Saturday, my parents, my brother & his son and my two boys went for a hike in our Cuyamaca mountains. It was a breezy warm day and the sky was clear, a beautiful day to be outside. We drove to our favorite state park, a place my dad camped as a boy and knows like the back of his hand. The last time I'd been there it had been a shady forest, with trees that arched over the paths, fern groves and little bubbling brooks. But 5 years ago a fire ripped through this area and completely destroyed the beautiful green forest. This was the same fire that burnt down the house of my stepson and he lost everything he had.
Even after 5 years the forest is dry and full of burnt out, leafless trees, though the manzanita and some of the brush is beginning to fill in again. It was very sad to see such a well-loved area so completely different than we remembered, eerie to see the bare branched trees stark white and black like skeletons. It would be interesting to see it 100 years from now, to see how the forest will rejuvenate.
Here are a few pictures of the area and of my boys, who thoroughly enjoyed the day.