Given that my youngest daughter is mostly stable, my wife and I finally have the ability—after five years of dealing with her seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day—of being able to go off and do things on our own.
So, Saturday we decided to go hiking at Vasquez Rocks, just north of Santa Clarita, California off the 14 Freeway, also called the Antelope Valley Freeway. If you’ve seen the recent Star Trek movies, you’ve seen Vasquez Rocks standing in for Vulcan; it has appeared in numerous westerns and in the original series of Star Trek, it’s where Captain Kirk battled the Gorn. The live action Flintstones movie was filmed there as well—which prompted my wife to sing the theme song from the cartoon series as we hiked along. Not the whole time—just once.
In any case, Vasquez Rocks is a state park, named after an old outlaw, and it’s a great place to go hiking. My wife and I hike there frequently. We packed sandwiches from Subway (I had a six-inch Italian BMT on Italian bread) and had a picnic half way through our hike. As we sat eating under a rock overhang I looked up at some ravens making noise and asked my wife, “where do you suppose those birds find water to drink?” My wife thought they might get it from some of the houses in the area—perhaps from dog bowls. California is suffering from a severe drought and I hadn’t seen any sign of water in any of the dry creek beds we’d come across up till then. After lunch we hiked on a ways and that’s when we came upon a pool of clouded, yellowish water. A bit further on, and there was considerably more, and it was actually clear. So, that answered my question about the ravens. Our Fitbits let us know that we managed to make our goals of 10,000 steps without any problem.
This evening, we’re taking our youngest daughter with us out to dinner, and then plan on seeing the movie The Martian, based on the excellent novel by Andy Weir. I very much recommend the book. All the reviews of the movie I’ve read, by both science fiction fans of the book, as well as by movie reviewers who aren’t noted science fiction fans, suggest that it follows the book well and is very entertaining. So I’m looking forward to seeing it.