Mission: Impoppyable

The search for golden poppies began at the foot of Grass Mountain, just outside of the small town of Los Olivos, California. My family and I set out on foot, crossing creeks and passing beautiful wildflowers. While we did stop to admire and smell the inviting Lupins, we had but one thought on our minds: Poppies. We could see the orange swaths across the mountainside above us, and that only drove us onward ever furthe r and faster. As time wound on, the trail began to become steep and slippery. Loose stones and dust only rose the stakes as one after the other, we all took a tumble. But the Cole family pressed on, unhindered by scraped knees or eyes temporarily blinded by dust. We managed to break through the cool shade of the trees, and were met with eternal fields of grass and shrubbery, broken only by the occasional yucca, ready to spear unsuspecting hikers. Heat beat down upon our backs and necks. We were forced to stop several times, and pass about a water bottle to quench our thirst. But on we kept, and soon, the peak was within our grasp. It took only a few minutes to ascend the last few yards of path, find a patch of poppies to lay our blanket next to, and enjoy the view. I managed to snap a few pictures of the poppies, and nearly fell trying to find my footing on the near vertical slope. As quickly as we arrived, we soon left, packing up our things into my backpack and leaving the Poppies for another day. On the descent, I tried to slide down the mountain, through the fields of grass, to little avail. I soon decided that walking and attempting to slide was not quite at a speed on par with my energy, and took off running down the mountainside, nearly falling at every turn or twist in the trail. With the trailhead in view, we hiked on, all the way to the car, and drove home, excited for the next time.

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