They say that who you are with at the change of the year is who you will be with for the rest of that year. I’d like to ascribe that to what you are doing, too. My goal this year is to realize a dream I’ve had for some time now: to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England. To that end, I have begun what I am calling “12 Hikes in 12 Weeks.”
On the first of January, I went with my father to Codfish Falls in the Auburn area of California. I picked it for several reasons. One, the name is just fun. Caught my eye. Two, it’s short and flat-ish. My sister’s contribution this holiday season was a respiratory flu of some sort (to quote her shout over dinner on Christmas Eve, “YOU’RE WELCOME!!!!”) and our lungs are all still shot. Three, I’d never heard of Codfish Falls before. Yay, discovery!
To get down to the river (American, North Fork), I bumped and wrangled the car down a horribly rutted dirt road, over run-off runnels, collapsed culverts, and a hoard of rocks jutting up through some very red clay. My dad, who has worked for the State Parks for over 20 years, offered, “Welcome to my world.” It was good experience, driving in less than pristine conditions. The weather was crisp and cool, the sun bright, and the air hazy with ice crystals.
The bridge has reinforced parallel tracks made of wooden boards. Car wheels go there only; to bump off onto the main planking between on either side may very well be to punch a hole right through. I don’t know, I didn’t try it. We ate lunch overlooking the river and then walked at a brisk pace along a narrow dirt trail. On one side, a steep decline; on the other, a steep incline. Moderately dense wooded areas provide shade. At one point, the water coming out of the earth onto the trail itself was still ice.
We went slightly up, slightly down, and in the end, we came to this:
Being raised by a father who works/plays in the great outdoors means it’s in my blood. I’m not saying I’d do spectacularly if I had to suddenly survive off the land, but sometimes there really is no better balm than going back outside, getting away from the city and reminding myself of all the hidden landscapes there are when we have the chance to step outside our everyday stressors.