Hiked Friday, April 24. Four miles. I've hiked Oak Glen
more than a few times,
but hiking in the spring is a little unusual, and hiking in the fog was a new experience.
The fog made everything a little magical. It was gorgeous. Things I had seen many times before took on a whole new look under the fog.
At the same time, some things had changed.
The Wildlands Conservan-cy
has been doing a lot of work here at Oak Glen. They've been doing a school program for quite some time. My impression is that the school program is growing, and the number of interpretive stations and signage has increased.
To some extent, I liked it better before all the signage, but that's because it looked more natural. However, the goal here is one of interpretation, so many stations and many plants are labeled, like an outdoor museum.
A school bus was in the parking lot when I arrived, and several more were there when I left. And so, as I walked, and, later, when I shopped, I tried my best to stay ahead of or behind the students. They had lessons to learn, and I had pictures to take.
One lesson they apparently learned quickly was that it's colder up here than down in Riverside or San Bernardino. Apparently, this is a lesson that is frequently learned, as the Preserve had a stash of jackets for the students to use during their visit. They also had adult-sized jackets, for the chaperons, some of whom, apparently, also come up here under-dressed.
I, myself, was also somewhat underdressed, except that I know I get warm fast when I hike, so I intentionally dress lighter than most.
So, although the temp-erature was in the low 50s and drizzly, I wore shorts. That's by choice, because long pants just mean more cloth to soak up the moisture and make me colder.
I also wore a hooded sweatshirt and my water-resistant jacket shell. For most of the hike, I kept that unzipped, but, for a break period, I did zip up and warm up a bit.
Yet, even with my many stops for photos, I was comfortable.
Of course, I knew it was a short hike. On a longer hike, I'd have brought something water-resistant for my legs, too.
So I parked in front of the store, walked into the Preserve via the slight detour (due to construction at the entrance), and walked on around what are normally two ponds, first. As it turns out, the upper pond was dry, however.
From there, I headed down the trail that heads towards the south end of the preserve, then headed up the very steep but short Preservation Point trail, then back down, and then up the eastern trail that heads to Oak Knoll Park. From there, you return right behind the store.
I'd estimate the total mileage about about four miles, perhaps a bit less. The only really steep part is on the Preservation Point trail, which makes a crazy-steep charge up the hill.
Once back at the store, I wandered on in, decided to by a small bag of gala apples (presumably picked and put into cold storage in 4-6 months ago--apples store well) and a strawberry pie. I ate some of the strawberry pie, already. Haven't gotten to the apples, yet. :D
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