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Prefumo Canyon

I bought a third bird feeder today, and more seed. I am becoming an addict.

That was later this afternoon. I decided in the morning that I would go for a mid-range (for me) hike, and chose a hike in Prefumo Canyon. There is a newly-acquired open space area there, with a trail to the ridgeline. The trailhead is not marked but there are a few trail markers on the way, to distinguish what paths may be hiked. The Sierra Club book said the round trip would be about 2.5 miles, and the hike is "moderate". That seemed about right for today.

I left here hungry, so stopped at Quizno's for a sandwich. I thought of just getting a salad because I would be hiking and because I did bring a small sandwich with me, but I was feeling too hungry. I felt that sandwich all the way to the top and back. It didn't seem substantial enough to do that but it really weighed me down.

The hike begins on an old paved road, now mostly gravel. It soon parts and becomes an old mining road, dirt, steeper. The rest of the trail is a combination of drainage channels and mining roads, some narrow, some wide, mostly fairly steep. It took me almost an hour to get to the topmost ridgeline, where there is a sign indicating the end of the trail. The track actually goes on from there, along the ridge, but I am guessing that part is in private hands. From the top and much of the way up there are wonderful views of the morros, and at the top I could see Morro Rock, foggy in the distance. I wanted the day to be nicer for photography. I hope the next time I choose this hike that I start earlier or later, when the sun makes the natural contours more noticeable.

I was alone all the way up, met nobody. I met a young couple near the bottom on my way down. So this trail is not yet well-known. I loved the quiet. I could hear only wind. The trail cuts through oak woodlands, cool and shady, and rocky treeless slopes, where the sun became a bit hotter than I prefer. It was cooler and a bit breezier at the top, but still only covered by chaparral and therefore not a great place to rest. I chose to continue on down after reaching the top, looking for a spot to pull out my sandwich and eat. I never did find a good spot so the sandwich remained in my backpack. I did down a liter of water and was glad I had it with me. The trek down took about 40 or 45 minutes, which surprised me a little because I had to take it a little easy on my knees.

From there, the Nautical Bean for a Mexican mocha, nonfat no-whip, biscotti and my sandwich. I read some of the novel I brought with and edited the printed copy of my review. Then to Ralphs, where I bought food, cat food, the bird feeder, and looked at patio furniture. I want some for the little patio by my back door. Perhaps that's incentive to get rid of all the extra stuff that is sitting there now.

My legs know I've done something. I stretched right after the hike, probably enough to prevent cramps, and I think walking around the supermarket was a good kind of cooldown too. I put together the new birdfeeder and hung it. Now I wait to see when the birds discover it. I bought another kind of seed, not the sunflower seed they love so much, so they may disdain it for a while.

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Judith Lautner
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