A little trailer in the big woods…trees, sky and an Indian Preserve creates a well-being bonanza!

You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I opined that the Los Angeles City Council’s choice to  create a special day of recognition for Bob Marley was an unusual choice  The argument given by city officials was that Marley contributed to the “feel good” atmosphere we need in troubled times. I guess I was a little out of touch with my opinion that  posthumously honoring Bob Marley wasn’t particularly designed for mass appeal. Imagine my surprise upon coming out of a Huntington Beach parking structure  and directly confronting this flag!

You’ll note a major source of Marley’s “feel good” reputation. Those leaves on the flag are one way to relax, I suppose. I won’t further comment on how others choose to recreate–I’m not particularly judgmental about such things, but I’m also not much of a personal adventurer, shall we say. But I DO know what brings me pleasure and I think I’m somewhat of an expert on my personal well-being.

Sometimes our best getaways require simple relocation. We keep a little trailer less than two hours from home, 3500 feet up in the San Jacinto Mountains. Silent Valley is a private 460-acre camping resort –resort indicating the many amenities offered, but at the same time, as rustic and remote as you choose. We often arrive, set up camp, and are loathe to move more than a few brief walks and a trip to the pool.

Ancient Indian Grinding Rocks
Grinding rocks and part of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indian land

Sophia and Karina brought their mommy and daddy up for a day of swimming and miniature golf. This was the girls’ first attempt at golfing. We did our best to explain the rules of the game to the two little competitors. I don’t think we were very successful. They played with their own rules, and we eventually let go of all expectations.

If the ball doesn’t reach target the traditional way…
Throwing it over works fairly well, too!
Big sister had her own ways of creating strategic moves…

Isn’t this a beautiful spot to sit and do little but appreciate? Thirty minutes back down the mountain is the usual Southern California chaos.

I’ll share more next time about relaxing in the San Jacinto Mountains. Part of breathing lighter is taking the time to savor the experience.

I tried to get closer to the Woodpeckers for better photographs. Apparently I frighten them!

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home;

That wilderness is a necessity…” John Muir

I hope you’re breathing lighter even while attending to responsibilities. I’ll be back to invite you to make plans for weekend exhaling.


50 thoughts on “A little trailer in the big woods…trees, sky and an Indian Preserve creates a well-being bonanza!

  1. What a great, smile-inducing post, Debra! Geting away for a weekend, in such a beautiful spot, is always worth whatever effort it takes to get there. Being a mere 30 minutes away from a major metropolis makes this all the more remarkable. Your photos of the Girls tackling a putt-putt course are priceless. Having been with Li’l Ones at similar golf “courses”, I know exactly what you mean about letting go of expectations. So long as they’re having fun, that’s all that matters. Let Mommy & Daddy teach them the rules some other time. If you’re lucky, you’ll be invited to watch. 😉

    1. There are so many times when I’m posting photos of the beach or now the mountains I really wish I could include context, particularly for our international friends. I am obviously showing the idyllic and “get-away” spots, and sometimes just out of camera range is the most remarkable sight of congestion and overcrowding. Too bad I don’t video the freeway trip to the destination! My whole reason for starting a blog with the title “breathelighter” was to remember to do so myself! Ha! You have a big city to reference, so you know what I’m talking about! And I want the little girls to have some exposure to these out of the way spots, too! They are so funny…we did tell them that if they ever play miniature golf with a friend no one else will put up with their creative plays! 🙂 D

  2. Debra, I always enjoy your trips, adventures and photos. Your granddaughters are blessed that they have a grandma who enjoys the wonder of life. The photo that captured the orange clouds is breathtaking.

    1. Thank you so much, Marie. I enjoy the opportunity to share the photos and to talk about my restful little mini-vacations. I then can enjoy the benefit of thinking about it, which extends the relaxation! The clouds were particularly beautiful and I was so glad I had my camera! 🙂

    1. Thank you for enjoying the mini-trip to Silent Valley with me! We haven’t always taken advantage of the opportunity to get out or away for just a day or two, but as we are getting older we seem to realize that we need it to recharge a little differently, and more often! We have a lot of responsibilities and if we aren’t going to retire quite yet, we need to “practice retirement” on the weekends! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Fiona. I sometimes find it hard to break away, especially when there are a lot of things left “undone” at home. But once I’ve committed to getting out, I do thoroughly enjoy it. I love turning off the noise and getting out in natural settings where it is simply quiet!:-)

    1. You would have laughed at the golf game, Penny. We were really trying to help them learn the rules and they were having none of it! Then Karina is left handed, so helping her hold the club. Sophia would watch and try to hold hers the same way…and she is right handed, so it didn’t work. So there were no rules. And it didn’t help that we kept laughing! One of these times I need to take photos and share about what you’d find at the bottom of the mountain. The highway leads to Palm Springs and it is all Indian land now, with the casinos and many other interesting places, but right out in the desert. Real desert! Very interesting landscape for those who enjoy natural settings. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Penny. 🙂

  3. I absolutely love the closing quote and couldn’t agree more. Going to the mountains is like going home, even if you’ve never really lived there. There’s something about the mountains that just brings peace. So glad you’re finding some time to getaway and breathe lighter. We love doing little getaways like this too. Which reminds me…I think we need to start planning our next one. Nature sounds perfect. 🙂

    1. We used to bring our children up to this same place, Kristy, and it holds happy memories. Aimee and family were only with us one day, so there was a lot of time for Jay and I to be alone and walk around watching other young families making camp and sharing the experience with their children. I don’t have the energy to go back to that level of commitment, I know, but I miss it sometimes. I can see that you offer so many of these same kind of experiences to your children, and it is just a wonderful gift to them! I hope you will still have some quality “jaunts” despite the rigors of a school schedule! 🙂

  4. The mountains are my nirvana, Debra. We own a piece of dirt near Asheville, NC, though we have yet to put a structure on it. It’s like everything falls off my shoulders when I go up there. And, I’m totally for the crazy golf rules. I would be there right along with the girls, making things up as I go. 🙂

    1. Oh, Asheville is a great place to have a spot of your own, Andra. How exciting to think ahead and plan what you might do with your property! It’s just so good to get away even in small pieces of time, isn’t it? We carry so much responsibility with us every day, and it really does recharge my batteries if I can just get away from home even for 48 hours. Sometimes less than that is all I need! The golf was hilarious. The girls had fun, and now think they have miniature golf experience. It was more like “place the ball in the cup,” but we all had a good laugh! 🙂

  5. Dear Debra, all it takes is a bout with asthma and I learn anew what breathing lighter and lightly means. My chest is feeling so much less pressure now and my breathing is back to normal. So I’m grateful for this day here in western Missouri where the drought has taken hold. And yet the farmers still go into the fields and hope for rain. It’s a salutary lesson in belief “that all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be exceedingly well” as Juliana of Norwich said so many centuries and cultures ago. Peace.

    1. I somehow hadn’t followed that your asthma had been so bad, Dee. One of my very closest friends is asthmatic and I’ve seen what can happen! It must be overwhelming and frightening at times! The stories of the drought conditions are really worrisome, too. I have a great deal of respect for the farmers who are at the mercy of nature and her cycles. I cannot even imagine what it would feel like to be that helpless and to watch even their animals do without. It takes courage to sit and contemplate the words in the quote you’ve shared. It will “all be well” in time, I trust, but the waiting with hope-filled patience is something I don’t do very well. But I learn from others, and you have such a peaceful presence, Dee. I trust you will continue to feel stronger and be well. D

  6. Catherine Wade

    One of the things I miss the most is my camping adventures. Two of my kids are looking into getting an RV together and setting up a calendar for who has use of the RV on any given week. I told them that it doesn’t matter to me, I get to go with whoever has control of the RV. Enjoy your time in the mountains! Can’t wait until it is my turn again.

    1. I know you miss your camping, Catherine. I love the idea that your kids are thinking of a little system to benefit you all. That would be so great! You could really use that getaway right now, I think! oxo D

  7. Muir echoes my sentiments exactly. I’m most at peace in the woods – I feel like the fresh, cool, clean air clears my body, mind and spirit. I feel a harmony with nature that I can’t get anywhere else, and it’s absolute bliss. Unfortunately I haven’t found time to do that in a long time, and that’s a mistake.

    1. I hope you’ll find the time to have a getaway of your own before long. I can hear that you are energized and refreshed by the peace=filled woods! You’ve probably had a harder time of breaking away with DH recuperating, so I think you probably both really deserve a vacation! By all means get Daisy a babysitter…she’ll try to steal all the attention if you take her, don’t you think? 🙂 Debra

    1. When we go to this particular mountain area, Nancy, we really do park ourselves. I always intend to do more walking and be active, but once we arrive and I let down, I’m so relaxed I don’t even read very much. I just sit! I guess it’s good to be able to do that once in awhile! D

  8. Oh I’m exhaling looking at those photos – tha tbig sky and beautiful rocks and greenery and shade….. ahhhhhh, I can sense the peace and pleasure.
    Just love the girls and their way of golfing !!

    1. I have had a very busy and a bit of an exhausting week…no problems, just a bit too much! But at least we went into this week with that lovely weekend and relaxation emptying the stress of the week before. It made this week’s challenges so much easier to handle. I need to get away to Silent Valley a lot more often. It’s always waiting for me as a resource for recharging my batteries! Very peaceful. Thank you for enjoying the photos with me. And as for Sophia and Karina…I had a great-grandmother who cheated, too! I hope they outgrow it! She didn’t. LOL! D

    1. Oh you are a dear to come up with that interpretation of the girls’ behavior on the golf course! I like that. They also showed they had fierce determination, because no matter how many ways we told them the rules, they were undeterred from their own rules making. I won’t see their behaviors as disobedient, either. They were simply very focused on solving a problem. Works for me! 🙂 Debra

    1. I’m just glad we can comfortably envy each other, Kate! I feel the same sense of wonder when you share your photos of such beautiful English sites. I felt that sense of envy this week while accompanying you on the picnic with The Viper! For now we’ll just have to share our photos and our imaginations! Fortunately I really enjoy that, too! And we don’t call the game Crazy Golf, but miniature golf, which is kind of funny now that I think of it! I think Crazy Golf is much more descriptive of the experience. I think I’ll introduce that name to the family…we can make it our own! 🙂

    1. Ha! I’m not making fun of Bob Marley, believe me, but I think the funny or odd part is that the emphasis on “appreciation” has yet to be about his music or his talent. It’s almost like he’s been made a caricature of himself, and that’s troubling to me! But maybe I just am missing something. That could be! Our little mountain getaway spot is very nice, Elizabeth. Few frills, but that’s what I’m looking for if I want to really unplug! 🙂

    1. I enjoyed the sky so much last weekend, Sharyn. I took dozens of photos…many of them looking remarkably similar! Ha! I love trees and am glad we have plent of them around our home, but they always block the view of a sunset, and when we are either at the ocean or in the mountains I do my best to really take in as many views of the sky and sunset as I can! Thank you for noticing, too, Sharyn.

    1. It’s so nice to hear from you, Perpetua. We need to take advantage of Silent Valley’s close proximity to home and visit much more frequently. It’s sometimes hard for us to “shut it all down” at home and get away, but once we do, it’s so welcome! I think I can sit and do nothing very nicely! 🙂

    1. I’m glad you had a moment to stop by, Karen. The DVD “Life in a Day” would indeed resonate well with you, I think! Maybe some day you’ll have a little time to investigate. I’d been thinking of watching it for most of a year before I finally took the time!

  9. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website
    yourself or did you hire someone to do it for
    you? Plz respond as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. kudos

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