Weekend Travels

I found this post gathering digital dust in my drafts file, having composed it sometime last winter. Since this is the time of year I grumble about triple digit temperatures, it was refreshing to read the following:

This is the time of year I brag about Southern California weather in equal proportion to how much I complain about it in the summertime. January and February are the halcyon days of sunshine, cool temperatures, and green hills. Optimistic nectarine trees burst into blossom and wild flowers rush to spread their offspring before the scorching June sun withers them.

A Desert Delight nectarine tree, cultivated expressly for this climate, needs about 200 hours below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mill Creek, once a perennial flow, now intermittently gurgles through rock-strewn channels carved by previous torrents, and lingers in clear pools to the delight of our thirsty dogs.

Friday, Sally was recovering from a bout of Covid and wanted to do something of low intensity, so we loaded bikes and dogs into our cars and drove to the upper wash trails. In the uphill direction, the dogs bound ahead, following their noses and giving happy but futile chase to birds that take flight. When the trail turns downhill, they run ahead until they hear the zzzzzzt of our coasting hubs on their tails and pull over to let us pass. The long-legged ones (Sadie and Bella, Sally’s dog) lope easily behind, while the chunkier Molly and Zena (also Sally’s dog) bring up the rear, ears flapping happily.

By Saturday, Sally was feeling stronger so we decided to hike up Morton Peak Trail again. This trail warrants repetition as it has many lovely attributes, despite there being no water. It affords several panoramic views of the valley below, and after climbing roughly four miles, the trail rounds the ridge to provide a breathtaking view of Mill Creek canyon.

The naked south-facing slope is part of the burn area of the wildfire that drove our friends from their home in 2020. Mt. San Bernardino, behind it, is also charred. The dark green in the center of the image is where the fire fighters were able to hold the fire at bay, protecting Loch Levin Christian Camp behind the fire break.
Judy, the dog whisperer, who also has treats in her pack.
Molly takes a break
Sadie at the end of the day

By the end of the day, we humans had traveled about 13 miles and the dogs probably twice that.

15 thoughts on “Weekend Travels

    1. Thankfully, some of the trees are still alive and the scrub is returning. Unfortunately, the recent monsoonal rains have come down the hill unchecked, and Highway 38 has been closed for weeks due to mud slides.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That’s good to hear that the scrub and trees are returning — but mud slides can be even more devastating! It will take time for those to stabilize!


  2. This is what you guys do when you’re recovering from COVID? Yikes!!! I wouldn’t attempt a trail like that on my healthiest day. Dog whisperer indeed. The four-leggeds look beat, bet they slept like rocks.


    1. Yup, we all did. The trouble with that trail is that you just can’t turn back because you just have to see what’s around the next bend in the trail. By the time we came to our senses and headed for home, we were already tired and still had six miles to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What you describe at first is in January, Judy. . You have a dream climate . I dream of nectarines!
    The raid with Sally and the dogs is so well related ! I see you with your dogs, waiting for their treats or enjoying some fresh water .
    I was sorry to see this burned mountain! What a disaster!
    Love ❤


    1. Time heals and the mountains are gradually growing a cover of scrub bushes. Some of the trees withstood the passing flames and are showing signs of recovery. But, the truth of the matter is that climate change is changing our mountains from alpine forest to desert scrub even without the aid of fire.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is worrying, Judy . And the pertubed cllmate is observed everywhere in the world . Is it due to the pollution or a changement like in millions of years ago : changes of clmat at some times ?


    1. I read that at one time, Spain was entirely forested from north to south. Having traveled through Spain, I find that fascinating as now it’s mostly rolling farm land (at least the part we drove through).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s