LAKE NATOMA LOOP 22X April 29, 2008

Beset by personal matters, and tax form preparations, I missed a weather window for another road trip. Gas was approaching $4 a gallon, and I had no carpoolers or any hiking partners for any event. I spent some time installing new hardware and software, and then my new set-up was fully operational.

The weather for this Tuesday was to be cooler. This might be the last time that I can go for a local hike before next fall. I left home and caught the light rail transport to start my hike at 9:54 a.m. There were some new things along Sutter Street, as the near completion of the new parking garage next to the Historic Folsom light rail station.

Going over the old truss bridge, the water was calm. Most of the spring runoff had been by, I'd guess. There's still lots of snow in the mountains, but this is now a lower than normal precip season.

The sun beat down, and I feared it'd get warmer than they forecast. I wore two light layers, with long pants. I had along two cans of diet soda, and consumed one at the State Park. They kept cold, in my pack, by my storing them in a thick wool sock.

Various flowers graced the bike trail, and some clumps of poppies along the shoreline made for a photo. New signs had been placed, and a few other additions had been made. I enjoyed the green shrubbery, and some grasses had not yet wilted to oatmeal colors.

The usual jaunt up the bump to the side took several minutes, and I snapped a panorama. The haze obscured any snow on the distant Sierra. I felt pretty good, and rounded the loop over the Hazel Avenue Bridge. All or most of the stone restrooms were now open, and the faucets ran cool water. I had my second can of soda at a picnic table amidst pine trees and fallen cones. I had lots of time.

A few other users were cycling or kayaking about, and I stopped for more close-ups of the wildflowers. Not shooting as many photos as I normally do, I captured a few scenes of the lake and shore, but nothing spectacular. I meant to have some food back at Sutter Street, but thought better of it. The newly constructed garage, here at Reading and Leidesdorff Streets, next to the light rail station, should serve many commuters.

Boarding the train home on the 2:30 p.m. run, I debarked for a quick buffet meal, and added another mile and a half to my day's hike.

I walked then 12.5 miles, with slight gain. I shot 110 images and movie clips. The fare was still $4 round trip, and I spent about $17 for food, today. Clearly, you come out ahead by using mass transit, rather than pay to use a gallon of fuel, what it would take for me. I figure the ride takes about a half hour longer, each way, when the freeway isn't clogged up, and it was nice to see people helping to save the planet, presumably, this way.

It may be that I do not drive the entire 6,000 miles (by the scheduled maintenance) allowable on my car, this winter and spring, and thusly not emit the greenhouse gases that come from motoring about.

I had referred to Death Valley as a place where the highs reach over 123 degrees Fahrenheit. Uninhabitable, for most. If the predictions for global warming ever come to fruition, I suspect the end for most cities in California. Just no one would live here, except maybe the wealthier people who could afford solar panels to power their air conditioners. There are still plenty of doubters, as most will continue to do as they will, barring non-affordability of the fuel prices. Mention of $5 per gallon by next year has me thinking hydrogen. It now costs me close to $2,000 a year to keep my car, whether I drive it or not. But it's still sure nice to not have to use a rental vehicle every time I go for an out-of-town hike!