Saturday, September 03, 2016

Mill Creek Trail Hike

*Note if you prefer the story in video - scroll to the end and watch the story unfold. 

Michael and I sat out the Little Bald Hill hike, but today Michael suggested we make ice cream, hike Nickerson Ranch Trail and then spend some time swimming at the Smith River.  It was already 2 p.m. by the time we were ready to leave the Caboose. Nickerson Ranch Trail is an easy 1 mile hike. It seemed doable.  We hopped on to Howland Hill Road and headed to the turn our zeal we read this sign quickly, stopped and started down the trail, confident we'd be at Nickerson Ranch Homesite in a mile.

It was a BEAUTIFUL hike and meandered in and out of old growth Redwoods and ferns...alongside Mill Creek...turns out we were on Mill Creek Trail.  Ah, the sign should be read as - "Keep going .8 to the Nickerson Ranch Trailhead" not, "Head off here and you'll be there in .8 mile."  We did eventually intercept Nickerson Ranch Trail. Unfortunately, we had no idea WHERE we were on the trail and opted to take it back to Howland Hill road and the walk back to our car. LOL  We'll do Nickerson Ranch another day - but none of us were sad to have done this part of the Mill Creek Trail. 
 Seriously, who would begrudge this hike on a gorgeous day in September? 

Along the way we spotted a rope swing down by the creek. The kids headed down and Krista and Nolan tried it out. We'll remember to bring appropriate gear for playing and picnicking at this spot another time.

I commented that these trees reminded me of "sistering." That'll preach. The boys then pointed out two tall Redwoods, standing straight, a discreet distance from each other and said those were "Bro trees." ::snort:: 

Girls illustrating sistering on the sistering trees....

Beautiful hike! 

We can't deny the fall colors we are starting to see. I am hoping the rain holds off - we still have so much to explore!

The video version of the hike.....Not liking the auto-focus sound in the video. Thanks for your grace. 

Homemade ICE CREAM in the TRAILER!

We can't find the family's favorite brand of ice cream in town - the one with three or four ingredients, instead of a list three inches long.  My ice cream (non-dairy) is EXPENSIVE. Mom G has been talking about home-made ice cream. She gave us her ice cream maker - never used - and it was RUSTED.  We kept thinking about it and finally bought an ice cream maker on clearance at Walmart on Friday.
 Yes, three (or four if you use some light cream too) ingredients: cream, honey, vanilla.  I place out everyone's favorite add ins and they are happy. Mmmm......milk and honey.....can you imagine a land flowing with ice cream????? I used to make ice cream every Saturday morning in preparation for Sunday night. We quit doing it in Japan as the ice cream maker didn't work well with the electricity....and we never got back into the habit - until now.
8 C of 1/2 and 1/2

4 C of heavy cream (supposed to be 6 and 6)
 Not sure what happened to the photo of 1 1/2 C honey
1 - 2 T of Vanilla
 Lots of ice and rock salt

30 - 40 minutes later - glorious ICE CREAM! 

Fun to have Krista here to join us.....
 Next, I tried it with coconut milk. I couldn't find coconut cream so used coconut milk coffee creamer - it worked - but I've ordered some cans of coconut cream for the next batch. I'll make way less, too. 

It worked - and it's much cheaper than the non-dairy I'm finding in town.