Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hike 2011.034 -- Altadena Crest

Hiked Tuesday, May 10.

I almost lost my cell phone today. That's what happens when you let your mind wander a little TOO much on these hikes!

Lots of stuff on my mind, mostly related to my job search. No need to go into detail, but it was enough to keep my mind spinning during most of the hike.

Since I was taking a short hike, I didn't bother with a backpack. That meant I had a bunch of stuff I had to carry, either in my hands or in my pockets. But I don't like too much weight in my pockets, so it was mostly in my hands.

Parked in the Eaton Canyon Nature Center, and walked the just-over 1 mile to the bridge. Along the way, I had to cross the water, which is still running high for the location. No problem staying dry for me, but some folks were pretty slow getting past the water.

At the bridge, I crossed over to the west side then climbed sharply up the Altadena Crest Trail.

I took plenty of pictures even before I got to the bridge. Several flowers that I don't remember seeing before. And here, I learned something I do like about my new camera that this older one lacks: the lcd display is just way too dim to see what I'm looking at when the sun is behind you. It also has trouble focusing close, but that's not too different from my new camera.

Turned out most of my shots came out blurry. Fortunately, a few were clear enough to serve for identification purposes. Several varieties of Clarkia, including what I'm pretty sure are elegant Clarkia.

Here's a wider view of that area.

After making my turn up the Altadena Crest Trail, I enjoyed several views of thick yellow flowers.

It wasn't long after these yellow guys that I saw a grayer flower that, unfortu-nately, didn't photograph very well. It was there that I left my phone on the ground, and didn't realize it for about ten minutes. But I turned around when I did realize it, and the phone was exactly where I thought it was.

Turned around again and walked to the high point just before the trail descends to Zane Gray Terrance, which then leads to Loma Alta and Rubio Canyon Road.

My initial plan was to continue past that area, then catch the trail that heads up to the Sam Merrill, where I would continue west to the end of this section of the Altadena Crest trail. However, losing my phone cost me about 20 minutes and a little bit of nervousness, so I called the hike short.

Not long after I made my final turnaround, I looked to the south and watched a number of crows harassing what was probably a hawk. Got some pictures of them, with the Downtown LA skyline and the Goodyear Blimp as a backdrop. It's a crop of a wider shot, though still saved pretty large, so you can poke around and enjoy the view.

There were also some monkey flower along the way. Funny thing about this flower is that I pointed some out to my wife when we were in Franklin Canyon. She said, "I guess they call it that because it looks like a monkey's face?"

I laughed at that because that IS where the name came from, although I personally don't see the resemblance!

Six or 6.25 miles or so for the day, total.

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