Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hike 2011.001 -- Big Dalton Canyon to north of Glendora Mountain Road

Hiked Thursday, January 6. The year is almost a week old, but I finally managed to get in my first hike of the year.

I planned on taking a short hike today: Garcia Peak. But I didn't read the directions very carefully (I actually do that on purpose, because I like being surprised on my hikes and I don't want to know everything I'm going to see). Took the 210 freeway, exited on Azusa, headed north, and turned right on Sierra Madre. Then I was supposed to park next to the fire station.

Hey, how hard can it be to find a fire station? Harder than I expected, it turns out. I must have driven right by it. I got to enjoy the homes, surveyed lots, and empty space where Monrovia Nursery used to be.

Then I passed a sign welcoming me to Glendora. Even though I was 99.98% sure I had gone too far, I figured I'd keep driving, just to see what was out this way. Before I knew it, I passed a traffic light that said "Grand Ave."

"Heck, I'm almost at Big Dalton Canyon," I said to myself. So I figured I'd just head on to the Upper Mystic Canyon Trail, take that up to the Lower Monroe Truck Trail, and go on to Glendora Mountain Road. I wanted to do that hike months ago, but never got around to it. The 112th hike of last year finally got me back on the Lower Monroe Truck Trail, and renewed my interest.

The first three miles or so of this hike is the same as my previous Hike 13, and also covered part of my hike 112. However, unlike my Hike 13, I did not take the short detour to the summit of Peak 3397. Instead, I continued north, on the TT. When I reached GMR, I saw the Truck Trail continued on the other side of the road, so I continued an additional 1/2 mile before I decided it was time to head back.

Made it back to my car about 5:15, about 30 minutes after sunset.

Not too has changed over the past week or so. The snow still covers Mt. Baldy and the surrounding high peaks. The ground is still wet, with mud and pooled water in places.

Some pictures from earlier today:

The backside of the gate, with Glendora Mountain Road beyond. Hopefully, Lindsay had the good sense to tell the yahoo who spray-painted this gate to go jump in a lake.

The view west from near the end of my hike. This should be looking over San Gabriel Canyon, with the main stem and north fork of the San Gabriel River somewhere down below.

Here's what was further to the north. I think a future hike will involve me driving up GMR and parking where Lower Monroe Truck Trail (2N16) crosses GMR. Then I'll just hike from there, north, all the way to where I can overlook San Gabriel Reservoir.

Taken somewhat earlier than the other cloud pictures, here, the sun is 90 minutes or so from setting. Rays stream through openings in the clouds. In the distance, the inversion layer is lit by one of those rays. In real life, it was a lot more spectacular than the camera could show.

Clouds at sunset always make a good show. Here's the sun is low, behind clouds, and about to set. The Pacific Ocean is lit up by the hidden sun.

Taken maybe ten minutes after the shot above, the sun (off-camera, far to the right) by now has dropped down to the horizon. Only the reddest of light makes it through the atmosphere. Those reddish rays give these dry grass stalks an eerie glow.

Taken moments after the shot above, a weak orange glow illuminates the hilltops nearby, and the snow-capped peaks, farther off (but higher up) in the distance.

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