Thursday, November 8, 2012

More Fall Exploration

I love Fall around here. The only problem is that by this time of the year, I start to get bored of all of the normal riding, so have to go exploring paths less travelled.  Here are a few good ones from the last couple of weeks:

  • Explored a maze of dirt roads through Little Basin on my way up to the Eagle Rock lookout.

I never would have found this except for the trail of breadcrumbs left on Ray Hosler's blog.  The yellow gate is the key way in, the grades are periodically steep (> 20%, with loose traction on leaves!), and there was one brief unrideable section by an old landslide.  I derive great delight from finding these bits that aren't on any of my maps :)

  • Dragged Nim out on a hike on the Ipiwa trail at Skyline Ridge.  This is a lovely trail that I don't find myself on very often as it doesn't allow bikes.  (Bikes diverted onto a nasty steep fireroad instead; I hate this.)

  • Finally got around to poking around Morrill and Wright's Station Roads.  These allow a delightful out-and-back bonus climb off of Summit Road in the same general vicinity as many other roads that we like. And there is a little bit of dirt to enjoy before the final gate barring you from water district land.

(Back side of Mt. Umunhum; the road I just mentioned drops into the hole between these ridges.)

  • Accidentally turned a 6 mile hike into an 11 mile hike due to the fact that a new trail presented itself.  I was just planning on doing a reasonable loop at Rancho San Antonio, but there's always been a spot at the top of that loop that looked like there might be a use trail leading through the chaparral up the ridge in the general direction of Black Mountain.  Previous investigation of maps made it look like a potentially nasty steep bushwhack through private property, so I've always been able to resist -- but this time there was clearly a lot of recent trail work and an official sign.  I couldn't resist.

Views from the trail.  I did start at roughly the lowest elevation pictured, and continued up several hundred feet more from where I had the camera out.
 Scrub jay.  He kept posing and then flitting away.

The cat, on the other hand, has decided it is cold, and has started searching out cozy places in which to hide.  Though creaky joints and tired muscles may induce me to follow suit, it's still too much fun to be outside instead!

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