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Unread 12-05-2010, 01:42 PM
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NEJ NEJ is offline
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Hiking South Fork Trail

Gunner, Ted , and I hiked part of the South Fork trail today. It was a beautiful late fall place to be, hiking in the chaparral on the side of Bald Mountain above the South Fork of the San Jacinto River. The trail goes all the way down to the river and then up the other side to the Rouse Ridge Truck Trail. The part to the river is worth hiking. Why someone would want to continue on to the top of Rouse Ridge is beyond me. I have been up there by car years ago, but the trail does go there so maybe that is reason enough for a few eager hikers.

The trail starts at a wide flat spot off Hwy 74 on the way up from Hemet to Mountain Center in the San Jacinto Mountains. This turn-out is called the Mixing Station, and it is where Cal Trans trucks fill up with cinders for alleviating snowy and icy road conditions. Ten or twelve? years ago an arsonist tossed a flare into the brush below the Mixing Station and started a 4,000 acre brush fire that burned almost to Lake Hemet. It was quite a scare for those of us with cabins on the “Hill.”

The fire was named the “Mixing Fire.” Speculation has it that an out-of-work paid-call firefighter started the fire. In any case the trail winds up through a landscape of recovering chaparral, over the ridge, and then winds along the side of the mountain until it finally descends to the river. Gunner, Ted and I hiked much of the trail (2 miles) but did not descend to the river. The canyon side where most of the trail runs was not affected by the fire.

The photos show Redshank Chamise (Ribbonwood), Mountain Mahogany, Manzanita with berries (which the coyotes eat), and several long shots, including the Big Cone Douglass Fir trees across the canyon on the steep slope, and some ferns growing in the shade and re-invigorated by this year’s early rains. Big Cone Douglass fir is common to the lowest steep slopes of our local mountains and is often the first coniferous tree you see as you rise in elevation.

Here is a link to some information about the trail. http://www.idyllwildcalifornia.com/hiking.htm

NJ

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Unread 12-13-2010, 10:00 AM
Wardroid Wardroid is offline
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looks like a decent place to hike. I usually prefer to hike by the beach.
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Unread 12-13-2010, 01:16 PM
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I made the assumption last week when I started the hike that there would be no danger from ticks because of winter weather---wrong. Gunner had a lump on his head that I noticed Thursday and it turned out to be a nice fat tick. I used the method for removal I learned from Googling "tick removal."

Grasp the tick as close to the head as possible and use a strong steady pull to cause it to release, but do not injure the tick. I took my Swiss army knife and used the small tweezers. The tick released after about 60 seconds. Then I injured the tick with the garbage disposal.

NJ
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