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It was foggy, so the views weren’t great. The ground was wet and muddy, so the footing was really unsteady. It was drizzling and chilly so warmth was an issue. In other words, it was a perfect day for a hike on Saturday. I had been feeling swamped by the obligations of Christmas, work, life, etc., and finding myself with a free weekend morning, opted to finally do something I had wanted to for awhile — hike in Annadel. I’ve biked there a few times but each time I’ve been either speeding down trails unaware of my surroundings or struggling to climb trails, also unaware of what was around me. So, a holidaytime hike in Santa Rosa’s best state park it would be. I wasn’t the only one thinking that. (Although as usual, there were five times as many cars parked just outside the admission gate as there were inside. I’m a believer in paying for our state parks these days, and if you’re looking for a last-minute gift for someone, you could do a lot worse than get them one of these.)

On my reflective stroll through the woods, I saw at least a dozen other people who also seemed like they needed a break from the treadmill too. I set off on the Warren Richardson Trail, did a loop around the 26-acre Lake Ilsanjo in the middle of the park and then circled back on another trail. Was a little less than 6 miles by my estimate. Fairly brisk pace since I had a lunch date to make and other things going on. I can’t say I saw any wildlife or any spectacular plant life, or much distinctive at all, given the fog and the rain, but I at times I heard a virtual orchestra from nature, which is always pleasant – and beats the holiday songs that I hear everywhere else these days.

I can see that there are dozens of trails to explore there and hopefully I’ll get to a few more before Christmas 2010 rolls around.

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