ANOTHER FOLSOM WALK November 10, 2009

With rain forecast on the day, November 11th, for free entry to the national parks, I wouldn't easily be able to hike Alta Peak (11,204'), and then Kaiser Peak (10,320'), with two nights lodging in Fresno. So, I had this notion of hiking the highest point of Sacramento County, Carpenter Hill (823') 2X. I'd do this by mass transit, with thusly a virtual zero carbon footprint.

Reports on the Net suggested there might be a window to the closed-off summit area, with its water tank and antennas. I knew the immediate area was now developed, and the way landowners are, hikers like County Highpointers might not be liked. The ones who finish that list break trespassing laws, as a few of the highpoints are on private land, with never any permission given. I was aware by some of the former members in the local enviro club that their criminal activity is cheered on. I'd hiked this highpoint already, way back when there wasn't a problem. So, this was a checkout hike to determine the current status of public access to this hill.

So, this Tuesday, catching the light rail train, I debarked at Historic Folsom station at 9:56 a.m. I stopped at the visitor center, and they gave me some maps. The new Folsom has plenty of bike paths, and I'd like to see where they are, if nothing else. Making my usual walk up Sutter Street, the old town was nearly devoid of people. It was early in the day, though, and the weather was mildly overcast and gloomy.

Hiking up Riley Street, I turned left on East Bidwell Street. You can follow a sidewalk the entire way, although some streets may have to be crossed. I waited for the crosswalk signals, with a high tech one, speaking, "wait," and to go. There is a countdown of how much time is left on walking across a street.

Enduring several of these, I had enjoyed a great breakfast deal at a fast food restaurant, of which there are many along the way. I was reminded of my hikes up Market Street in San Francisco, to top Twin Peaks, and also Mt. Davidson, another county highpoint. I could have taken the bus to make this just a mile or so walk, but as with Twin Peaks, figured to make it a slight challenge.

Finally coming to Broadstone Parkway, I looked at my maps, and navigated up to a possible access point. Serpa to Caversham leads to an iron gate blocking a paved road, maybe going to the top. It was locked, so I took Iris to the bike trail. I had a view to the north, with all new development. I know many office workers commute from up here, daily. The higher urban views are nice if you like those types of things.

The bike trail descends eastward to come, in about a quarter mile, to Carpenter Hill Road, in the middle of another subdivision. Making a clockwise loop about the hill, I looked, but saw only homes, the iron fence, and a "no trespassing" sign. The message was clear.

Doing a loop over to Iron Point Road, with a nice sidewalk, then view of the city to the west, one might hike up some landscape gardening to approach the top of the hill, said done by some other Net post. But, I seek no trouble. If they do not provide clear access, this county highpoint just becomes off limits, legally, and some furtive hiking, anyway, would just be in the spirit of that sport.

Down to a new mall, I looked for the bus stop to take me back to the light rail station. I had time for a cold soda, and the bus came by, about on time. I paid the senior fare, $1.10, and shortly arrived at the station where the light rail train came by, quite quickly.

The hiking took about three hours, with stops, so I'd count it as about 7 miles. I supposed that I had done about 700 feet of gain, total, with some dips. I captured 95 images, and spent $6.10 for the total transit fare round trip.

I had on a moderate layer over my LW crew top, and a parka over that. It became a bit warm with my LW bottoms under my cord pants. My light hiking boots did fine. I had a cotton cap as well as a fleece cap, and neck gaitors. If it had gotten warmer, I might have needed a restroom to change out of my polyester bottoms, with plenty of businesses along almost every step of the way.

I made a light buffet salad for something to eat, and caught the newspapers at a library before I came home.

Hoping for someone with time off to bag some desert peaks, maybe over the holidays, the local, once hiking, club, doesn't schedule any such peak climbs, then. In the deep past, we'd hike 3 or 4 good desert peaks, then going back to work, refreshed and ready. With the shorter days, even from dawn to dusk, there isn't that much time for exercise, albeit all in daylight.

Otherwise, I'll be conserving as best that I can, and tracking and enjoying the fall colors, as were nice on this hike.