pinnacles national monument.
there was a very cold swimming pool and a very empty, post-memorial day weekend campground. we took the hike to bear gulch reservoir which led through a tunnel and two caves, and along some cliff edges which gave me some major vertigo but which i survived. miles was very kind to me as i clung to the rock wall. we reached the reservoir at the top (pictured above) just in time to to see a gray fox wind his way down to the water to take a drink. this morning my friend took the two older kids on a hike almost to the top of the pinnacles. maya and i stayed below in micro-nature, clearing a space on the ground and building an elaborate tiny village with rocks and sticks right next to a real-live babbling brook.
along with the fox we saw:
lots of california condors, which are extremely rare
many quail families
many ground squirrel families
during the night i had a nightmare in which i was living in a housing complex of some sort where a group of people had become violent and were yelling and screaming and shooting guns. in the dream i was desperate to keep my kids safe and didn't know where to go. the dream woke me up and when i was fully awake i heard a pack of coyotes howling and yelping in the night. straight above were countless stars but no one else was awake to see them.
highly recommended campground and hikes, especially if you are not afraid of heights!