Hiking in the rain

by

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Intimidated by heavy mountain bike use, steep grades, blind curves, I don’t visit El Corte de Madera open space preserve very often. Even when I was a mountain bikie myself, I didn’t come here, same reason, as well as the fact that it’s more technical than I’m really up for. But I haven’t been here for a while, and it was a rainy day, with fewer bikies than usual. Parked at the newly opened lot off Skyline and hiked the perimeter trails clockwise. A bit less than 16 miles, but 3800 vertical feet. I earned my beer.

Nice to hike in the rain and the coolth. Two or three times it stopped raining and I stowed my rain shell, and two or three times I dug it out again.

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Especially recalling the lost hikers I helped last September, I have long been unhappy with the state of the trail signs here. Today I decided to photograph the signs at all of the trail junctions on my route. I documented inconsistencies with the paper map, absent signs, erroneous signs, vandalized signs … (what else is there?). Needs a clean-up.

For broom too large to take by hand or with a small weed wrench, I now have a small folding saw – I can at least girdle them. I added the saw to my hiking kit, and found several uses for it today, clearing the trail of debris that would otherwise have required a trail report.

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This year’s new growth is a lighter, brighter green than the old foliage. Makes the trees look as if they’re decorated.

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