Monday, October 24, 2011

Garcia Trail Hike – October 23, 2011

Azusa PeakSee Garcia Trail Description on Dan’s Hiking Pages

After a few weeks off from hiking, it was time to hit the trail. And local Garcia Trail above Azusa was just the venue for a late afternoon scrappy hike to exercise my legs.

4:20 PM - Begin hike. The trail sign is missing. It is a warm day but the temps aren’t bad now. In spite of the one-day rain from the other week that started some grass growing in the shade, everything seems dry and dusty. Hardly anything in bloom (just a few occurrences of cliff aster, fuchsia, sunflower, and buckwheat). The marine layer from this morning leaves a thick haze over the valleys. I press along at a work-out pace. Several parties of other trail users are coming down. It’s disappointing to see litter and graffiti along the trail.

Soon I catch up with and pass a gentleman named Tommy. He follows along as he shares about his workout regimen on Garcia Trail. At 4:54 we reach Glendora Ridge Motorway. Stop only briefly as Tommy and I proceed east to Azusa Peak.

View northwest from Glendora Motorway5:02 - Azusa Peak. Someone has constructed a brown, wooden bench near the cross. Tommy explained that the cross had been toppled recently and then re-erect. The vandalism is disconcerting to me. Tommy suggests that there should be trash cans along the trail. I disagree. This is natural open space, not a city park. We linger briefly and leave the peak at 5:05, continuing east. As we walk along the wide dirt road, I point out various plants and Tommy is an eager learner. I gaze north toward Crystal Lake Basin and Hawkins Ridge and lament that the hike I had planned three weeks ago was sadly aborted for my wife’s need of the car.

5:37 - Reach the wide road bend north of Glendora Peak. This will be our turnaround point. I introduced Tommy to my friends along the eastern skyline: Ontario Peak, Telegraph Peak, Thunder Mt., Baldy Notch, and Mt. Baldy. His friends George and Tina arrive. We chat. Head back at 5:44. The sun is beginning to set behind the marine layer. I love the warm colors of this hour. We swap stories as we walk toward the setting sun. A tarantula sits on the road.

Dusk on Garcia Trail6:09 - Arrive at the top of Garcia Trail and begin our descent. George and Tina are well ahead of us. Tommy and I enjoy good conversation as the twinkling lights of the valley below announce the arrival of dusk. It’s hard to capture the beauty of this time of day with a camera.

6:36 - End hike. It’s pretty much dark now and quite a bit cooler. Tommy and I chat for a few more minutes and say our good byes.

Epilog - Very pleasant outing. Good to be on the trail. Always a pleasure to meet new people. Four miles round trip isn’t a strenuous work out, but at least it was something. I am always thankful for such a splendid little trail so close to home. icon

See Garcia Trail Description on Dan’s Hiking Pages

No comments:

Post a Comment