This where Finny and I went walking this morning. It's the mid-portion of the El Dorado Trail that runs from Placerville almost to Camino in the lower mountains of the Northern California Sierras.

First: To everyone who commented on the previous post, thank you. Thank you! And thank you again. I can hardly describe how touched and delighted I was this morning to find all those encouraging comments waiting for me. Believe me, reading them helped me get my rear in gear — I drank a chocolate diet/energy shake

Wildflowers along the trail.

as I drove 10 minutes down the mountain with Finny and my camera for another walk along the El Dorado Trail. I’d prefer to walk closer to home, but Camino has nothing but narrow, twisty, two-lane roads with ditches as shoulders and locals who drive them fast. They’re just not very safe for people on bikes or on foot.

But the El Dorado Trail has been built especially for walkers, bikers and horseback riders. It’s paved, has wide shoulders and is a good distance from road traffic. At this time of year, with everything blooming and the spring grasses painting everything a rich, lush green, it’s just beautiful. In a month the grasses will turn golden; by the end of summer they’ll be brown and nearly white from the heat. But for now, the world is a riot of wildflowers, sun and cool breezes.

We walked approximately four miles this morning. Too far, probably, since I’m no longer in very good walking shape, but once I was out there, Finny trotting along at

Finny looks up the trail after a short break for a drink of water (and for me to rest my legs).

the end of the leash, ears pricked and tail waving, it was hard to stop. Needless to say, by the time we turned around, I was feeling it, but as luck would have it, the return walk is a long, gentle downhill slope most of the way.

We met a good number of other walkers along the way and saw lots of pretty things. There were joggers; walkers in small gaggles and alone; a man on a recumbant bike (he passed us three times in both directions); several people on regular bikes; and to my delight, a woman in a cart being pulled by a pony. At least, I thought it was a pony, but Joanne, the 70-year-old cart driver, explained that Tonka is actually a rather large miniature horse. She was friendly and talkative, telling me how nice it is to get out on the trail and meet people. She said she’s out there almost every day and has been riding the trail with Tonka long enough that she’s met several regulars and knows them all by name. At home, she rides her Arabian showhorse and does dressage. Now there’s something to strive for!

Finny did great. He’s very well behaved on the leash, and while he does get excited

Tonka, the miniature horse, and Joanne pose for a shot.

and pull now and then, he’s learning quickly that it’s easier on us both if he walks at my pace. He seems to love getting out there, but like me, he’s not quite in shape for these longish walks yet. He’s snoozing peacefully right now, flopped on the bed.

And now, the Sierra Bushmen are here. Craig, Sean, Jason and Jack are tackling the overgrown hedgerow along the north side of the house (it’s a steep incline and I’m just not up to this sort of heavy yardwork anymore). They’re even going to weedeat the back garden for me and get the burn pile ready to light. Mr. Wren is out getting lumber for the new raised beds. Whooopeeeee!

Theheritage oak trees are in bloom.

8 thoughts on “Walkabout

  1. Hi Wren!

    This trail of yours sounds amazing! How awesome that you take advantage of it, especially in this weather. Great pics, too. I hope this finds you well.



  2. What a beautiful place to walk – and what fun people to run into – with wee cute horses, to boot! You’re so lucky! Enjoy the walking and take care…:) L


  3. What terrific pictures! Congratulations on getting out there and walking (despite the exhaustion by the time you got home). I can relate to roads not being safe unless you’re travelling inside the car 😉 It’s great that you have such a great, safe trail nearby. I hope we hear more about your raised beds in the future.


  4. Dr Jim — Thanks! The El Dorado Trail IS amazing. It’s taken the community about 20 years to raise the funds for it, and get this much of it done, but it’s not finished yet. It runs along what used to be the railroad corridor here, and eventually will go all the way up to the town of Camino, where I live, and all the way down to Folsom, near Sacramento. Now THAT will be a walk!

    Laurie — It was great meeting Joanne and Tonka. She gave me her phone number, and I’m looking forward to perhaps meeting her again sometime soon. I told her I was a journalist and that I’d love to do a story about her and her horses, large and wee. She wasn’t so sure she wants a story done about her, but she said she’d be glad to tell me all about miniature horses. Either way, she seems like a really nice woman. I’d like to get to know her better.

    WarmSocks — Thanks for the photo love. I really enjoy taking photos,and this time of year is so gorgeous, it’s hard NOT to. Mr Wren and Matt were out madly staining the Douglas fir boards he bought for the raised beds, hoping to finish them before the rain starts tonight. He seems really determined to get them built soon so we can plant. And after the Sierra Bushmen were done today, my job of spreading all that straw from last year’s straw bale beds is going to be much easier. They weedwhacked the heck out of the back garden. I’m looking forward to having these veggie gardens this year. We’re planting nasturtiums, too, to go with the tomatoes, eggplants, beans, lettuce and whatever else Mr Wren decides he MUST plant…


  5. The El Dorado Trail is beautiful. We are going to our local Nature Center this afternoon to walk, but theres no way I could do four miles. Were you hurting the next day after walking that far? It’s cool that Finny is doing so well on a leash for no longer than you have had him. My seasonal allergies have been killing me here with everything in full bloom, but I love spring anyway.


  6. Stephanie — Thanks! I absolutely love fresh picked veggies, especially tomatoes. And after tending the plants all summer long, watering, all that, the reward is just great at harvest time. I hope your garden grows well, too!

    Terry — Ohhhhh yeah I was hurting. I could barely move by the time I went to bed, and then I slept badly overnight. Part of that was overdoing the walk, but part was a falling barometer, too. A storm came in overnight and today it’s raining and chilly. I doubt seriously we’ll see any snow this low on the mountain and this late in the season, but it has happened before … Anyway, I’m actually a bit less sore overall this morning. Surprised me, too.

    I’m going to cut the walks down to 2 1/2 miles for the next couple of times, as I really did overdo it those first two days. There’s no hurry, really, and distance isn’t a big deal. Time walking, and walking pace are more important.

    I hope your feet and knees start giving you a break so you can walk for as long and as often as you like!


  7. I saw these photos the other day when you posted but didn’t have time to comment so I left them up and have looked at them each time I have made it to the computer. I am glad now that I didn’t have time to comment and could leave the photos up. I have really enjoyed looking at them. Four miles! Wow! That is amazing. A couple of weeks back we were dog sitting and I was doing about that much walking too (with the help of prednisone) but by the end of the day my hips hurt really bad. When the weather is right, you just don’t want to stop, do you?


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