Completing more anvil trails

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Saturday, 30 August 2014

The anvil award goes to those who patrol all of the open space district trails. For today’s increment, I started just after 7 on Page Mill road at the head of Montebello road, and completed my remaining trails in Montebello with a hike of a bit less than 5 miles.

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Then I drove to the Horseshoe lake parking area at Skyline ridge, and with a bit less than 7 miles, completed the set of trails there. Fir knoll trail, very pretty, and from the high point on Butano ridge trail, a look back at Montebello ridge. I started thisĀ morning on the left, at the top of that ridge, and hiked to a point just beyond the communications towers.

In the nearground, the tree farm, and in between, Stevens Canyon, along which runs the San Andreas fault.

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From the Ipawa trail, an overlook view that goes on forever. Butano ridge in the background (well, Pacific ocean really in the background), and any number of creeklets that, if it were ever to rain again, would ultimately deliver water to Pescadero creek, thence to the sea.

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Some of the oaks are amazingly large, not so much in trunk size as in sheer span. It is not surprising that branches come crashing down every now and again.

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As far as I know, oaks live until something kills them. Disease, I suppose. Elegant in death, and they give the woodpeckers something to do.

From Skyline ridge, I went to Long ridge, where I invested another 5 miles of hike in the northerly trails. I’ll need to come back once more to complete the trails here, but I can probably combine that visit with the Saratoga gap trails.

Historically, I have tried to hike the biggest loop I could construct on the map, or failing that, killer out and back routes. By committing to hike all of the trails, I discover any number of really pretty little fill-in choices that I have either never hiked before or have forgotten over the course of the years. Glad I’m doing this!

It has been three weeks since I finished my yellow-star thistle project at Windy hill. I know it’s impossible to get them all, and the seeds continue to germinate, even in the absence of rain. So I stopped to have a look. The yellow star thistle was fairly minimal; I did a good job. But I also attacked a small colony of purple star thistle, which filled my bucket to overflowing, likewise the garbage can when I took it home. Overall, I’m pretty happy with that project.

17 miles, 3200 feet of climb. I earned my beer.

And as it nears its second birthday, my car turned over 10 000 miles on the way home. Being mostly a telecommuter now, I don’t need to drive all that much. Nice.

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