Saturday, November 12, 2011

An hour on the South Fork Trail

Saturday, November 12th

Red dirt and scrub.
Scrub and red dirt.
Red dirt.
Red dirt (did I say that already?)

I'm not terribly impressed by this trail. I think it would be a pretty good workout on a bike or a trail run: an exercise trail.

I figure I went about 3 miles total today.

I started at the Skunk Hollow area on Salmon Falls Road.

It was closed to cars and locked so the Folsom Lake SRA lost out my day-use fee today. Stupid decision on their part. I had planned to pay. Three other cars pulled up there and turned around. I assume at least 1/2 of those had planned to pay as well.

At least the bathrooms were unlocked. I parked instead on the other side of the bridge, in the improvised dirt lot (free).

The dumpster was full right to the top and someone had hopeful ideas about recycling.

The trailhead is at the far end of the parking lot.

This trail has been touted as part of the effort to create a 25 mile multiuse trail. This plaque along the trail implies that equesterians may use this trail (and the trail system farther along, at Cronan and Magnolia Ranch trailheads, are certainly widely used by the horse folks).

However, there is this sign at the trailhead.

If I had a horse, I'd be mighty confused and a little irked.

My other beef with this trail is the total lack of legal camping spots along the trail. Why on earth have a 25 mile trail and no where to camp? Yes, this trail is on several BLM land parcels, but these particular parcels are part of a limited impact area. No camping. No fires.

Alright. Enough ranting.

After the locked parking lot and contradictory trail signs, it is time to climb up and up and up a series of nicely laid out switchbacks.

The bridge beyond which I parked gets smaller every time I look back.

Sometimes a view back will show me some of the trail.

I encountered a couple sets of joggers, one other set of walkers, and two sets of mountain bikers.

The switchbacks up stop eventually, giving you a brief view of the other side of the ridge. I stopped about here and turned around.


One of the few shade-giving trees on this section.

Yep. That's the river. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down there.

Rockslide section near trailhead.

I wore a lighter (wool) shirt today. I sweated some but not too badly.

My hiking poles are invaluable on downhill sections. I sort of lean forward and charge down hill, poles thumping away in front.

I did not bother to fog-proof my glasses. Mistake.
I fogged them up but good. And I had also neglected to bring my bandana. Fingers don't work so great wiping off condensation.

Well. Despite my whinging and whining I'm glad I got outside today.

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