Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tennesee Valley Hike, August 6, 2013
Old Springs Trail, descending into Tennessee Valley

I'd been meaning to update my Tennessee Valley page for years. Every time I  read the outdated description I started pining for the old Miwok Trail segment that's been closed now for hmm, maybe 15 years. Not sure why I miss the trail, it was so steep and rutted. I suppose I liked it because it offered a choice of a trail rather than a fire road. You can still make out the path on satellite images. Oh, well, the past is past and that trail is not coming back.
Snowberries on Old Spring Trail

It was a foggy morning at the ridgeline, so I didn't get to enjoy the usual spectacular views. It's definitely fruit season for the local coyotes -- lots of coffeeberry-studded scat on the trails. I chuckled watching a few young birds on Old Springs Trail. This is their first summer, and the scrub jays and spotted towhees were spreading their wings (literally) away from their parents, with comical awkward flying and panicky chirping. No doubt they are enjoying the tasty fruit on the trailside blackberry brambles (I know I did).
Lower Old Springs Trail

I fell in love all over again with Old Springs Trail. The views, the little boardwalks, the lush trailside scenery and rock formations... what a wonderful trail. A few last lingering wild roses were blooming before their transformation into rosehips. Ghostly snowberries, pink-hued thistles, and a few vivid paintbrush flowers along the trail splashed some color onto the drab summer army coat worn by these hills. I'm enjoying the foggy summer, but looking forward to coming back in winter.


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