COLD CANYON LOOP 19X June 6, 2007

Seeing a cooler high forecast for the day's weather, I left home in the morning, Wednesday, to do a quick hike in this local Preserve. I ran into a traffic slowdown on the Interstate, then took my side roads into the Coast Range.

A recent fire had scorched the hill to the east of the hike. The grasses are definitely dry, and I was to see very few wildflowers along the trail.

Starting at 9:50 a.m., I wore three light layers at first. Climbing up the hill, I stripped off a layer, despite enjoying the cool breeze. Making it to the top of the bump 1,475', I rested a short bit. The sight of Lake Berryessa was nothing new. Seeing nought but lizards and turkey vultures, except for a few other hikers and dogs, I didn't tarry long.

The trails are completely dry, and there is no water in the Preserve's main creek. I topped the second bump, and viewed the scene. No snow on the higher peaks to the north, but some towns to the east could be discerned. Some build-up occurred, with large, darker, clouds forming above.

With things to do back home, I scurried down the wooden steps. They have brought in more wood steps with steel rods through them, presumably to make the higher side's loop trail better for most hikers. The poison oak had turned pale red, and there were a few yellow flowers, plus some Tolguacha.

Nothing new to see at the Homestead junction. Back to the car at 12:14 p.m., I shortly motored off, and quickly returned home.

Hiking the usual, now 4.75 miles, with 1,500' gain round trip, I snapped only 66 images. I spent only about a dollar thirty for a breakfast snack enroute, and otherwise never needed to use any facility.

I had on a light parka and T shirt, with long pants. My light pack carried a liter of water plus a cold soda, and first aid kit. It alternated between cool and warm from seeming air pockets along the way.

No ticks or mosquitoes appeared on me, at all. Some other flying bugs flitted about, but mostly it was fine, today. One hiker showed me his can of pepper spray to be used against mountain lions, and then maybe people threats, carried in his large pocket. I may get one of these for my coming summer trip to Montana. While I'm not planning on hiking in Griz country, you never know.

Liking the shorter drive of only 80 miles, round trip, I used less than a quarter tank of gas. My offers to carpool remain unseen, unheeded, or disregarded, apparently.

Well, most people, locally, refrain from such activities, and most hikers work midweek. I will maintain a regimen of walking in town, having done some 75 miles in the week before, and hopefully some hikers or climbers will venture an e-mail to team up on some good peaks to climb.