When the school year ends, I try my best to get away and go on a retreat to let things settle, breathe deeply, and enjoy the beauty of the natural world. California's full of wonderful places to visit, but this year I decided to return to the Ananda Mediation Center in Nevada County. On my way up there I stopped to hike up the South Yuba River, near the old and new bridges that cross it on Highway 49. From there I continued to the Meditation Center - I just love this beautiful property, its gardens, the vegetarian cuisine, and the spaciousness among the various guest accommodations. Here are some images from my journey, including a lovely hike up the Bald Mountain trail.