Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hike 2011.093 -- Eaton Canyon Falls, and Lost Dog Poster

Hiked Monday, December 19.

Got back to California on December 17. Still haven't finished unpacking, or even made a real dent. Everything's out of or off of the car (including my mostly-trusty Yakima roof rack), but most of the stuff I came back with is still in boxes or bags, either in the garage or in one of several rooms and closets in the house.

One of the few things that has been "put away" is the new microwave oven, which has adopted a place of honor in the kitchen. My old microwave is still functional, but it's over 24 years old. Bought it when I went off to grad school (Yes, I'm that old!). It took forever to warm stuff up, so I was able to justify buying a new microwave oven in Kentucky, with the intent of bringing it home to retire the old one at the end of my stay. The new one's getting plenty of use. ;D

Nonetheless, I still have the need to walk. Took a short walk on Monday, up to Eaton Canyon Falls. Started from the Eaton Canyon Nature Center parking lot, which is on the east side of Altadena Drive, just north of New York Drive, in Altadena. The actual nature center was closed, which is normal for a Monday. Lots of employee or volunteer cars were parked in the side lot near the building, however. I guess it's still a work day, even with the center closed.

The vegetation has been cleared out a great deal since my last visit. That's because of the big windstorm of 3 weeks ago. Several large limbs remain on the ground, but it looks like a great deal more has already been hauled away.

On the fallen logs, folks have obvious been very busy caving their names and phrases into them. I guess if they have to carve, I prefer they carve on a dead tree that'll soon by hauled off versus a living tree. Doesn't change the fact that it's still annoying that, in Eaton Canyon, it's not unusual to see new new graffiti arrive over the course of a day's hiking.

The water coming down Eaton Canyon is consistent, but not high. Crossings were pretty easy, though it still requires either a fair sense of balance or, lacking that, the willingness to get your feet wet to get to the falls.

There were about a dozen people at the falls when I got there. It's supposed to be about a three mile roundtrip from the nature center, although it seems slightly longer than that. The first mile or so is up a slight incline, often sandy. The last 1/2 mile includes a lot of rock hopping across the stream about a half-dozen times.

On the day I hiked, it was still going to be fall for another three days or so, which means I can say that the local fall foliage (mostly sycamore, with some willow tossed in) was only a little past peak, which isn't saying much. We don't get "real" fall foliage in southern California. Also, the recent winds had stripped many of the trees of all foliage, and toppled many others over.

Also I saw a number of "found dog" posters around the parking lot. About two weeks ago, someone found this dog on the Mt. Wilson toll road. The odds of someone looking for or knowing someone looking for this lost dog and reading this blog are infinitesimal, but stranger things have happened.

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