There are probably certain spots in certain parks and trails around San Diego where rattlesnake encounters happen frequently. Why don't we share? This is a public map and you can add your own encounters. It takes 2 seconds and helps everyone out - maybe not just trail users but wildlife biologists as well. To go to the map and add one click here.
2 of 3 SoCal Triple Crown complete! Apparently the day before there was some kind of thing with bicycles there today too (I seriously didn't realize Stage 7 of the Tour of California ended here until after I got there; glad I didn't run into it by accident).
NICE up there today with a cooling breeze above about 8,000', although I didn't hang out for the eclipse. There wasn't any snow at all on the trails, with little strips on the north side at the very highest elevations that probably won't survive the next few days. Although it's further east, the hike up Gorgonio is greener and prettier, but there's nothing quite as dramatic as the Devil's Backbone up there.
And speaking of that - the Backbone was the highlight of this hike for me. I went up via the Hut, and came back on the Devil's Backbone and by the road. This (again for me) is the way to do it for many reasons. I would warn you though, the apparently exposed portion of the Devil's Backbone above the treeline, i.e. the part you can see as you're ascending the steep bit above the hut, is not the most precipitious part - that's once you're back below treeline. Nobody Hikes in LA has a good description of the possible routes. I didn't realize the restaurant would be open at the top of the ski lift so when I stumbled in and it was quite busy I was a little surprised.
Special thanks to Tom the scout leader who shared some water with me, and Shelley the nice woman from San Dimas who gave me a piece of watermelon above the chairlift. Watermelon never tasted so good as it did today!
The eclipse in Culver City. Image credit MMarke on Twitter.
1) Finally got up to Holy Jim Trail and falls. Falls aren't huge but definitely special and purty. It was late so I didn't have time to get all the way up to Santiago Peak. One thing I will say: the road wasn't as bad as some of the hike descriptions said. From the paved road to the parking area it's about five miles, the last two of which are rougher (Natl Forest road). As long as you take your time on the Natl Forest section, at the time of this writing (May 2012) it was doable in a Honda Accord.
Also, I think that a bunch of European wine snobs should form a renegade group that calls itself terroirists, and use phylloxera against New World wineries that name their products after the varietals rather than the region. Although to be fair to the terroirists, if you pay more for the same grape from a Sonoma vineyard vs. San Diego, either you're stupid, or you think it makes a difference...even the New World winemakers defend their appellations.
Redwoods, cypress, cedars and hemlocks (among others) are all members of family Cupressaceae - and their distribution around the world and genetic relatedness match up quite clearly with the separation of Pangea into our more familiar continents during the mesozoic, the age of the dinosaurs. Pretty cool.
A dawn redwood, an Asian relative of the North American species.
Solvitur ambulando! Note the thick brow-ridge, the idiotic grin, and the death-grip on the beverage. You can email this handsome devil at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Rattlesnake Encounter Map
Have you run across one of our scaly friends on a trail in California? Take 5 seconds and add it to this map so we can see where interactions are more likely to take place, and make life safer for trail users.