21 July 2014

The View from the Top

I posted about Speed's Trail before--it's the end of hour-long hike that's about a mile west of my house here in Yreka. I've been up there twice this month and it's a good workout with some rewarding views. The elevation gain is about 1100 feet:

That's Badger Mountain in the center distance and the lower part of Humbug in front of it with the old Lange Ranch property in the foreground. The pictures aren't the best as I was using my cheesy phone camera.

Here's Mt. Shasta, Black Butte, and Greenhorn Reservoir. You can see I-5 snaking southward:

Here's a selfie by the sign for "Speed's Trail":

I left at 0800 but it was hot nonetheless and I was soaked in sweat by the time I reached the top. Most of the hike is on dirt roads but the last push to the summit is cross-country. I followed a few deer trails or clambered over the rocks. There's a fading footpath or two that will get you about half the way up, but then you scramble. Last time I wound up in the tall grass and spent an hour plucking stickers out of my wool socks! This time I looked for open patches. Avoiding ticks is always a good thing. It's so bloody hot and dry in these parts that even those pesky little guys seem to be done for the season.

I'm not entirely sure of the land ownership. The map suggests it's Klamath National Forest, but there are posted signs prohibiting vehicles and hunting. There are clearly private property parcels surrounding the bulk of the route, and you have to pass through City of Yreka tracts that border Evergreen Cemetery and contain some of the emergency water storage tanks we hope never to need. Some day I expect to be fenced out as at least two of the roads that branch off the main path are signed "No Trespassing." For now, no one seems to mind me huffing and puffing my way to the top. I'm going to make this a monthly ritual. It will be fun to see how the landscape changes over the seasons. It ought to get a little easier, too!

p.s. click on the photos to enlarge

No comments: