As another year draws to a close and we begin to count down the days to a new year, a new era, a new beginning, it’s hard not to think about all that the past 365 days have offered. In my case, it felt like an entire lifetime occurred in twelve months, and if you told me that 2017 was actually five years long, I might believe you!

The most noteworthy change of this year was, of course, my relocation from Washington State to California, where the sun is year-round and “cold” means “put on a sweater” instead of “bundle up in eight layers before stepping out to get the mail”.


Having a job with plenty of downtime and a location of extra daylight means I’ve been able to do so much more hiking than I have in previous years. (In Washington, I think I was only able to get out for maybe five months of the year; needless to say, it’s been quite a thrill to go hiking in December!) I’ve had so many opportunities to go exploring in jaw-dropping locales, it was hard to narrow it down to my top three, but here they are:

Malibu Creek Rock Pools

This was a side-stop on the way home from Los Angeles, but I wish I could have stayed for a few more hours (days, weeks…). The mountains loomed overhead, reflected in the still-water pools, and the rocky crags just begged to be climbed.


Point Reyes National Seashore

Collectively, I’ve spent maybe 12 hours in Point Reyes, trekking over 15 miles in that time, and I still want to go back for more. Mountains, forests, open air, California condors and Tule elk, sandstone cliffs and pristine beaches, all right at my fingertips (give or take a few miles). Someone told me that California was magic; after spending a few hours in Point Reyes, it’s impossible to disagree.


Patrick’s Point

Another pit stop on a road trip, Patrick’s Point will forever be one of my favorite places on this earth. It’s a small little park, but the jagged ocean cliffs and thundering waves more than make up for the lack of acreage.


What To Expect In 2018

I have no idea what the upcoming year will hold, and that both thrills and terrifies me. I don’t have any major travel plans (not yet!), but rest assured I’ll be wandering off to somewhere exciting. With a grand beautiful world to explore, I can’t possibly remain stationary for too long!
As far as Down The Deer Trail goes, I have some plans for this little blog, and I’m excited to see where these paths will take us!
So, here’s to the new year: raise your glass, kiss someone at midnight, and embrace all that life has to offer!




And don’t forget to take lots of pictures! Redwood State Park, Orick, CA