access from Pleasant Ridge Drive, again. The description to the Pleasant Ridge access is noted in the linked post, as is the Camp Huntington access.
In the last few years, several new options have been added to the Rubio Canyon Trail. In particular, there was a new steep access trail that starts about 1/10th of a mile in and heads on up to intersect the Sam Merrill Trail at roughly the Sam Merrill's halfway point from Lake Avenue to Echo Mountain.
Finally, feeling quite tired, already, I arrived at the Sam Merrill Trail, just below where that trail passes under the electrical transmission towers. There are now three towers there, thanks to the progress of the Tehatchapi Renewable Transmission Project. I keep mentioning this project because it seems like the new lines are going everywhere I already hike.
I snapped a few pictures near the old tram station, then contemplated my return path. I thought I had walked through too many bushes on the way up, and felt like I was just asking for a tick to bite me. Foolishly, I decided that continuing east from Echo Mountain, heading down the steep trail to reconnect with the Rubio Canyon Trail.
1. This trail down to the Rubio Canyon Trail is much longer and more overgrown than the one that starts closer to Pleasant Ridge. If the latter trail was asking to be bit by a tick, this one was asking, even louder.
2. This trail is on an east-facing slope, so you lose light quickly, much quicker than just heading down the wider and quicker Sam Merrill Trail.
By the time I got to within about 100 vertical feet of the Rubio Canyon Trail, the light was completely gone. I could no longer see the ground clearly. If I hadn't hiked this trail many times before, it would have been even riskier to be descending in this dark.
On the other hand, if not for the timing of my adventure, I would have missed seeing something I only saw on nature shows before. I saw a tarantula hawk dragging a paralyzed tarantula to become food for a wasp's future larvae. I took plenty of pictures, but also tried to maintain a fair distance. The wasp is really large, seemingly longer than the 2 inches various on-line sources say they grow to. And, even before reading that, I figured that if she can sting with enough venom to paralyze a tarantula, it would probably hurt me a whole heck of a lot, too.
Road Canyon Three Ways | R&R 3 - I was pooped when I climbed into the tent on the edge of the West Fork of Johns Canyon. A full day of hiking (I'd covered more than 16 miles), after only a...
1 day ago
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