COLD CANYON LOOP 13X October 29, 2006

With the late, fine weather, I sought to test out my new camera, once again. Best to see if it fails, while a return or warranty period is in effect. I would carry it in my belt pack, today, with some jouncing around as I hiked.

This standard trail loop of mine is only a 75 mile round trip from town. I get 1,500' gain, with fair views. Starting from a half empty parking area at 12:25 p.m., I took the upper trail to bag the bumps, first.

Some new things were done, here, with a bit of trail work to fill in some of the eroded parts. A new signboard at the lower end was good, and now, mile markers are posted along the trail.

A fire had scorched Pleasants Ridge, and I captured that view many times. The area was dry, and I had worries of a fire. Careless people, throwing lit cigarettes out of cars, would easily start one. The new burn area looked like it had started from the highway.

I topped the first bump, 1,475', quickly, and didn't do as much photography as I would have. My new hardware takes up more memory, and I'd be burning the data to CDs all the time. I took my own photos, and yesterday, had found the panorama assist makes lining up frames very easy! But it isn't easy to click out of that mode.

The day before, I had driven out to Fair Oaks to do more camera testing, and hiked up the Parkway to see the salmon at Nimbus DFG hatchery. The fish ladder wasn't running, but some salmon were coming upstream. It's usually about November to early December that the run is in full progress, although I saw on TV that it had started.

Taking the trail along the ridge, I topped the highest bump, 1,580+' with no really nice or dramatic photos of Lake Berryessa. No clouds, just sun. Feeling full of energy, I bounded down the steps, and made it to the Homestead in good time. I'd get home early, and work on my post.

The creek was almost dry, and I shot more photos of the fall colors. Some wild grape was nicely red, and many yellows lit the scene. Passing some more hikers, I came back to the highway, CA 128, and car at 3 p.m.

Traffic wasn't bad, and I needed no stops. Home to check the pictures, early, today.

As long as you don't shoot into the sun or any bright reflections, this camera is great. I am starting to like the improved image quality, with updated features. Now, it's a matter of durability. Hope it doesn't go out anytime soon!

The loop hike is 4 miles, and 1,500' gain. I shot 90 images. I purchased and ate some beef jerky to stop for a restroom enroute, and used up my quarter tank of gas.

A T-shirt and jeans were nice. I carried a light pack, with water and my first-aid kit. No ticks, and no mosquitoes, either. I spotted some quail, and there was an absence of lizards and snakes. Some turkey vultures, too. About a dozen hikers on the trail.

It'd be nice to take a carload of avid hikers to enjoy this closely situated trail. But it'd take time to pick up everyone, unless it was an organized hiking op, with a meeting place. As the Net develops, I see groups forming on the Net to team up in the hiking, and entail shared expenses. Cheaper and better for everyone. The old outings club was good for that, but that will never be, again. A sad time for hiking fun!