LAKE NATOMA LOOP 24X March 28, 2009

Gaining weight again, I sought to positively impact my life style with some getting back into hiking. The many thousands of miles I had walked about town and the Parkway last year had been negated by my snacking at night, along with so many coupons for good deals getting fast food.

This weekend was to be fine, and it would be getting hot shortly, as into the 90's for highs, and I would be forced to walk in the early morning or on cooler evenings. I had heard the wildflowers were out, and I wondered how this year would compare to previous years.

After a short walk getting the news, I rode light rail out to Folsom to do this standard local hike, not done by me since October of last year. I dressed in my T-shirt and shorts. The fare is now 4.50 round trip, which would buy my gas for Cold Canyon, but little else. I seem not to have any enthusiastic enough, reliable partner, with my current prospect refusing most all but his family time, and once sleeping in. We seemed to be out of sync, too, for my latest carpool op.

Getting to Sutter Street by about 12 Noon, this sunny Saturday, I looked to see what was new. Some businesses had shuttered closed, and my choices for breakfast or lunch were then more limited. There was still some construction, and the new parking garage looked pretty enough.

Over the truss bridge, I began to encounter perhaps hundreds of users, this day, getting their exercise. Poppies bloomed nicely at some spots, although I have seen better for wildflower years. I did my routine close-ups, and kept to the left shoulder in fear of some collision due to the congestion when hikers and cyclists coming from both directions seem to converge where I am.

There was a good stand of poppies below the bluffs, and then in spots on the way. A seldom seen few other flowers grew along the pavement. I topped my usual bump, the top replete with scars from a bonfire, and some garbage, to see the distant snowy Sierra peaks, and the still grassy green hills in all directions.

Coming to Hazel Avenue, I was thirsty and wondered about a quick stop at the fast food outlet here. Lupines grew along the trail. I knew it didn't take me long to get back to my loop completion. I counted the minutes, and took the dry side trails, with only one muddy puddle, along the lakeshore. I then knew I'd need to do another hike this weekend, and adopt a more aggressive workout schedule. Kayakers floated about the lake, with a very few geese here or there.

The restrooms I use were open, and getting back to Old Folsom, I sipped some water from a public faucet, and looked for somewhere close and fast for a drink, smoothie, or what. There was no affordable op for a quick enough, refreshing beverage, rehydrating meal, or food energy snack close by.

The train came by shortly, then, by about 4:27 p.m., and I hopped aboard. Debarking back in town, I got a small but satisfying light dinner, then walked another 1.5 miles home.

I captured 130 images on the loop, and the temps were pleasant enough, with a slight breeze. I didn't perspire at all, and wasn't directly disturbed at all by anyone on the train, or trail, both ways.

This night, I figured to head out to see Earth Hour about Downtown. It was supposedly recognized by a few, but I failed to see anything. Doing a night hike down Capitol Mall, I snapped many photos to test out my camera features. Most of them came out with too much noise.

I had walked then 17 miles today, and spent about $10. I wished for more attention to be drawn to global warming, as I doubt anyone locally pays it any serious concern, at least as I do every day!