Castle Rock state park

by

Saturday, 2 November 2013

I thought I’d go to Grant Ranch today; it has been a while. But the traffic report on the radio said there was an accident on the freeway down that way. Early in the morning, probably not much of a backup, but why bother! So I went to Saratoga summit instead, hiked south along Skyline trail and made a loop through Castle Rock state park.

I had intended to do a longer hike, but the knee complained, so I cut it short: 10 miles, 2100 vertical feet.

P1110312

Near the parking lot, just as the sun rose, a madrone had fallen across the trail. The smooth bark and absence of clutter makes this just about the easiest deadfall I have ever had to climb over!

P1110313

It being Halloween season, this rock seemed highly appropriate.

P1110316

Leading to the Castle Rock falls overlook (above) and the view straight down from the deck (below). Only a trickle of water at this season, of course. Early enough in the day that there are no climbers on this particular face.

P1110325

But just across, I hear voices, and I see one climber, quite likely an instructor. He was just standing there, leaning back into his harness over the abyss, talking with someone I never saw, probably a student.

P1110322

Lots more holey rocks; the edges pretty sharp, as these things go. Rock climber’s heaven.

P1110324

P1110324a

P1110326

P1110327

P1110329

P1110332

P1110334

P1110335

I hiked around the loop to the campground, where I erroneously took a little side trail that led to a flat where, once upon a time, there was a house or maybe a few houses. Nothing now but the chimney.

P1110339

I took Loghry Woods trail back to Skyline. I believe I have never been on this trail before, having always made wider loops. The bad knee encourages a shorter hike today, and it’s a very nice trail. Glad I did it.

It runs below a shooting range. The acoustics are always fun. I hear the shot, and then a drumroll of echoes from the surrounding hillsides. Sometimes the drumroll echoes again into a secondary drumroll, and even a third, and the total can go on for three or four seconds, sometimes after a half-second silent gap between the initial report and the start of the first drumroll.

The shadows and interference fringes are also impressive. Within a trail distance of ten or fifteen feet, I go from hearing no echo at all to hearing a full drumroll of echoes.

P1110336

Leaf shadows on the rock give the distinct impression of oriental serenity. Very, very nice!

 

Advertisements

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: