Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Trail

Over Thanksgiving I had the week off from both my jobs and since the weather was nice I took the opportunity to hike up into Annadel again. This is one of my favorite places in our county. In the summer it is very hot, but as soon as it cools down a bit it is a wonderful wild place to spend time in.

For quite some time I had this idea in my head that I wanted to take pictures of Rough Go Trail by just using my phone. Now finally the time had come to turn this idea into reality (I'm afraid this is a photo-heavy post).

The trail that leads to Rough Go starts near the lake and is nice and mellow with relatively smooth going, the only obstacle in your way being a coyote brush.

Looking back already offers a beautiful view of the Mayacamas Mountains.

Then we hit the Rough Go Trail and the going gets... well, rough. There is a reason why the trail has its name. The first part is still in the shade which is the only shady section of the trail.

Then the trail gets rougher while climbing up.

Turning back you can see the scars of the October 2017 fires - those are some of the mountains where the fire roared over in the night of October 8th, 2017.

The trail climbs steadily among the boulders and rocks - another reason why I avoid this trail in the heat of the summer since the rattlers love to hang out here. While I think they're still more afraid of me than vice versa I do prefer to see them from a safe distance.

The views across my town toward the Coastal Range are stunning. I'm always amazed how many trees there are. Hard to believe that this is a city of 160,000.

But we still have a bit of a climb to do, so let's move on.


This is the end of the first climb - this lovely bench on the ridge.

I love to sit here under the old trees, watching the turkey vultures circling above me. Sometimes deer walk by. About ten to fifteen years ago or so while I was sitting on this bench enjoying the view a woman had climbed up the same trail and was approaching the bench a bit hesitantly. After I had told her that there is certainly space for both of us she sat beside me and we started a conversation. I immediately loved her English accent, and we talked for a long time. At the end we exchanged phone numbers and we became hiking buddies for many years.

It's also a great place for contemplating and writing in my journal.

From here you can still hike much further, there are many trails in Annadel. But I chose to go back, walk down Rough Go. It looks different on the way back.

After all these years I still love this trail. It never gets boring, there is always something new to see. One time I saw a bobcat, another day a coyote further up the mountain. Once a jackrabbit was hopping on the trail and even posing for the camera! I often saw mountain lion scat and once I even turned around on a more remote trail because I suddenly felt my hair standing up. I was pretty sure there was a cougar nearby and I didn't want to take any chances. That never happened on Rough Go, but I'm always vigilant. This is the wilderness after all.


Elephant's Child said...

Oh. How very, very beautiful. And dry.
Thank you so much for taking us along.
And yes, the fire scars last a long time, but here at least Nature recovers relatively quickly. Given rain.
As I hope she is able to do when our current firestorms are over.

Barb said...

This trail looks very rugged with all the rocks. I’d have to pay attention or overturn an ankle. I was thinking of snakes when you mentioned rattlers in summer. We just saw some big paw marks in the snow and wondered if maybe a mountain lion was roaming nearby. Even though they’re around, it’s unusual to spot one. I like the bench at the lookout point - a good place to rest. Great pics with your phone!

Jeanie said...

The Rough Go seems well named and I say well done, you, for mastering it! Lovely photos.

Sue (this n that) said...

That was a really exciting post Carola.
The trail sure is rough and steep in parts, I doubt I could do much of it these days but I thoroughly enjoyed doing it through your photos.
All those gnarly trees and gorgeous rocks. Your narrative really set the tone of the hike as well.
Thanks for that. Have a Merry Christmas, Sue :D) xx ~😊🎄💖~

windrock studio said...

Oh, thanks for taking me along, what a wonderful hike! I enjoyed it all, especially the bench under the tree and hearing the story of your meeting with the lady you became hiking partners with.

Lowcarb team member said...

That trail does look quite rough … but I enjoyed reading your post and seeing your photographs.

All the best Jan

Magdalena said...

Ich finde es toal schön, dass ich durch Deine Bilder einen wunderbaren Einblick in die Landschaft bekomme. Sehr beeindruckend!

Magic Love Crow said...

Wow, that is some trail! Thank you for taking us a long! I love how you told us about your friend you made! Big Hugs!