My good friend James came up from San Diego to visit us a few weeks ago. My friend Barbara and I had no clue what to show him the last time he was here and we were on a mission to show him how awesome the Sacramento area is. The weekend started on Friday for us. I took the day off because the hike Barbara planned for the morning at the American River Confluence in Auburn seemed too good to miss.
I woke up earlier than normal (as in 6am) to get ready. Brandon and I knew we wanted to swing by the grocery store before driving up to Sacramento without showing up half an hour late, so we gave ourselves a pretty intense cushion of time. We ended up being half an hour early to Barbara's place. But that meant I got to drink an extra cup of coffee and help coordinate the snack packing!
The drive up to Auburn didn't take or feel long and soon enough we were welcomed to a beautiful view of the American river and the Foresthill bridge, which (fun fact) is one of the tallest in the US. It was also the bridge Vin Diesel drives off of in the movie xXx (thank you Barbara and Wikipedia for that tidbit)!
We got to the confluence and luckily found parking which can get scarce quickly. There are lots of trail options that make this a great place to come back and explore. This time we chose a trail that followed the river.
We walked and talked and stopped to gasp at the wonder of the scenery less than an hour out of the city. We saw a few mountain bikers and one or two other hikers during the entire hike, which made me feel like I was way more than an hour away from the city.
After a quick snack break and a short walk we were down at the river. We spent a solid amount of time here, not really doing anything except enjoying each other's company, soaking up the sun and breeze, and trying to skip rocks across the rapids.
I might be alone in this, but there are certain moments of life that feel like a movie to me while I'm living them. The memory I record jumps from detail to detail. This time by the river was like that.
My memory cuts from bits of conversation to admiring the poppies growing in the river rocks, to the smile on someone's face, to talking about the grass and how its motion reminds me of the description of the prairie grass in Sarah Plain and Tall, to taking in the sunshine, to watching some of the people I love most in this world try to throw rocks to the other side of the river for no reason other than because it seems fun.
Moments and memories like these fill my heart. They are so special to me.
We skipped as many rocks as we wanted then headed back up a hill so steep it made my coastal college campus' hills feel like a cake walk.
Thoroughly drained of energy, we grabbed the fruit out of the car and found a spot on a set of large boulders to rest and refuel.