Saturday, May 16, 2015

Hike 2015.036 -- Schabarum Trail, Turnbull Canyon Drive to Hacienda Blvd

Hiked Saturday, May 9. It's been a while since my last significant hike from here. Apparently, it's been five years since I walked much of this area. Apparently, it's also a lot greener a month earlier!
There's an annual star party I help support at a school up this way, so when ever that rolls around, I think of the Hacienda Hills. Unfortunately, this year's party got clouded out. Twice! Crazy year. So, no star party. But I was still thinking about the local hills.
My initial plan was to hike from Turnbull Canyon Road to the Hsi Lai Temple, then walk aruond there for a while. But, as so often seems the case on weekends, I got started too late for the whole plan to play out. Still, it was a pretty tiring walk.
The Schabarum trailhead on the east side of Turnbull Canyon Road is just south of the high-point for the road. It's a bit winding, and there are often people who are just driving the road for the sake of driving it. There's also motorcycles and bicyclist on the road, so you need to keep an eye out for all of these vehicles, sharing the road.
From the road, the trail head up to near the big power trans-mission towers that are part of the Tehachapi Renewable Power Transmission Project. There are large plastic balls on the wires, which make a loud humming noise, and I think are designed to help warn-off large raptors that occasionally get fried on lines like these.
Heading to the east, there are two trails that join in from the south: Workman Ridge trail and Worsham Canyon trail. Those two trails themselves form a nice loop of about 3 1/3 miles in length.

For the most part, the Schabarum (also called Skyline) trail runs along the divide between Whittier and Hacienda Heights. Earlier in the year, there are large swaths of the area covered by thistle, wild mustard and wild radish. By now, however, there weren't many flowers, at all. It was mostly just dried annuals remaining on the flatter, open areas.
In the deeper, less-accessible ravines, oak and walnut trees are more common. Down in those ravines, I assume that's where the deer hide out during most days. But, during twilight, I've often seen deer out in the open.
Because of the overcast day, the deer were out late, though still a bit skittish, and they kept their distance from me.

I walked to an overlook where I could see the Hsi Lai temple. This required a couple of street crossings. Two of them were small, but crossing Colima is a bit trickier. There's also a tunnel beneath Colima, but that's a little creepy.
Given how tired I felt after I finished, I'm assuming I covered between 6 and 7 miles, though it might have been less. At times, the trail is quite narrow, with homes on one or the other side of you, sometimes quite close.

I returned the way I came. By then, it had slightly cleared, and downtown was visible through the fog. Earlier, it had been entirely invisible.

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