November 2, 2008 Los Trancos

The announcement
This weekend it looks like a pretty good chance of rain, so we have a tradition to continue—hiking Los Trancos during a cold, wet weekend in November. It’s a chance to test out your wet weather hiking gear, and work on your hypothermia face. Some of our coldest hikes have happened there.

We leave here at 9 and begin the hike around 9:45. This is a upper-end easy, lower-end moderate hike, mostly enclosed. The more rain there is, the easier the hike will be. The trails are mostly a bit wider than single track, but poison oak often encroaches, so watch your ankles. Plan on about 2.5 hours of hiking. Lunch at a restaurant afterwards is likely, with a hefty portion of political discussion for dessert.

The hike
Last week’s hike turned into a twofer. We started out hiking Los Trancos, bundled in anticipation of near freeing temperatures and armored against predicted numbing rains. Instead, we had a nippy, mostly sunny hike. It went so well that we decided it wasn’t enough and we crossed over to Monte Bello and did a different loop through the Nature Trail over there. The streams were all flowing again and the swamps are swamping. The snowberry was particularly lush and everyone marveled at the color and texture of the mosses and the smell of the dropped bay leaves.

One side effect of the rains on the flora was that it exposed a geocache to us. We were tripping lightly along when eagle-eyed Paul (as I recall) pointed out an ammo box hidden in the roots of a tree up off the trail. We signed the log, dropped in a gift and pulled a gift out. That’s two geocaches we’ve visited in the area.

Grey’s pictures can be found at
http://picasaweb.google.com/grey3050/FOMFOKLosTrancosOpenSpace

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