COLD CANYON LOOP 15X January 6, 2007

Exasperated by the lack of partners to come forward to carpool and hike in such unseasonably warmer, and good hiking weather, I had done my daily walk to get the news, dine on some buffet meals, and pick up groceries. I left home at 1 p.m.

I tried Covell Boulevard, versus Russell, from CA 113. It is a few minutes faster, and offers easy driving. I needed no stops all day, and whizzed along CA 128 to the Cold Canyon parking area.

Starting another little hike, I was climbing up the trail by 2 p.m. A good number of cars were parked here, but with enough room for a few more cars. Some cyclists tackled the grade up to the top of the Monticello Dam.

There was more trail work being done, with hundreds of shrubs removed. I had a hard time following the new swath through the chaparral, due to the hundreds of small stumps, but it led back to the original trail, on the top of the ridge. I had a light pack, and only three layers. Moving pretty fast, I came to the top of the Bump 1,475' after 45 minutes. I relaxed, drank my water, and started snapping more photos, for the record. The light was nicer, this time of the afternoon, and I tried out some telephotos. This is a pretty good camera, and it amazes me how the technology advances, all at a highly affordable price.

I shuttered the colorful lichens on the rocks, and sauntered down along the main ridge. I now figure, it takes about an hour to top 1,475', then another half hour to do 1,580+, then a half hour down to the Homestead, and another half hour back to the cars. About a 2.5 hour hike, with stops for photos, and the 20 minute stay atop the first bump.

The light wasn't that great, so I just made good time hiking down. I wondered where all the hikers were. Some people were clad in cotton T-shirts, and I would so love to educate them to use high-tech polyester fabrics, for faster drying outerwear, and to enjoy the higher comfort range.

The mushrooms were old and rotting away, with only a few new ones popping out. This might be a good time to avoid the poison oak, with the leaves fallen and therefore not so fresh and toxic. Reaching the lower trail at 3:55 p.m., the stream was gurgling along, with quiet pools. Hikers were sitting, enjoying the serenity and peace. I was back to the cars by 4:20 p.m.

Needing no food, drink, or rest breaks, I looked at the developing sunset. Worth a stop. I pulled off the Interstate and used my scene features, to preserve the sunset colors. My VR feature worked, with no blurred telephotos, despite the dimming light.

My total round trip from home was 4.5 hours.

The usual, now 4.5 miles with 1,500' gain did me so well. I shot 137 images and movie clips. Traffic on the Interstate seemed a bit less, as we are more officially recognizing global warming, with maybe 10-20% fewer cars than I usually remember.

I am happy to do my part to save the planet, but due to the hate for hate's sake ban on us local hikers of ethnic origin, as they have said, I still cannot advertise, or organize, in the local enviro club schedule to collect together a great bunch of enthusiastic adventurers. In the now distant past, we were a good, happy, group of regulars and newcomers, doing our leads, filling up cars, and saving lots of gas. I surmise they put 25 more cars on the road with the chapter's hateful exclusion. No more friendly, efficient carpools, and plenty of hikes, ski tours, and climbs to content myself with, and all who cared to join us!