Huddart and Purisima

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Saturday, 3 May 2014

A nice day for a walk in the woods. Cool, even chilly, but very pleasant. The usual hike from mid-way up Kings Mountain road down to the Phleger Estate, thence up to skyline. I bypassed the Kings Mountain village completely this time, turned north on a trail somewhat lower down the hill, a trail I haven’t taken before, and crossed Skyline considerably further north than usual.

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Lots of newts; I saw four in one 10-foot length of trail. Populations fluctuate year by year, and this seems to be an exceptionally good year for newts. While I’m on the topic of populations, I think I’ve seen far fewer ground squirrels this year than usual.

From the north Skyline gate of Purisima, I returned by way of the Craig Britton trail, much of it open and sunny. Because it gets so much more rain (from fog condensation), the west side of the ridge is far more lush. Huddart (above) is beautiful, but dry and open.

15 miles, 3000 vertical feet. Qualifies as an industrial strength hike. Nice day.

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