Hikes at the ranch start out between 6:10 and 7:00 A.M. I thought that I would want to sleep in on this trip, but after one hike, I found myself waking before my alarm each day, because I was so excited to do it again!
We always met in the cozy lounge (above) where coffee and tea are available around the clock. Before the hikes, staff would have thoughtfully prepared trays of freshly cut oranges, grapefruit and bananas so that you didn't have to go out on an empty stomach. The ranch also provided pedometers and re-usable water bottles. Wearing a pedometer can be very motivating, especially if you keep a log of your steps (avg. 2,000 steps = a mile).
As a beginner, I started with a super-easy two-mile hike called "Woodlands." We walked past the labyrinth and set out through the woodlands a good pace. It was fun, and I saw that I could easily do more.
The next day, I went a little further with the "Quail 2" hike, and after that, tried "Alex's Oak Tree."
Alex's Oak can be seen in this photo, standing by itself at the top of the hill behind the vineyard.
It is named for the founders' son, Alex Szekely, who was president of the ranch before his death.
Another view of Alex's oak tree, a mile's hike above the ranch. This hike was so pretty and enjoyable that I did it twice.
The oak tree at the top.
View of the ranch from the top.
More of the ranch from the top.
Yours truly, under Alex's Oak Tree.
Because we set out at 6:10 AM, we were able to see the dawn light as it touched Mt. Kuchumaa.
On the hike back to the ranch, we saw the same landscape, but in a different light. The ranch has a way of inviting one to see many things in a new light.
In response to a question in yesterday's comments about the labyrinth, here are a couple of links to more information: