COLD CANYON LOOP 29X February 10, 2011

Still with a cold, I left home in late mid-morning to do this hike. I'd take it slow and easy. I have to do something to try to lose weight, and do some dining in another, more exotic locale, for me, to enjoy life.

Coming to the primitive lot, I started up the trail by 11:40 a.m. Taking the upper loop trail as always, I began to snap photos. I sought to capture the essence of this trail with all of the time I had. Plodding up slowly, I noticed some new things today. Turkey vultures soared up above, and I finally came to the short side trail to the overlook of the dam. I had to stash my camera back in my camera pack, to not damage it, swinging against the rocks. Clambering up to the high rocks, I scrambled on back, and finished doing the rest of the trail to the point 1,475'.

I stopped at the highpoint here to savor the views. Winters, Davis, and Sacramento were in a line for a telephoto. The snowy Sierra was clear in the distance. I had a cold soda and a stick of beef jerky, enjoying the top alone.

Then it was along the ridge, with other hikers appearing. I stashed my camera again, but got it out for some more views and the highest rock along the trail at 1,580+'. They have built a new bypass that avoids the former, short, class 2 section, and at a junction, there is a new sign pointing out the Tuleyome Trail. This I will have to check out at another time. I sauntered down the steps, and recorded some of them. A side trip to a pool showed some algae, then it was down to the Homestead.

I know it doesn't take me too long to get back to the cars from here, so eased up on my pace. I drank some water, and sought to get some close ups of some butterflies, but failed. A few old mushrooms and flowers were out, then it was across the feeble creek, and to the canyon trail. Coming to the signs at the start of the lower trail, I could relax with another hike loop done. That will now be some 2,320 miles that I have driven cumulatively for all of my hikes here, but over some many years. This had sustained me for exercise and scenic beauty, close to home.

Seeking some fine dining, I parked in old Winters, but the restaurant I sought is closed in the mid-afternoon. It'd be too long to wait to 5, when it opens for dinner. I strolled about taking some photos, then resolved to go home and try not to eat too much today. I'd have chicken noodle soup, and maybe a bite later.

Driving then 81 miles, I hiked the standard 4.75 miles with 1,500' gain. Capturing 213 images and movie clips (720p HD, 17.8 MB, 0:35), I spent hardly anything. I'll have to return to Winters for a fine meal, and that'll give me a drive to do, some boring day.

I wore only two layers with jeans, and some light hiking boots and my smaller day pack. Maybe 7 other hikers on the trail today. The dirt was baked dry in most places, and damp at worse under the trees.

It looks like no partners for peaks, so I may do a shorter road trip to enjoy the desert bloom, and some repeat peaks with trails. It looks good for camping and saving some money. I have a macro lens for close ups, and the Desert has never failed me for enjoyment. I was thinking of Wyoming and Montana in winter, but with little to do solo, I'd be driving my car a long ways to just see the Rockies snowbound. Summer looks promising with Colorado peaks to do, and now I have visited the Southwest twice in two years, so may skip that in 2011.