Ecolit Hikes Rockslide Ridge

In the equine unit where we assemble, a filly born at 12:15 a.m. that morning.


The arboretum in full flower.  This morning I biked up here with Lucas in the backpack and we ate wild strawberries under the redwoods.

Out through the back gate, up the little creek still flowing from a single spring at the junction of the serpentine and the lodo soil.

Through the gate at Indonesian Reservoir, where ducks take off and thoroughbreds run over hoping for a treat.


Dylan shows me a picture on his phone of the fat bass he caught here.  I asked if it tasted good.  He threw it back, he says.

Bedrock mortars under the hollyleaf cherries. Volunteer artichokes spreading in the meadow.  At the divide between Horse Canyon and Brizzolara watersheds,  half the group remains and the rest head upward.


We have 40 minutes to get to the top and back.

Dylan finds his own stopping place and calls out that he’s spotted a bald eagle.


At the summit, we take in the big view.


I read out the first paragraph of John Muir’s The Mountains of California:

The Coast Range, rising as a grand green barrier against the ocean, from 2000 to 8000 feet high, is composed of innumerable forest-crowned spurs, ridges, and rolling hill-waves which inclose a multitude of smaller valleys; some looking out through long, forest-lined vistas to the sea; others, with but few trees, to the Central Valley; while a thousand others yet smaller are embosomed and concealed in mild, round-browed hills, each with its own climate, soil, and productions.

Five minutes to write in  journals.

Edge of escarpment–feels like looking into a volcano, but it’s just rotten serpentine slumped down into the melange through which it floated to the surface 100 million years ago.  The blinding green of the grasses three weeks ago has paled, fitfully retaining some chloroplasts, the drier areas now tan yellow after releasing seeds to the wind.  Soon all the grassland will be white against the black of riparian corridors.

The call of a meadowlark fills the big valley:  key-ho-trillabittle.

Endorphins released by the scramble up the mountain tingle through veins in my chest and flow toward my heart.  Sweat drying in the warm breeze cools my brow.


Photo by Ben Taylor (click for large size)

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