some throbbing briefly in the night that went away with her return to elevating, elevating, elevating.

Bunion2 Portland Foot and Ankle

Just two days ago (May 28, 2020) at her second post op appointment at Portland Foot and Ankle, Hannah had the surgical sutures removed (yes, they were painful to even our kids’ tough mother).  For the first time, she saw the five inch surgical scar from the bunionectomy.  Still, she has four to six more weeks of rehab of circling the damn track.

With the warmth of the May sun, friends have stopped by for coffee or tea on our front deck.  People who stayed for an hour or so helped beat the tediousness of being basically quarantined times two!  (Both bunion rehab and Covid-19.)  Others dropped off dinner knowing my culinary skills are limited to take-out chicken burritos from Loco Coco’s Tacos in nearby Kittery.

She’s doing well, ready to take the checkered flag and cruise down victory lane.

Metaphor complete!

Dan’s Apacheta – The Burden of Winning KGUA #6

KGUA icon

For this week’s writing prompt for KGUA Monday Morning Writers’ Hour, the curators take us south of the border for Apacheta.

Apacheta is an Inca folklore ritual, which translates into “the source of where the flow begins.” Rocks are sacred to the Inca people. Apacheta is the act of placing a burden in a rock and taking it to a summit. Often placed with others by others your stone is left behind with the burden you placed inside of it. Then you go forward. The burden stays behind with the memory of the burden in the rock.  What burden would you place in a rock and leave behind?

The Burden of Winning

I take the rock of winning to the mountaintop and leave it to be weathered, worn, and kicked to the curb.  For too long, my focus on winning has been a yoke that crushes my spirit.

Burden tennis racket

I played Division III college tennis when wood rackets were in vogue and the metal Wilson T-2000 was a breakthrough technology.  I felt the pressure to win which sapped my joy of playing.  Our coach’s stated belief was “If you won, you played well.  If you lost, you played poorly.”

When we lost, as we often did at Oberlin, we would get McDonalds for our meal on the way back to campus.  If we won, as we would regularly do versus Hiram, we got steaks at TJ’s in downtown Wooster.  Any athlete knows the coach’s mantra was usually the polar opposite of reality.  Better players often bring out the best in my play even though I may lose.  Playing a weak player makes me lazy, unchallenged, and complacent.

After college, I gave up tennis.  Set it on a chunk of ice, and let it drift away, never to be seen again.

I became a runner of modest talents, competing against myself since winning any 10K race was out of the question.  I ran for thirty years.  Then my knees said no mas, so rather than returning to tennis, I chose hiking.  Again, winning the hike was not even on the table.  I hike for the comradery and the regular doses of Vitamin N (Nature).

Burden ping pong

Thanks to a friend who is an excellent player and a Zen master of the table, I have learned much while playing weekly ping pong with him for ten years.  Yes, we keep score.  Yes, I know if I’ve won more than I’ve lost.  But when the pressure of winning starts to creep in and define my happiness, I am learning to focus on my small victories within the game.  Getting my serve in all the time.  Tracking the ball when he serves.  Playing loose and aggressive by whipping my topspin backhand crosscourt come rain or shine.

No matter the outcome, we know how lucky we are to be able to just play, and we always end with a cold beer.

A cold beer with a good friend beats winning anytime.

Dan and Pickleballers in Santa Barbara, California

While Hannah and I hike regularly during our winter two months in Santa Barbara, we also pickle three to four times per week.  Today, I introduce four of the good guys at the pickleball courts.

Pick map

Ten miles from our home away from home to the courts

Pick Tim 2

Tim in the safari hat and blue tee shirt

Let’s start with Tim.  Hailing from Virginia and here for the winter, he and I come to the courts in Santa Barbara as the outsiders.  Many times Tim makes a point of seeking me out as a playing partner.  His power, delicate touch, good humor, and the fact that he doesn’t take himself too seriously make him an ideal partner.  Though we win more than we lose, it’s always a good time with Tim.

After our last pickleball morning before we return for home in Maine, Tim makes a point to come to wish me well.  He then seeks out Hannah on another court to bid her farewell, and says, Take care of the old man.

Pick Bill

Then there’s Bill.  After one enjoyable morning of teaming on the pickleball courts of Santa Barbara, Bill offers up, why don’t we “catch dinner” together with our wives.  Not exactly sure what that means, we invite them to our place in Carpinteria for drinks, dinner, and cards.  Our Sunday night becomes one of the peak moments of our winter stay as we laugh throughout the evening over getting-to-know-you conversation and then conclude the evening with a spirited game of Mormon Bridge.

Pick Werlins with H

Bill and Claudia with Hannah at the Frog Wall in Santa Barbara

The following week, Bill and I play as partners all morning long, building on our growing friendship.  Three days before Hannah and I leave for home in Maine, Bill and Claudia have us to their place for lunch, followed by a surprise trip to the Frog Wall in Santa Barbara.  We have a home away from home.  And Hannah has plans for a Frog Wall in York.

Jerry makes three.  Though we only partnered up on two mornings at the end of our stay, he made an indelible impression with his encouragement and confidence in my play.

Pick SB logo

You see, I can be a fish out of water. I play the soft game; by that I mean I hit softer third shots over the net and dink to slow down the play; I’m waiting for an opportunity for my partner or me to pounce on a high return.  At Santa Barbara Pickleball, power is the name of the game for so many of the top players.  Slam, bam, thank you ma’am.  They are bangers.  Without subtly, they crush the ball and often leave me in their wake.  I tire of points being over so quickly; either they pummel me or miss wildly.

Jerry is different.  As an elite player, he values and celebrates our soft games.  With some deftness, he and I beat some top opponents and narrowly lose to others.  But Jerry is constant in encouraging me to keep hitting my low soft balls over the net.  Self-deprecating himself, he pumps me up especially when we play games where I am clearly the weakest of the four players.  He sees the best in me.

Pick Sal

Sal in the blue shirt rocketing a winning return

And lastly Sal.  Everyone knows Sal with his effervescent personality.  With his welcoming way and daily presence on the courts, he is a bridge to all the advanced players.  Sal hits with power, plays the soft third shot, and good-naturedly moans about missing a shot, all in good fun.

At Santa Barbara Pickleball, if players win, they stay on the court for the next opponents.  On one morning, I have just won a game with another player.  We as a team move to another court to play, when that player calls out, Sal let’s play.   Clearly that is against protocol since I just won. Sal turns and says, You won with Dan.  It’s his turn to play.  It may have been an innocent mistake on the other player’s part, but what I appreciate is that Sal stepped up.   He could have let it slide, but he didn’t.  He was looking out for me.

I want to take something from each of them to be a better version of myself.  From Tim, let another know that they make a difference; from Bill, go for it and reach out to others; from Jerry, speaking up and be relentlessly encouraging; and from Sal, look out for the quieter ones so they don’t get lost in the shuffle of more aggressive players.

There have been others of note – Bonnie, Matt, Alistair, Paula, Ben, Andres, David, Paul, and Craig who were decent to me as well as excellent pickleballers.  I look forward to returning in 2021.

Pick H serving

My number one squeeze, Hannah serves in the far court.

Dan and His Bike Come to an Understanding – KGUA radio #5

KGUA icon 2

Today’s prompt for the KGUA (radio Gualala, California – 150 miles north of San Francisco) Monday Morning Writer’s Hour is to choose an inanimate object.  Write the story or a story about the object.  POV (point of view) pieces are right up my alley.  Please enjoy.

Bike shed

Le Shed

He’s ignored me for years.  I’m bummed.  I’m more than bummed, I’m pissed off.  Throughout the Maine winter, he leaves me hanging upside down in the far corner of the garage; last year I was hung out to dry in his crappy shed out back where the wind blows through the side boards.  He couldn’t just talk to me, tell me what was up, tell me the truth.  Nooooo, our relationship was just a slow death of neglect.

You see, nine years ago he was dazzled by the gym eight miles down the road in Kittery.  Sure it’s got the sleek elliptical machines and my no account cousin, the stationary recumbent bicycle, which I don’t need to remind you, goes nowhere. 

Bike CPR

Our country road

But neither one of those gets him out among my favorite girl, Mother Nature – to the seaside at York Beach, through the country roads in coastal Maine, nor up and down the mountains of the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton.  And then without explanation, he dumps me like a bad habit.

But oh, my pretty, have the times ever changed.  In the last two months, he’s come back begging for forgiveness now that the nasty coronavirus has come to town and closed his precious gym.  I know his morning walks get him out, but they don’t give him the heart pumping ride that he craves. 

I don’t have a vindictive spoke in my body.  My demands for reconciliation are modest.  I need 65 pounds of pressure in my tires as I’ve let the air seep out through the winter.  Oh yeah, my chain needs lubing.  One more thing, I need last year’s dirt wiped off my chassis.  

Bike Trek 7500

He needs me, and to tell you the truth, I’m glad to be needed.  I want to get back on the road myself; my goodness I am a road bike. 

So, welcome back, Danny Boy.  I think this is the start, make that a restart, of a beautiful romance.

 

Dan and Hannah Hike on the Hot Springs Trail in Montecito, California

The Santa Barbara area is Zen-like in that it has an abundance of hiking trails.  Coming to the area for seven years, today Hannah and I find a new-to-us hike with a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Let me explain.

Hot map to HS

Different from most of hikes where Hannah and I are alone together, today Claudia, a regular on the trails in Santa Barbara, joins us.  She is an example of the serendipity that comes to our lives when we just put ourselves out there.

You see, at pickleball in Santa Barbara, Hannah and I met her hubby Bill.  One thing led to another and they came to our house for drinks, dinner, and Mormon Bridge, the Rothermel Family’s favorite card game.  Over dinner, we learned of Claudia’s trail adventures and invited her along on our hike into the mountains above Montecito.

Hot 1 start of trail

Following the lead of our daughter Molly and her hubby Tip who hiked this Hot Springs Trail just last week, we three come to the trailhead and find only one spot of the seven for parking.  Hakuna Matata (no worries).  If you, too, can’t find a parking spot, just around the corner on Riven Rock Road there is parking for 30+ vehicles.

Hot 1B C and H on trail

Claudia with Hannah along the dry creek bed

Hot 1C D and C

Dan with Claudia on the Hot Springs Trail

On an unusually warm late February day going to 80F, we three take to the opening chute of the trail past the mansions of Montecito.  At 830A, the trail is shaded with many places for two of us to walk side by side in conversation.

Hot 1D H and C on trail

Since it’s not a long hike at 2.6 miles round trip, the trails modest 800’ elevation gain makes this a hike one families can do.  In fact, we soon will see a dad with his one-year-old on the trail.  Yes, he is carrying her, but there is a reason why she is along; and that’s at the end of the rainbow.

Hot 1F H and C on trail

Like her husband Bill whom I teamed up with for pickleball just yesterday, Claudia is good company sharing her stories and wondering about our lives.  We have a kindred spirit.

Hot 2 H and C on the trail

Though the McMenemy and Saddlerock Trails veer off our path, our trail is easy to follow as we crisscross the nearly dry creek into the mountains; due to the mini-drought of the winter of 2020, there are small pools here and there.

Hot 2 stream crossing

Arriving at one final creek crossing with the smell of sulfur in the air, we figure the hot spring pools Molly mentioned were just the small pools in the very dry creek bed.  Not so fast my friends!

Turning back toward the trailhead, we soon see said father and his child.  Chatting him up, we learn that he is off for a soak in the hot springs with his daughter.  He lets us know it’s just a little further up the trail.

Hot 3 pool

Hot Springs of Montecito

We would have totally missed the hot springs if the universe hadn’t intervened for our greater good.  Zen Deux!  Finding four iridescent pools of warm water with fascinating white strings of algae(?), we deboot to soak in the healing warm waters of Montecito’s Hot Springs.

Hot 3AA white strings better

White algae strands from the hot springs

Hot 3C H and C in pool

It’s February in California!

Hot 3FF H and D better

Next time we’ll bring Bill, bathing suits, and towels to luxuriate for a good soak in Montecito’s healing waters.

Dan and Hannah’s Bunion Surgery

Bunion 1 H at FPC

Early morning at the 1830 First Parish Church Cemetery

Waking early on this Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Hannah and I walk the trails in the woods behind the First Parish Church in town.  It will be Hannah’s last walk for a good while.  As we walk among the beeches and oaks still not leafed out in mid-May, Hannah is subdued.  It’s not the bunion surgery, but the two months of rehab that mellows her mood.

She’s been through long rehabs before with her busted leg from a water skiing accident and another time when her leg was punctured to the bone after falling into a California ravine.  She knows what’s ahead.  There’s no sugar coating this recovery from serious surgery.

Though the others were emergency surgeries, the bunion surgery is “elective,” but oh so necessary; you see, the bunion is compressing the toes on her right foot in a damaging way.

After showering as required before we leave for the Scarborough Surgery Center, Hannah’s spirits lift.  She comments that she’s so lucky to even have the surgery since it’s been postponed before and could have been delayed until the late summer or fall because of the coronavirus.

Bunion 1A H with mask

The 45-minute ride from home in York to the Surgery Center goes smoothly as fewer cars are on the Maine Turnpike due to the Stay at Home order by Governor Janet Mills.  Originally, I was told that I couldn’t come into the building to be with Hannah, but just yesterday we learned that I can be with her as well as during her pre- and post-op.

Though we come with our homemade masks, the Surgery Center expects us to wear their paper masks.  In no time, we are whisked to pre-op.  The words warm, professional, and personable describe each of the nurses and doctors that prepare her for surgery.  Hannah is at ease, and so is her Uber driver.

Bunion 1B Dr J

Dr. J in the pre-op room

Highly recommended, Dr. Juris of Portland Foot and Ankle comes in to mark her right foot with a sharpie and then initials it as well.  Hannah is hooked up to a bag of electrolytes; to this IV will be added the anesthesia.  We are told that she will be in a fog throughout the operation and not remember a single thing from her hour on the operating table.

Bunion 1C marks on foot

Dr. J puts his John Hancock on her right foot

As they wheel Hannah to the OR, I return to the waiting room to take on my role as the Town Crier texting pictures of the dancing lady of my life to family and friends across the country.

Bunion 1E post op Hannah

Post-op Hannah with her protective sandal

Just as they said, Hannah remembers nothing of the hour long surgery.  When I see her in the post-op room, she is her usual sunny self.  In a protective hospital sandal, she will use both crutches and a walker for the time being.  In five days, we return to see Dr. J, when it is likely she will be fitted for a walking boot.

Bunion 1F H with walker

Home sweet home

The numbing medicine in her foot and the general sedative through IV fluid have not worn off by dinner time.  She’ll take Naproxen to reduce the pain over the next few days.  To deal with serious pain, she has Oxycodone, a narcotic which scares the shit out of me.  But trusted nurses tell us how important it is to stay ahead of the pain.  Maybe a half tablet before bed, maybe a whole one.  Hannah’s tough.  The pain is pretty damn tough, too.

Hannah v Pain.  We will see what the weekend brings.

Dan on Corona Hugs for Radio Station KGUA #4

This week’s prompt for radio station KGUA 88.3 FM is HUG: What was the last physical hug you gave or received or What is the hug you want to remember most?  Coloring outside the lines, I made the prompt my own.

KGUA 4 M and O

Owen in green, Max in Blue with their photobombing parents!

 

Hugs

Fortunately, I live with my main squeeze, so daily hugs happen, well, daily.  But I’ve got other hugs on my radar.

You see, Hannah and I live an hour north of our grandsons, Owen and Max, here in New England.  Each Wednesday, she and I drive south to pick up the boys at school (Owen is a first grader and Max is a kindergartner.).  Normally, we’d then go off for an adventure at a nearby park or to the local “One Stop Fun” indoor maze of slides, climbing tubes, and shiny colored bins of balls for jumping.

After their dinner, we’d read to the boys, tuck them in; they wouldn’t exactly stay tucked in, but then that becomes their parents, our daughter Molly and her hubby Tip, nightly challenge.  Once the boys have settled, Hannah and I have wine with Molly and Tip, followed by a dinner that Hannah has made for us all; I recommend her lasagna.

But it’s no longer “normally…”  The coronavirus has put these times on hold, up in the air, out to sea, and over the moon for what could be an awfully long time.  We do see Owen and Max once a week at a local golf course, that is closed to golfers, but allows the boys to run the fairways and reach into the ponds for golf balls as we catch up on Molly and Tip’s lives.

But there’s no hugging.

Especially not the hugs we are used to getting when we visit their home.  Owen and Max used to bolt out of their front door, run to greet us, and often hugging us around the legs.

Those are wrap-around-the-leg hugs are what I’m looking forward to!

KGUA 4 Family Rawding

Owen, Molly, Tip, and Max.  They are as fun as they look!

Dan and Hannah Hike Solstice Canyon in Malibu, California

Tuesday has become hiking day when we winter in California.  (How’s that for a pretentious verb – winter!  Je m’excuse.)  Monday we pickle in Santa Barbara, then Tuesday we hit the trail.

Today, we motor down The 101 to Oxnard, then south to the Pacific towards Malibu.  With daytime temperatures heading to 80F in late February, we have all the sunshine we could ever love.

Sol map

Our expectations for the hike are modest as the Internet has prepped us for a simple 2.4 mile round-trip to a petite waterfall behind some ruins.

Sol 1 sign to sol canyon

 

Sol map of trail

We set out on the Solstice Canyon Trail and returned by way of the Rising Sun Trail

Once parked with ten other cars in the lot, we hit the gently rising paved road towards the ruins of Roberts Ranch and it’s mini-waterfalls.

Sol 1 paved trail with H

Since the Roberts Ranch house was built in the 1952 and destroyed by a wildfire roaring down the canyon thirty years later, the paved, now potholed road for vehicles makes sense rather than the dirt trail we were expecting.  Passing the vestiges of the Woolsey Fire from just over a year ago (November 2018) in the trees and scrub brush, we reaffirm that, in the end, Mother Nature wins; she is a remarkable regenerating soul of life and greenery.

Sol 1A D on trail

In 30 minutes we arrive at the brick fireplaces of the remains of the Roberts Ranch.  In this winter of mini-drought, the falls trickle behind the house.  (In the 50 winter days we’ve been in California we’ve had one thirty minute shower.)

Sol 2 Roberts Ranch

All that is left of the Roberts’ Place

Sol 2A more of ranch

May the Roberts’ Place Rest in Peace

Fortunately, we return by way of the Rising Sun Trail that climbs by switchbacks high above the creek bed in the Santa Monica Mountains.  The trail takes us out of the sycamores and oaks of the creek to the bushes and grasslands on a cloudless day; lizards dart across our path as we see far fewer hikers.

Sol 3 rising sun sign

Sol 3A map of trail

Sol 4 rising sun trail

On the Rising Sun Trail

 

Sol 4A looking down to valley

In the Santa Monica Mountains on the Rising Sun Trail above the Solstice Canyon Trail (center of this picture)

In 90 minutes we are back at the trailhead, completing our third hike in Malibu this winter.  For our other Malibu hikes, click here for the Zuma Canyon and click here for the Escondido Falls.

Click here for more information on the Solstice Canyon Trail.

Sol 5 ocean front homes

Waterfront in Malibu, California.  Homes of $7 million!  $15 million.  So close that you can reach out your window and touch your neighbor’s place.

Sol 5A ocean view home

Returning to Carpinteria along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu

Lunching above the Malibu Bluffs beneath Pepperdine University in late February 2020, we are totally unaware what is growing in China that will turn our world upside down.  For the time being, we are living our California Dream.

I can see It.  I can feel it.  I can taste it.  – KGUA #3

This week’s prompt for the KGUA Monday morning writer’s hour was I can see it.  I can feel it.  I can taste it.  I gave it a shot, and my draft was read this morning, May 4, 2020.  I like that writer’s hour is not a contest and that they try to read every submission.

Submitting my 317 words by voice memo, I will email the voice memo to you if you’d like to hear what a 72-year old still has in his tank.

KGUA map

I can see it.  I can feel it.  I can taste it.

I can finally see California from Maine.  Really, it’s true, I can.  It’s hazy, not from its wildfires, but because of the plague.  For the last two months, I couldn’t see the Golden State at all. It was Gone Girl.  It was as if California didn’t exist.  But now, thanks to a new woman in my life, I can see it.

The angel that removed the cataracts from my eyes was our Governor Janet Mills.  I love her, that is if you can really love a governor.   She is relaxing some of her Stay at Home restrictions and I can now see the shadow of a path next winter to California.

You see, my wife Hannah and I come to California, lately to Santa Barbara, to take a big bite out of the Maine winter.

Despite what you hear, Maine in winter is not pretty.  Oh, it’s pretty in a “looking out the window at the first snow falling” kind of way.  But truth to be told, there’s a lot of inside time for us, even without the coronavirus.  We just aren’t into skiing, skating, or snowshoeing, and certainly not into being so damn cold.  Which begs the question why do you two live in Maine!

That’s where California comes in.  We are sunshine people.  We climb the mountains of the Central Coast, we walk the beaches of Kevin Costner, we bike in the towns of Ashton Kutcher, we pickleball beneath the Montecito Country Club.

We are certifiably crazy – exercisers.  And our Fitbits have just added to our obsession.  We get our 10,000, 20,000 steps no matter the amount of rain, wind, and snow.

I thought 2021 in California had disappeared, fell into the ocean.  But maybe, just maybe we will return in eight months.

I can’t feel it.  I can’t taste it.  But I can certainly see it.  I’m California Dreamin’ on a winter’s day.

Dan and Hannah Hike in Big Sur at Limekiln State Park with the Family Rawding 2020

Is there any more romantic, adventurous sounding place than Big Sur?  I think not.  Today’s blog is mostly a pictorial of our day with Molly’s Family in Big Sur.

Lime boys in cockpit

In control, Owen and Max flying from Boston to Los Angeles

Awaking before first light with our daughter Molly’s family (her hubby Tip, Owen [7], and Max [5]) here in California during their winter school vacation week, we drive north on The 101 up the coast.

Lime map from carp to san simeon

In San Luis Obispo we take the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway Route One) through Cambria to the Elephant Seals Rookery near San Simeon.  After nearly two and a half hours in their rented mini-van, we are ready to stretch and be entertained by 5000 pound male and 1500 pound female elephant seals.

Lime 1 elephant seals

Elephant Seal Rookery, San Simeon, California

Lime 1A elephant seals

Lime 1B Molly with seals

Molly on the quarter mile boardwalk above the elephant seals

Tip’s video below.

Back in the mini-van, we soon hit the hairpins and deep drops to the Pacific of the PCH in Big Sur.  In addition, gas prices take a spike.

Lime 2 tip driving on pch

Tip negotiates the switchbacks along the Pacific Coast Highway

Lime 2A gas at gorda

Gas in Gorda in Big Sur California

Four hours after leaving our Pacific home away from home in Carpinteria, we turn into the first of the Big Sur State Parks, Limekiln.  For $10 we have three family trails at our disposal.

Lime map 2

We begin with Hare Creek Trail, then the Limekiln Trail before wrapping up with the Falls Trail

We tackle Hare Creek first.

Lime 3 hare creek sign

Lime 3 Hare creek

Lime 3B more hare creek

Lime 3F family on trail use

Lime 3G D and H with O and M on trail

Lime 3J D and H on trail

Then we wind our way to the actual lime kilns themselves, with.

Lime 4 to kilns H and O on log

Owen with his Omi upon a fallen redwood

Lime 4A kiln itself

An actual 19th century lime kiln

And then comes our coup de grace, our joie de vivre, our plume de ma tante – The Falls Trail.  Last year, Hannah and I loved sloshing ankle- and calf-deep through the wild streams on the way to the Falls thanks to the heavy winter rains of 2019.  With the rushing water of Hare Creek in our minds, we six are primed for some serious water creek soaking that I had promised.

At the first creek crossing, I’m bummed to see logs and branches arranged to get us across – without getting wet!  See below.

Lime 5 creek crossing

Maybe the next crossing!  But no, more logs allow a dry-hiking-shoe-crossing again.  I am crestfallen.  Everyone else is pumped.

Lime 5B more creek crossing

Max crossing with his Omi

Twice more we cross the creek without getting soaked.  Oh, the foolish promises I make.  At long last we are at the base of the falls for another very doable crossing that even the five- and seven-year-olds handle quite nicely.

Lime 5D creek crossing

High and dry, we make it to the Limekiln Falls

Lime 6 falls with rawdings

Limekiln Falls

My video of the falls.

We return just as we had come crossing the creek five times without a single slip into the creek.  Maybe next year!

Lime PCH

Lime 7 Pch heading home

Whupped after a day on the trails of Big Sur, we head 180 miles south to sleep well in Carpinteria for the night.