Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hike 2011.033 -- Above Glendora

Having read Dan's Hiking Blog yesterday, I learned that the thread leaved brodiaea was blooming. That's an endangered flower that stopped planned developments in Big and Little Dalton Canyon, above Glendora. Thought it would be nice to see an endangered species. Also, since I could only managed a short hike, something nearby seemed like a good idea.

Unfortunately, I got a later start than I wanted to. That made the hike pretty hot.

Started on the Colby Trail, which is at the top of Lorraine Avenue in Glendora. Lots of matilija poppy near the stone entry way.

Lots of old oak trees, too. And lots of squirrels. This gray one was working on an acorn as I came up, and didn't move as I fired off several shots. He eventually headed into a tree.

At .22 miles (according to the sign), a spur heads off to the right for the Berm trail. If you instead go about ten yards further up the hill and turn left, there's an unnamed trail that heads to where the brodilaea grow. Many were growing right adjacent to the trail, so there was no need to go tromping off trail. Others were further off, but, again, why risk stomping on some if you can photograph plenty right off the trail?

I also saw dried annual grasses, and a whole lot of sunflowers (both here and at many other points during my hiking today).

After the time in the brodilaea meadow, I made my way across to the meadow on the east side of the Colby Canyon Trail (along the Berm Trail).

Along the way, I saw this bundle of white flowers, here, as well as a lot of wild radish. The wild radish were also in the meadow to the south of the brodilaea area.

I then made my way down towards the fire station, then on out to Glendora Mountain Road (GMR).

From GMR, I headed north a short distance to pick up the Poop-Out trail, and headed up that way. Sunflowers, blue dicks, blue penstamon, and assorted other wildflowers added color to this steep section of trail, just as they had the first time I headed up this way.

Once at Monroe Truck Trail, I had the option of either heading back down via the Upper Mystic Canyon trail (to the right) or down the Lower Monroe Truck Trail (to the left). Because of my arbitrary three mile requirement, I went left.

Almost immediate-ly, I came across a small gopher snake who seemed to have a death wish. He was sprawled out across about 2/3 of the trail. I've seen them do this before. I guess they like the sunshine, but it seems like they'd be in bad shape if a mountain biker comes down the trail while they're doing this.

The decent down into Little Dalton Canyon was pretty pleasant. I mean, other than already being hot and thirsty, it was nice. :D

The trail descends and heads mostly northward, with GMR visible on the opposite canyon wall. Finally, the trail drops to stream level and begins working its way back south. I knew this, of course. The whole point of the detour was to accumulate my three miles.

Once at stream level, the stream and trail make multiple intersections. However, it was much easier to follow the trail this time than it was the last time I was down here. I think someone has done some significant trail maintenance over the past five months.

When I finally reached GMR, I had another choice: Up GMR, then catch the Colby Trail back to my car, or just walk down GMR, and figure it out that way. I took the lower choice.

When I reached where the Berm Trail/Colby-Dalton Trail reached GMR, I ignored it and continued along GMR. In retrospect, this might have actually been a longer way than just heading back into the hills.

The first road I saw heading west had a "Not a Through Street" sign a bit in from GMR, so it made no sense to go that way. Instead, I continued to Palm Drive, then made a right (heading west). I wasn't sure if this would make it all the way back to my car. In the distance, I could see what looked like a dead end.

Fortunately, looks were deceiving. Although there's a big tree in the middle of where the road was heading, and the pavement made a 90 degree turn to the south, the short "Palm Drive Trail" linked the two paved portions of Palm, and carried me across the drainage basin back to Lorraine. From there, it was up hill a bit to my car and a very welcome conclusion to my hike.

My car thermometer said it was 94 degrees. My clock said it was not yet 1pm.

All told, about five miles of walking (at least 1.5 miles of that on pavement).

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