Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hike 2014.038 -- Fish Canyon, Angeles National Forest

Hiked Sunday, July 13. Wow, that was a long time ago. :D

Having recently learned both that the new access trail to Fish Canyon was done, and that the main waterfalls were completely dry, I nonetheless wanted to take a hike up to see the trail and the canyon once more.

It does not seem possible that it's been over three years since my last visit to Fish Canyon. However, going over my pages for the past few years, I see no entries for Fish Canyon
Yes, it's possible the incon-venience factor may have kept me out for that long, but it just doesn't seem like it's been that long. The difference now is that this is supposed to be a 7-days-a-week access trail, as opposed to either taking the long and round-about route detailed on the linked hike, or waiting for one of those infrequent shuttle van access Saturdays that Vulcan used to sponsor.
As part of the package that got Vulcan permission to mine the hill on the west side of Fish Canyon (above Duarte), they had to promise they'd build this new access trail, which passes right through their active mining operation here.
Bare walls, large conveyor belts, and motorized mining vehicles confirm that you're passing through active mining areas. Also, in many areas, you can see that it's just a chain link fence that will separate hikers from those larger earth-moving vehicles.
The new parking area is larger and more easily navigable than the old lot. Numerous infor-mational kiosks have also been added.

Very roughly speaking, I figure it's between 1/2 and 3/4 mile from the new parking lot to the stream crossing bridge that indicates you've crossed out of the private property of Vulcan mining and into the Angeles National Forest.

Previous to that, you would have passed a sign indicating that the hours the trail is to remain accessible is 7am - 7pm from early spring to early fall, and 7am - 5pm in other times of the year.

This being late summer, the flowers of spring were largely gone. There was a set of this particular red flower near the secured area. Not sure what they're called.

From roughly here on, the trail covered familiar territory. In the past, whether you took the long way or the shuttle van way, you walked this next section of trail.

The includes the area that's overrun with Tree of Heaven. Other areas still have oak. A very few blooming flowers of other species were to be found, as well.

But, mostly, this was a dry hike.
At Darlin' Donna Falls (a very short detour from the main trail), the water seeped down. Yet, it would turn out, this was a torrent compared to what would (not) be coming down Fish Canyon Falls.

Well, I supposed I knew going in that this is what I would find in Fish Canyon. More than on other days, this hike was about the journey, and not the destination. It was just a chance to get some exercise over some terrain I had not walked over in a surprisingly long period of time.
Along the way, I passed a fair number of hikers. I won't say "many," though it was quite a bit for the conditions. A fair number were on a meet up, and had never been here before. Hopefully, they'll file away this hikes location for future reference, and return on a day when the falls are running.
Not much else to say, other than that "fall" colors appeared to be moving in already. The sycamore are even more stressed than last year, and dropping their leaves. The poison oak is winter-ish red or orange. The annual grasses are long dried up.

I've many more hikes from recent days that I haven't blogged, yet. Not sure when I'll finally catch up. In fact, some will probably never be blogged.
Those would be repeat hikes that just didn't have many sights worth sharing.

I'll have to go through many of those pictures to see if that's the case or not. As of today, there's one more hike that I've uploaded pictures for, so I know I can blog that hike by the end of the week.
With any luck, I'll manage another hike or two by then.

There was a nice run I had last week, being able to get some significant hiking in. That was due to having jury duty that ended early enough on some days that I could fit decent hikes in during the afternoon.
I was also able to get a hike or two in over the weekends. And I took a couple of personal days last week, as the trial wound down and I needed to take some time to clear my head and manage my transition back to regular working Joe.
Unlike many, by the way, part of me actually did want to be on the jury. And, in retrospect, I'm really glad I got to serve. It was a long trial concerning a gruesome murder, and the evidence wasn't always easy to hear. But my fellow jurors were a very good group. We took our responsibilities seriously, but we also enjoyed each other's company during those long periods, cooped up in the bowels of the court building.
In contrast to some, who leave jury duty cursing the stupidity of their fellow jurors, I left feeling a lot better about my fellow citizens. They're thoughtful, hardworking, and genuinely nice people.

It's actually a bit of a let down to be back in my normal life. I'll probably never face another such serious decision in such a short period of time as I faced last week.

No comments:

Post a Comment