LAKE NATOMA LOOP 21X February 3, 2008

Waking up to sunlight, I skipped breakfast and caught the light rail at 10:10 a.m. The forecast had been for rain, but it looked so clear on Doppler, and the only clouds visible from the city were on the distant horizon. So, I left my umbrella and rainwear at home.

Getting to Folsom at 10:54 a.m., the clouds were thicker and darker here. If it had started to sprinkle, I'd head for shelter and then get some good food. I quickly headed over the Old Truss Bridge, and started to capture panoramas. I like clouds, which I think adds some drama to the photography. A sky of clear blue and sun happens too many times to be very unusual.

I used the State Park restroom, and enjoyed the light on the bluffs. There had been an additional mudslide, but not as bad as I've seen. Noting the thrown-away cans and plastic bags along this part of the loop, I hope this is not a recurring problem.

The vista from the top of the cone-shaped bump by the 25.5 mile marker wasn't anything special. No sight of the snowy Sierra. I saw on TV that it was snowing hard about the crest, and lower to the west. Another sight of the clouds led me to snap another panorama sequence.

I sauntered gladly to Hazel Avenue, intent on getting home in time to watch the big game. Speeding up my pace, I sought to complete my loop in better time. I drank my can of soda, instead of going to a fast food restaurant, and took the dirt side trails for awhile. By the cutoff to the Iron Point Station, I decided to use the paved bike trail for my walking. Not too many cyclists, today.

At the signed great blue heron vistapoint, I snapped a panorama. Sun shone on the pines across the lake, where these big birds roost. I saw nothing, but it was a nice photo moment.

Having the energy today, I sought to best my slower times. This used to be an easy, late afternoon jaunt, for me, taking then some 3.5 hours to do my circle. I had seen some flowers, with bright blue brodeia, and some white ones, too. No poppies, yet.

It does speed things up to saunter on the side of the paved bike trail, rather than use the side trails. There had been more puddles, and damp or muddy spots, than before. I didn't get so much as a spot of mud on my pants, being careful when stepping about the muddy sections. Cyclists and hikers had all used the grasses along the dirt trails, to ride over or to step on.

Feeling good that the rain had held off, I arrived back to Folsom just after the train had left, at 2:59 p.m. Walking about to see what restaurants were open, I saw many had shuttered up. Everybody was home to watch the game, I guess!

Not able to get another quick can or drink of soda, I sipped from a water faucet at the light rail station, and boarded the train when it came. A beautiful day!

Walikng then my usual 11 miles, I snapped some 150 images. I only spent for the train fare, $4 round trip. Wearing an old parka over two to three layers, I had a heavier layer under my organic cotton pants. Also light hiking boots and daypack. No bugs to bother me, for sure, and only a few ducks and geese.

I watched the TV as I worked on my computer, downloading my photos and working on the images. Maybe a dining situation, after the game, and the web work is done!