Friday, May 14, 2010

Rincon Peak

The objective, seen from a creek crossing on Mescal Road. Snowmelt is over, and the streams have slowed to a trickle.

Wild grapes near the trailhead. I examined some of last year's raisins and it appears that the vines produce pea-sized fruit. Probably sour as all get out, but it'd be fun to pick and eat a few in season.

Miller Creek Trail. Pleasant, sandy passage with more shade than you'd expect. It crosses the (now mostly dry) creek a few times before climbing up toward the ridge.

"Wheaties." I saw several different species of these cereal-headed grasses nodding in the breeze. It'd be wonderful to have this stuff growing in the yard, but I suspect that it requires Happy Valley levels of water to thrive.

Heh. Even with a good trail, I make sure to do a little bushwhacking. In this case, boulder-whacking. After a creek crossing, I followed a branch of the creek instead of the trail and had to adjust my course. Wasted about a half-hour in this fashion, but got to clamber around on some big rocks.

Back on track and steaming up the flank of the ridge on this solid trail. After my initial mistake, I followed cairns through rocks and faded boot prints over sand.

Heartbreak Ridge Trail. Got some elevation now, cool breezes and shade. Delightful, except for the persistent and plentiful swarming black flies.

First good look at Rincon from the ridge. Come to think of it, maybe the last view, too, since the trail is primarily a tunnel through piney woods the rest of the way to the peak.

Wore sandals for the whole trip, though I brought along some foot gloves (VFF KSOs) as a backup.

On final to the peak, looking back to see whether the trail looks as steep as it feels. Nope.

Obligatory Kilroy shot with the Giant Heap of Stones.

Hike stats (map-based; GPS track is too messy to use): 16.2 miles roundtrip with 4500 feet of elevation gain covered in about 7:30 (with a half-hour each of stopped and off-trail time).

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