Trail patrol in the rain

by

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The radio predicted a chance of rain, scattered showers with the possibility of a thunderstorm. That’s much less ominous than yesterday’s forecast. Having a nasty, suspicious mind, I looked at the weather radar. Clear now, and a solid block of green and yellow and orange pixels off the coast, heading this way. Right! So much for the radio optimists.

But there is no such thing as bad weather, merely inadequate clothing. And although I did some work yesterday, it wasn’t cardiovascular exercise. Start early, maybe avoid the worst of the rain?

And it was raining, fairly seriously, as I drove to Windy Hill, the closest and most convenient of the preserves that offer a route to Skyline ridge. Having washed the urushiol off my jacket and cap yesterday (I hope), I was back in business with some level of resistance to water. The newts are out, and good for them. Haven’t seen any for a while.

I decided to wear my padded vest over the long-sleeved tee shirt. Glad I did; the wind and rain were vicious at the top. Well, not vicious enough to make me zip the armpit vents of my rain shell, but vicious enough. I turned back down Hamm’s Gulch trail, and after descending not very far at all, the weather was vastly improved.

As always under these circumstances, there was debris on the trail, much of which was small enough that I could remove it myself. Only one that I had to report for subsequent attention by the chainsaw crew.

P1170281

This photo shows a situation that’s worth special mention, a tree just getting ready to fall, levering its root up out of the ground. I don’t know whether it has minutes or hours, but I bet it won’t last for days before coming down.

Nicely timed. As I got back to the parking lot, the desultory rain turned into hard rain. Had I been a minute later, I would have been in the car, rather than on the way to the car, but then, I would have missed the photo above. Nice to get home where I draped jacket and cap over the bicycle handlebars in the garage, dropped socks and gloves on the slate floor of the solarium, shed everything else into the bathtub to drain and dry, and stepped into a hot shower!

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