Explorers in Our Own Neighborhood

That's my niece Andrea and son Marco in the bed of the San Francisquito Creek, a few hundred yards west of El Camino Real.

Yesterday, my son Marco (5), niece Andrea, and I ventured down the San Francisquito creek bed about a mile from our house to Marco’s preschool. I’m sad and excited at the same time to say that it was a wonderful, frontier-like adventure.

I’m sad because we encountered absolutely no one on our hour plus trip down there. In fact, in my many visits to that creek, I’ve hardly ever seen anyone else there. Thus, I feel sad for all the kids who live around here and never get to experience our creek bed as we did.

On the other hand, it was wonderful because the creek bed is so beautiful, and because the desolation down there really made us feel like we were explorers. Would we be able to pass all the way to where we wanted to go? Would we be able to find a place to climb up the very deep and steep bank? Would we encounter a mountain lion, being that one had recently been reported in a newspaper article to be close to where we were, roaming along the creek bed?

Well, we had to walk through some thick mud a couple of times, but other than that, our trip went very smoothly. Marco collected a handful of seashells (how did they get there?) and two golf balls. We laughed and sang B-I-N-G-O (“There was a boy who had a dog and Bingo was his name-o, …”). When it looked like we had gone far enough, we climbed out of the creek bed on the Palo Alto side and had a great picnic lunch.

I hope this trip planted a seed in Marco’s mind to have his own adventures in the creek in a couple years when he’s old enough.

Bookmark the permalink of this post.

2 Responses to Explorers in Our Own Neighborhood

  1. cashel says:

    Cool, Mike. We hike the creeks in Sonoma, even when there is a foot or two of water rushing down. It is amazingly serene, and the girls love it. We, like you, seldom see others.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It is sad that we have become so suburban that our children do not get out and experience the joys and wonders of nature as we did when we were children. It is also very sad that we as parents cannot allow our children the freedom to do so thanks to the elevated threat of predators.