Friday, November 2, 2012

Hike 2012.071 -- Sturtevant Falls

Hiked Thursday, November 1. It's been several weeks since my last hike. Between work and other obliga-tions, I haven't had the time. So, today, I was happy to be able to get off work about 30 minutes early. Still, the 605 was already congested, so I wound up taking surface streets a good chunk of the way.

Once there, I observed a fire truck, a paramedic truck, and saw a helicopter fly out from the canyon. I assume a hiker fell, though I did not stop to ask. Instead, I parked, rummaged around my passenger compartment (looking for my Adventure Pass), then dug through my trunk and backpack, looking for my change of clothes, socks, and boots.

As I dug through my trunk, I noticed a tall, slim, dark-haired woman heading down the trail, towards the falls.

In the meantime, I finally located and hung the Adventure Pass, then carried my change of clothes towards the restroom to change. As I approached the vault toilets of the lower parking lot, I noticed some Stellar's Jays, drinking water from the dog fountain and sitting on the bench near the fountain. I fired off about a half-dozens shots before putting the camera away and changing.

After changing, I tossed the work clothes into the truck, laced up my boots.

There was a bit of a bite in the air (at least by southern California standards), so I pulled on my sweater over my shorts and t-shirt before moseying on down the trail. Having eaten an excessively large lunch, I had to take it slow, to prevent from upsetting my stomach. I should know better by now.

The air was hazy, and there wasn't much of a view to the south. The leaves I saw were mostly dried and on the ground, so clearly I have missed the peak of fall color in southern California.

When I got to the end of the pavement, I noticed for the first time that there are stairs that climb the hill behind the pit toilet near the bridge. I'll have to head up those stair some day and see where they go.

Continued on down the trail, still taking it easy, and enjoying my first recreational hike since the Mojave, over two weeks ago. Yeah, I guess I'm spoiled by the past few years of multi-hike weeks.

Still pools sat behind the check dams, largely covered with leaves. I kept snapping pictures, and continued my slow walk.

After about 1/2 mile, the woman that had left only moments ahead of me was heading back. I was a little surprised, and figured she must have really been hauling it to be coming back already.

However, it turns out she had not reached the falls. Instead, she told me she had gotten creeped out by a man further up the trail, who had stood astride the trail and did she did not want to approach, so she turned around. She asked if she could tag along with me, and of course I agreed.

It bothers me that women have to live like this, because obviously I'm always hiking all over the place on my own, and I only get nervous when I'm thinking about mountain lions.

The plus side for me is that I got to feel chivalrous just by walking to a waterfall. I also got to enjoy some company on my walk. Although I usually enjoy the solitude of the "wilderness," I also find I enjoy a good chat on the trail, as well.

Fortunately, we did not run across the person she had encountered earlier on her hike, and we had an uneventful walk both to and from the waterfall.

I learned my hiking companion was trying to get a short tune-up hike in before she continued to join a friend for a hike into the Grand Canyon. I also learned she was in town for her brother's wedding, which was at the Pasadena City Hall. I've seen their city hall in the day light, but it looked really photogenic at night. I'll have to try to make it up there some evening.

I'll have to check my older pictures to see, but I think the water was slightly higher on this day than it was the last time I was at Sturtevant.

There were a few flashes of color amongst the falls, as the last of the sycamore leaves hung on to their homes. Red rose petals were also there, making a ring along the edge of the pool. It seems likely someone took pre-wedding photos or something of that sort earlier today.

After about fifteen minutes at the falls, we headed back. Uneventful on the way back, to. So, back in the parking lot, I bade farewell to my hiking companion for the day and wished her luck on her trip to the Grand Canyon.

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