Los Padres National ForestClick for map.
After the ordeal finishing off Thursday, I tried to sleep in as long as I could and generally recover on Friday. I had a message the sawyer project would be postponed, so that plan was out. My secondary plan was to climb Fox Mountain, but I was not in the mood for a bushwhack, somehow. I lazed, I read, I checked out the soggy roads that were preventing us working. Finally, I decided to do the mountain after all and I packed up to walk into the campsite noted in the Fox Mountain Peak guide. It is just a half mile in, so I figured it did not matter much that I had my car camping gear, not backpacking. I would even go ahead and bring my day pack instead of making due with the bigger one. Then I got to lining up the peak guide with the map and noticed that the gate that might be closed was actually the edge of a marked inholding where there is a broken up cattle guard full of mud, remnants of fence, and no gate at all and the hike was 2.5 miles from the actual locked gate, noted as "pavement ends". I shrugged and walked in all 2.5 nearly flat miles instead and never quite got my brain to think about it as backpacking rather than car camping. Just far enough away I did not want to go back for a second trip to get all my gear to the site. The GPS clocked 2.57 miles from car to site, so the guide is very close. The trail up the ridge line next to it was easy to spot even in the dying light, so I was very sure I was in the right starting place.
|There is one site at 2.5 miles from the gate and one ridge next to it with one line of dirt up the edge.|
The track looks reasonably open. My already well bruised legs with a hundred yucca stabs and many long scrapes and even some rash developing between stomach and socks (seems I probably ignored some nude twigs of poison oak that did not ignore me) are quite thankful for that. I want today to be another rather lazy day. I want to go ahead and take basically all day for what really is just a half day hike. Late start, and slow on the way up. Maybe even 3 or 4 hours for the 2.5 mile climb. Yeah, take the whole time the guide suggests is required for this hike just on the uphill. Now that is a goal! But maybe not too late a start. Maybe more like 9 than 10. It might get warm, after all. But without looking at the time at any point in the morning, my start is when it is and that is a quarter to 10.
|Leaving the canyon below where there is a little bit of water shining in the sunlight.|
The trail is initially steep, but not so steep that it feels like the dirt will slide out under my feet. I am a little disconcerted that although heading northwest, my shadow is already pointing more northerly than my direction of travel. Still, the "occasionally obscure" trail seems quite clear enough, at least for going up. As I climb, there are a few places that are steep enough to worry about, but most of the ridge line is a gentle slope. The only protest from my legs come when a low, deep bruise gets two quick whacks with stubby scrub oak branches, not from the climb.
|Up ahead, a step along the way. The peak is behind this and will be unseen for a while.|
|The canyon in the downstream direction. This is what I walked yesterday evening.|