This shady stream bed led us past pomegranate trees and grape vines, into the oak tree shadows.
The winter rains had left ever canyon and crevice full of green growth. Miniature butterflies flitted from little orange flowers to little purple flowers.
In the riverbed, everything was covered with a layer of moisture, leftover from a winter rainstorm. In order to tackle tricky descents, we had to hold on to tree roots and branches to keep from slipping. Luckily, there were a lot of those.
As we headed back up, we began to notice things we hadn’t seen the first time around: acorns scattered on the ground around a puddle, pale wildflowers peeking out from between pine needles. The scenery was vivid and beautiful after a rainstorm.
Whether you stick to the marked trail or wander off of it, all you have to do to leave the crowds is head out into nature.