A few weeks back we bought a pass to the local California State Parks which gives us access to some of the parks in the area. About five minutes drive from the house is Brown's Ravine, which is a sort of marina and recreational area, on the edge of Folsom Lake. There are many trails along the lake and into the hills around and Roxy and I went walking early yesterday (Christmas Day) and again this morning. She was overjoyed to be off the lead and ran around sniffing out appropriate sticks to carry. Yesterday, we went for a long walk along the lake edge. It was freezing out and there are a lot of frost and ice on the ground, undeterred Roxy jumped into the lake for a quick swim. It was very quiet and in all the time we were out walking we never saw another soul. The car stood alone in the huge parking lot. When we eventually got back to the car, I felt in my pockets for my car keys, but to my horror they were gone. I frantically emptied my pockets and dumped everything on the ground but nothing. So I tried to call bwo. Of course, her phone was not with her (or something to that effect), and after a dozen or so attempts I figured it was pointless and Roxy and I would just wait in the cold until we turned to ice. I decided that no matter how meaningless I would try retrace my steps and see if I could find my keys, reasoning that they must have fallen out when I took my gloves out my pockets. And there they were, glinting in the sun, not too far from where we started our walk. Our own little Hanukkah miracle.
We had 20 or so people over for a late lunch yesterday. A lot of the folks that relocated from the UK along with us did not really have anywhere to go so we volunteered our house for a Christmas pot luck. It was very nice. Huge amounts of food and everyone seemed to have a good time. Bwo outdid herself as usual and the place looks really nice considering we moved in two weeks back. The consignment store in Folsom can probably close down now that she bought out all their stock. I hate to think what will happen when our stuff eventually arrives from Israel.
This afternoon bwo, Roxy and I went for a walk in the neighborhood. I have done some exploring and met some of the friendly people around. Initially I was quite disappointed as the only access to the lake from where we live seemed not only quite far but leads straight into a swamp. One big difference from the UK is that almost all land around is private property with no public access. I met a local, Roy, while walking Roxy and he pointed out that you can get to the lake through one of the houses. These lovely people have a sign encouraging people to use their path alongside their house to the lake. So bwo and I took Roxy down to the lake. All I can say is wow! It is really spectacular. The water and and hills, very pretty. While strolling around the water's edge we met another Border Collie owner who filled us in on all the lake accesses in the area. The land around the lake is all state owned with public access and it appears not too many people use it - especially not in winter. So we explored a bit more and found where the trails meet the road not too far from the house. Unfortunately there are steep hills in each direction, so if nothing else, I will get stronger just walking the dog.
It's been a really good weekend and we had a good day today cleaning up the house after the pot luck and exploring the area. Back to work tomorrow but it's a short week and it should be quiet with many a squint out on holiday.