Top of the World

On Sunday afternoon, we hiked up Ring Mountain. No planning was necessary. At two clock, I said “Let’s go,” and by 2:10, I’d thrown together a couple of energy bars and a water bottle and we were on our way. Nothing else was required beyond stepping out our front door, turning left, and walking uphill. Hiking Ring Mountain is one of our family’s favorite activities. Tim and I first carried Olivia and Mateo there in backpacks.

We can thank the tireless efforts of environmental activist and botanist Phyllis Ellman for Ring Mountain, who led the battle against land developers to keep the property public. The parcel was bought by the Nature Conservancy, and in 1995, deeded over to the Open Space District. Now thousands of hikers like us enjoy its vistas and trails.

We’ve had lots of rain this winter, so the paths remained muddy enough that Mateo got to stomp, satisfied, through muck, while Olivia, more fastidious, chose to bushwhack through the tall grass. Yellow and purple wildflowers carpeted the rocky slopes. As usual, the kids raced toward our end point, the biggest boulder on the ridge. From up there, it seemed as though the whole world lay before us, full of possibilities.

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