14 March 2015

Pothole Trail

Los Padres National Forest

It is time once again for another bout of trail work on Pothole and the day promises to be hot. Most of us meet at the fire station, then we pick up a few more who have their own keys at the trailhead. We climb again directly up the hill, ignoring signs pointing at the memory of a trail off to the left or the right. It is still green, but fading to yellow and brown already.

climbing up that hill
Climbing up that hill. Canton Canyon is in the background.

Piru Creek
Looking over Piru Creek where it would be Piru Lake if full. Things are just a bit less green.

It seems a little like Spring may already be past before it has even started, but there are flowers. They come in thick patches, coloring small sections.

puffs of purple with white flowers around the edges
One lovely and odd flower.

simple orange flowers and springs of rounded purple flowers
Poppies and lupine.

I am a lot slower up the hill this time, even comparatively. Switching my second one up for second to last turns out not detrimental to my chance at some just about usable shade before dropping down to today's work area.

a little more hill to climb
Just a little further before we cross into the wilderness and start to drop.

a depression in the land below
Down to the view of the pothole to start working on the trail.

It is easy travel to a little past where we were working before, then the brush suddenly starts grabbing at all who come past. We pick out spots and start lopping.

undercut cliffs in the distance
Just a little further than before, there are some undercut cliffs.

two furry black caterpillars
A pair of caterpillars enjoying a meal.

more brushy and rocky trail
What still lies ahead: a rocky and brushy bit of trail.

lopping brush
Finishing up the last of the trail work for the day. The little workers pulled their weight too.

We get to a saddle and are finished for the day. Beyond, the trail is undoubtedly still in need of a trim. I feel like I have only done about 30 feet of work. They were particularly brushy feet, but it still seems quite short. It is time to hike back up and out.

wide lizard covered in horns
A horny toad scurries quickly into the shade to hide.

row of red tubes
Scarlet buglers all in a row.

caterpillar on the scarlet bugler
The scarlet buglers have a difficulty with caterpillars too.

Coming down again is particularly unpleasant. As hot as we thought it was at the top (95°F reported under the chrome dome), it is steadily hotter as we drop down toward the lake. We make it, of course, and have a few drinks and snacks to revive us before we go off on our way again.

©2015 Valerie Norton
Posted 18 March 2015


Mark Subbotin said...

Can't wait to walk it after The C.R.E.W. does the tread work.

Jon said...

The "odd flower" is Owl's Clover!

Valerie Norton said...

It's a nice odd flower!