COLD CANYON LOOP 30X May 20, 2011

Not having much energy or will to do anything except walking about town, with fuel at over $4 a gallon, I finally decided to do a hike and photo shoot. Having this in mind for days, I finally chose this Friday to do it. Up at a decent hour, I motored to Winters, CA, in time to have a good breakfast at a choice restaurant. With five total cups of coffee, then, and a moderately cooler day, I had better do this.

Starting this hike for my 30th time to do the full loop, I chose to hike the upper start to the loop as usual. Taking my time, I felt pretty slow, and wondered if I'd do the full loop. I did a lot of close-ups, many of which did not auto-focus well. I did some movie clips, too, and turkey vultures circled overhead. A profusion of monkeyflowers, and later, paintbrush, were to be seen today. A few hikers came down the trail, and I plodded on, up.

Coming to the top of the bump 1,475', I had my cold soda drink and some water. The view was hazy, but the Valley towns can be seen with an enhanced photo. Chatting with another solo hiker, I rested nicely, then headed on. The Blue Ridge trail made for more photos, and I shortly came to a nice rock overlook, where I lounged with a cool mountain breeze. I did some movie clips, and rested for awhile. This was nice!

Passing by the high bump 1,580+', I ran into more hikers, then declined to check out the new Tuleyome trail. Down the steps, I took more time, going carefully and slowly. Nearly to the bottom, a rattlesnake was stretched across the trail. I took some photos, and it coiled up and rattled, good for my camera. I advised two other hikers of the hazard, then hiked on. I had refused to visit the dam overlook and the Homestead on this loop, conserving my energy. Just getting old and tired!

The bubbling creek made for more movie clips, then it was along the trail to the main start, with a new donation station for generous hikers to help contribute to the Reserve. I would have gladly donated $20, but for wishing for myself to be recognized as a patron for nature. There was no envelope to write your name as a contributor, as for the local Parkway, at one time. I had once written a sizable check, for me, to offset personal carbon generation, and my amount was under what was the minimum required to be published in a nice magazine with a list of supporters. While I do not itemize my tax deductions, there are some who may, and a stub for charity is useful.

Back to my car by 4:30 p.m., I had done it, once again, to total now 30 times. It will soon be too hot to hike here, and the wildflower show wasn't too much to see, this year. How I'll be, come next fall, and winter, will be seen. It'd be nice to have a good facility at the parking lot, with better displays and signs, with a map to point out how the new trail goes. I refused dinner back in Winters, as the help may have overcharged me this morning, and then, the freeway was jammed up with the weekend exodus from the Bay Area.

Doing then 4.75 miles with 1,500' gain, I snapped some 210 images and movie clips (720p HD, 30.6 MB, 1:00). I spent about $16 cash overall, and drove 81 miles round trip from home. My fuel already in my tank covered this short trip. Didn't see any ticks, and wasn't bothered by any mosquitoes. I saw plenty of lizards, and other bugs, then the one rattler.