Monday, November 28, 2011

A damp and misty morning - King Canyon Loop and Beyond

California Newt - Taricha torosa, unless it is Taricha granulosa
The comfort of our home has been keeping us close these days, as the fall rains roll through the area. Our walking has been curtailed, and our legs are getting more and more restless. Finally we just wrote "long walk" on the calendar, and when that day arrived, "manned up", "womaned up", put on our rain gear and went out the door, prepared for whatever the day brought.

It brought wet but wonderful walking. We headed for Kings Canyon Loop, a local hike on watershed land, that has a very steep dirt down slope on the normal return path. Normally it is just a chastisement to the knees, but with wet weather turns into the slide from hell, multiple falls guaranteed, fractures likely. Considering the weather, we examined Google Maps and found an alternate return route, longer but safer.

Fortunately, witches brews are less common than in Macbeth's time, so the demand for eye of newt is low, and wet weather brings them out in force, fearless of the stew pot.

It wasn't too long after the newt, that we met Old Spotty, another lover of the wet weather. We used to have a half dozen uniquely identifiable ones in our yard, but they have objected to our current landscaping efforts and migrated elsewhere.

Now bigger creatures like our yard. Sorry about the window screen over the image. If you don't see three, you are not looking closely enough.

Back to the walk again. The first three miles or so parallel a reservoir.

A short while after the trail leaves the reservoir, you reach a junction. Left takes you to the slide from hell, right takes you through a gate, and shortly thereafter, to Rancho Laguna Park. Across from the park is another alternate return that avoids the steepest slippery slope, but not all of them. We opted for a walk down the road - Camino Pablo, and the foot path that parallels Pinehurst back to Valle Vista.

I'll close this post with images from the return route:.

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