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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Phleger Has Competition

Last Sunday, Stillman and I went on a new hike at Fall Creek. The Phleger Estate has been a long time favorite for Stillman, so I was very surprised when, halfway through this hike, she announced that Fall Creek might now be her favorite hike.

Fall Creek is in Santa Cruz County so we expected to see many of its mascots there. Unfortunately, we only saw three banana slugs. But, there was lots more to see at Fall Creek. Some wild flowers had started to bloom. And, the really fun thing about the hike was that it wasn't just walking. We had to go over and under a lot of trees and also cross little foot bridges over the creeks. It was more of a scramble than a hike.

We started off along the creek:


Along the way, there were lots of stumps with exposed roots, some of which were growing through rocks. We saw many examples burnt out old stumps surrounded by new growth. One example was interesting in that the burnt out stump had fallen over and was held back from falling into the creek by the new growth. Another example had the new growth growing straight out of the old stump!

The area was very wet and the water wasn't restricted to the creek. In some parts, trees were cut down and their stumps formed stepping stones across wetter portions of the trail. As we started to move away from the creek, we came upon the barrel mill area. Fall Creek used to be the location where trees were cut down to create barrels for the local limestone quarry. The barrel mill area had old equipment strewn throughout. ["Look at those jagged edges. That's a lawsuit waiting to happen." --Stillman]

After visiting the barrel mill area, Stillman and I sat down for a bit of lunch. Stillman had a meatloaf sammich and I had a hoagie. Unlike the time when she kept all the bacon to herself, she offered to share her sammich this time. She passed the test!

When lunch was over, we got on our way and started moving away from the creek. We encountered a drier trail with shady lanes and woodlands. Unlike the old fallen trees we saw along the creek, a newly fallen tree blocked our trail here. This resulted in a couple of horses turning back along the trail. We went around the tree and went into a sunny area with a manzanita grove. The soil there had a yellow tinge to it.

Towards the end of the hike, we started to head back towards the creek. We saw a screaming tree! ["ooooohhhhh...creeeeeepyyyyyyy..." --Nonny Nu] The creek was alternately rushing along and relaxed. At the very end, passed over a proper bridge.

4 comments:

stillman said...

Nice job! I believe I said "I wonder how many human limbs that barrel cutter cut off in its day" but close enough. :)

Man from U.N.C.L.E. said...

Towards the end of the hike, we started to head back towards the creek. We saw a screaming tree!

I thought you saw a member of the Seattle based grunge group! Imagine my disappointment when the next sentence didn't read, "So I got a signed copy of 'Uncle Anesthesia' for Man From U.N.C.L.E."

Man from U.N.C.L.E. said...

See below:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screaming_Trees

MonkeyPig said...

I agree with Stillman, try different hikes. Broaden your hikrizon.