Hike/Recon – Day #2

Saturday I hiked from my place PCT north to Highway 74. Sunday I decided to continue my reconnoiter south from my place to Coyote Canyon Road. Because the precipitation on this portion of the trail, which is lower in elevation and south facing, likely fell as rain, the chance of trail erosion from the 3+ inches of rain that fell that week was much higher. Plus, there is a nasty boulder that has been looming over the trail for years on the north slope of Nance Canyon, always threatening to let loose at the next big rain, and I wanted to check that it had not fallen and taken a portion of trail with it.

I left just as a heavy fog was lifting. I got a nice shot of an unnamed side canyon on Table Mountain (mile 144.3) with some fog still clinging to the mountainside.

IMG_0073

The 3 mile portion of the PCT south of my place has been taken over by  large-scale pot growers and every time I walk this way, a new one has popped up (or a new grow house has appeared). The following pictures were all taken from the PCT with my iPhone. (All can be clicked on to view detail.)

IMG_0075 IMG_0079
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FYI – If you are a hiker or equestrian passing through this area, the people at these pot farms are not nice. Stay on the trail and do not (DO NOT!) attempt to go and see what they are up to.

no water in nance creekOnce past all this nastiness, I had a lovely hike down into Nance Canyon. I was hoping that, with all the rain, Nance Creek would be flowing (as it has done reliably through the spring until two years ago), but, alas, it was dry. The picture on the left shows where the PCT crosses over the “creek”, now better named a dry wash.

The north-facing side of Nance Canyon has several boulders with beautiful displays of multi-colored lichens. Here is an example:

Click to enlarge to see detail of individual lichens
Click to enlarge to see detail of individual lichens

So many people pass through looking only for the vistas — the views on a grand scale — and the miss the beauty under their boot soles.

I hiked out of Nance Canyon to Coyote Canyon Road to check that the guard posts preventing ATV access were still in place. — Everything looked good, so I reversed my tracks and headed home.

The only damage from the recent rains was a very small landslide on the south face of Nancy Canyon. I pushed and kicked the fallen rocks off the down side of the trail in a matter of minutes and was on my way.

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