We gather at the Vulcan Materials gate in Azusa at 8:30 and connect with Jeff Cameron from Vulcan. He opens the gate for us and escorts our caravan of three vehicles through the quarry to the beginning of the trail at the bridge. This saved us a half-mile walk with our equipment. There are eight of us, including Fred, Bryan, Bob, Alan, Roland, Jason, Adam, and me (and Jeff and his son accompanied us to the slide location). We distribute tools, which includes shovels, pick-mattocks, McLeods, gloves, and hard hats.
then climb back up to the trail.
The deciduous trees, like white alder and big-leaf maple, are mostly bare of leaves. The only things in bloom are a few occurrences of wild cucumber, oxalis, vinca, everlasting, milkmaids, and Douglas nightshade. Virtually all the poison oak is dormant expect for a few small leaves on several plants. We stop numerous times along the way to remove branches and debris from the trail.
10:28 - Cross the creek and begin our climb along the east canyon wall. Shortly Alan catches up and the three of us head to the falls.
11:20 - Leave falls. We enjoy the beauty of the canyon in full sun. We cross the creek at 11:34. A side jaunt to Darlin’ Donna Falls reveals it flowing nicely. We arrive at Old Cheezer Mine site (the location of the Matilija poppy/Dudleya densiflora interpretive sign) and see that Alan has done an amazing job of cutting and clearing the fallen tree that has blocked the trail and caused a detour. After a bite to eat, we finish clearing the trunk and limbs and restoring the trail tread. Looks great!
A group of one man, two women, and two young children arrives coming up the access trail. We ask if they knew the trail was closed. They say they did; they had jumped the fence unto Vulcan property. We remind them that the reason for the closure is that the trail was damaged and impassable. They just shrug us off, cross the bridge, and continue up the trail (and not knowing we had restored the trail). We are sad and angered to see these adults modeling lawless and dangerous behavior to the children.
The security guard from Vulcan arrives to relock the gates and to escort us back through the quarry.
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