Sweet Rewards

After pulling back the little metal flap, I heard swish-pop-fizz, and it sounded oh-so-good. I took a big chug off my New Castle Amber Ale and felt sweet success. Such a refreshing feeling after the hike we just had.

I was so excited when New Castle came in a can, it became part of my motivation for climb up that monstrous hill leading out of the American River Canyon.


Photo Credit

Every summer Erik and I look over our calendar and strategically plan weekend backpacking trips to different rivers that surround our area.

The goal is to spend the weekend looking for gold. Well, he does most the sniping – I typically lay on the warm bedrock, swim and read my kindle.

Sniping is a technique in finding gold, and it is one of Erik’s most preferred ways of finding it. I do it with him sometimes, but I enjoy these trips more for the sweat and the feeling of being unreachable.

It was the summer of 2007, this trip took us to Stevens Trail for a weekend of hiking, prospecting, swimming, reading and simply lying around.

Sometimes the downhill is harder than the uphill. Anything worth having, in my opinion, is worth working for. The pain in my knees with each step down the mountain was a small price to pay to be far away from the everyday hustle, cell phones, and daily demands.

Jumping into the cool river to clean off the dust and sweat was a sweet reward after the downhill grind.


These trips give us a chance to disconnect and reconnect. We spend our days soaking in nature’s comfort, and different fun-loving activities. The evenings we are busy catching and releasing the tiny Bass that occupy the river, just until the sun goes down. Once the sun is down we appreciate the quite black sky, lit up by the uncountable amount of stars.

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Some of our trips are full of adventure, others are a simple getaway, but all are about of finding peace which reaps sweet reward.

Stevens Trail

Photo Credit

Have you hiked in and around the American River? If so, what trails do you like to explore? Tweet me at @KellieHiking or tell me what your sweet rewards are after a challenging hike in the comments below.


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