Saturday, January 1, 2011

Garcia Trail Hike - 1-1-11

View from Azusa PeakSee Garcia Trail Description on Dan's Hiking Pages

I can’t think of a better way to start the new year than to sit on Colorado Blvd in Pasadena watching the Rose Parade in the morning and hiking in the afternoon. I suppose watching football would be good too, but since the Rose Bowl is not broadcast this year on regular TV (!!!!!), hiking gets the nod. As we were driving back from Pasadena after the parade, the beauty of clear skies drew me to hike. I choose my beloved Garcia Trail for a short 3-mile hike above my home in Azusa.

Garcia Trail1:30 - Begin hike. It’s sunny, the air is brisk, and light clouds are coming in for rain tonight. I love the green grass. Virtually nothing is in bloom but the red berries of toyon add a splash of color as do the remaining fall leaves. Soon I can see the downtown L.A. skyline to the west and snow-capped Ontario Peak to the east. Lots of people on the trial including families with young children, which is great to see. I’m happy that all of those walking dogs on the trail today are using leashes. The narrow trail climbs steeply through rich chaparral with expanding views of Azusa, Glendora, and beyond to the ocean. Nearing the top, I run into an old friend who I used to work with. We’ve crossed path on trials several times over the years. After an enjoyable conversation of catching up and swapping hiking stories, I continue on.

2:26 - Reach Glendora Ridge Motorway, the fire road that runs along the ridge. Great views to the north toward the snow-capped ring of peaks surrounding the Crystal Lake basin. Just across the canyon lies Summit 2843, which I hiked to at Thanksgiving. I turn east for the final pitch to my destination.

View east from Azusa Peak2:37- Azusa Peak (2081’). I love the views from here with the human sprawl to the south and the majestic San Gabriels Mountains to the north. The visibility is good today with haze on the distant horizons. The sun reflects off the ocean. The white wooden cross is covered with an ever-changing barrage of messages. The breeze is cool so I put on my long-sleeved shirt. The new Target store a few blocks from our house sits prominently in the neighbors below. I enjoy the summit to myself.

2:45 - Leave Azusa Peak and head down. A couple sits on the water collection slab gazing out over cities below. I enjoy my descent. Still others coming up the trail. Fountain grass shimmers in the late afternoon sun. My steps are guarded in places as loose material on the steep trial surface can be slippery. The recent rains have brought life to plants. A beautiful hawk soars overhead.

3:22 - End hike. What a nice way to begin the new year! I am always so thankful to have such a splendid trail so close to my house. icon

See Garcia Trail Description on Dan's Hiking Pages

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