gmhTODAY Spring 2022 - Page 51

Overall , Faria thinks the Pix In Parks challenge was a great experience because it got them to explore new places that they wouldn ’ t normally go and it ’ s perfect for people of all hiking levels . The hikes are easy enough for people who have never hiked before , and more experienced hikers can modify their hikes by adding more trails in the area .
The challenge also taught Faria a few lessons , the first being to “ just do it and see what ’ s out there .” You never know what you ’ re going to see or experience on a hike , what kind of adventure it will bring . “ Every single one of [ the parks ] has some sort of benefit ,” Faria said .
She said that the parks ’ “ absolute beauty ” is a resource many don ’ t even realize exists in a thirty-mile radius of where we live . She particularly enjoyed discovering the historical aspects of some of the parks , such as in Mt Madonna , where you can see old buildings and ruins . Some hikes gave her the opportunity to see wildlife , like wild boar , coyotes , and snakes . As chilling as the snake encounters can be , they add to the spirit of adventure , and Faria has come away with a few stories .
Participating in the Pix In Parks challenge also taught her how beneficial it was for her overall wellbeing . “ I call it my elixir . It ’ s what I count on — and I ’ m really not happy when it doesn ’ t happen — to center me and balance me . I ’ m out in nature , it ’ s beautiful , I ’ m physical , [ my ] blood ’ s flowing . It ’ s like the best medicine out there ,” she said .
And , of course , Faria loves that she has her friends to share her hiking passion with . The three are a die-hard group who hike every weekend , and Faria loves the energy they bring , especially Tate . “ She gives us the ‘ why not ?’ attitude . It ’ s nice to have someone in your face who ’ s giving you that kind of motivation ,” Faria said .
This year , Faria plans to go above and beyond the Pix and Parks challenge by doing forty hikes . Additionally , she and her friends want one of those hikes to be somewhere out of the area . While Faria ’ s dream is to eventually hike the Na Pali coast in Kauai , and also to hike in the Grand Canyon , she doesn ’ t have the time to make those hikes for now . She ’ s more than happy to make this year ’ s out of area hike someplace a little closer to home , like Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park . Although they don ’ t have an official team name yet , Faria plans on tracking this year ’ s hikes and tagging them online , probably as KLK , for their initials .
Faria talks about hiking with such a passion and enthusiasm that it ’ s hard to believe she ’ s only been hiking for three years . It just goes to show you that you never know what life will unlock for you until you get out there and try new things . Whether you ’ d like to try the Pix In Parks challenge for yourself or something else , wonders await .
SCC Parks Milestones
Since the first County parkland was acquired in 1924 , the Santa Clara County Parks system has grown to include 28 regional parks encompassing over 52,000 acres of land .
>> Your next adventure awaits ! On May 1 , Santa Clara County Parks will be launching the 2022 # PixInParks Magnificent Seven hiking challenge . Here ’ s a sneak ‘ peak ’ of your first adventure .
>> Visit : parkhere . org and follow them on twitter @ SCCParks to discover park activities , wildlife sightings , trail updates and news about special events in Santa Clara County ' s 28 wild and wonderful parks !
>> For the latest upcoming programs and events , subscribe to our monthly e-Blast newsletter at : parks . sccgov . org . For any other questions , please contact recreation @ prk . sccgov . org .
MAIN IMAGE : Lisa , Kathy , and Kamille on the trail at Mt . Madonna County Park . The park has miles of amazing trails you must check out ! BELOW L to R : Rain or shine , team KLK are out hiking every weekend . They occasionally run into friends along the trail !
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