Well, we had our little warm and sunny get-away to Vegas and Death Valley. Then a couple of strolls down memory lane while we waited out some hissy fits being thrown by the weather gods. Then, when these fickle deities slipped in a dry day between storms, we seized the moment to do a longish hike in our favorite local venue: Jacksonville Forest Park. There are over 30 miles of trails (with grades between 5% and 20%) in the park and I suppose you could weave them together into an elaborately long, long dayhike. We settled for a 10-mile, 2,000 feet of gain loop around the park’s outer perimeter, throwing in an ascent of the newish Knobcone Pine Trail because suffering builds character.
It was a bracing 25°F (-4°C) and sunny when we reached Parking Area P1A (where a vault toilet 🙂 now replaces the porta potties). The cold temperatures stayed but the bright sunshine devolved into a milky overcast just as we started hiking. Yes, those weather deities will have their little joke. From the parking area we followed a series of trails around the outer reaches of the park and back to the parking area. These trails were, in order: Across the dam to the Rail Trail > Ponderosa Snag > Siskiyou > Knobcone Pine (!) > Pipsissewa > Halls of Manzanita > Grotto > Jackson Ridge > Atsahu > Madrone Grove > Owl Hoot > Ol’ Miners; ending with a little cross-country to avoid backtracking.
Since the sky was not particularly conducive to photos, the lens pretty much spent the day pointed at the ground. Still, not a bad day to be on the trail (as if any day on the trail could be a truly bad day). 🙂RETURN TO FRONT PAGE