Broken wrist notwithstanding, it was time for a back-to-nature adventure; this time a seven plus-mile, four-hour walk.
We drove up to our local mountain to the beautiful and historic town of Julian to hike the Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve, East End. The Cedar Fire in 2003 caused some damage that’s visible in a few burnt out trees, but most of it was spared.
To get to the starting point from Julian, drive two miles north on Farmer Road to Wynola Road, jog briefly right, and turn left to remain on Farmer Road. Continue 1.2 miles north to the Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve staging area on the left.
Start heading west, alongside the upper reaches of Santa Ysabel Creek, on the Kanaka Loop Trail. This part of the trail doubles as a segment of the unfinished Coast to Crest Trail, which will ultimately stretch all the way to the coast at Del Mar. It would be so cool to hike that one day.
Right away you’ll notice cattle — as in COWS — grazing on the grassy hillsides overlooking the creek. Another not-quite-natural occurrence is the appearance of large flocks of wild turkeys. The 20,000 or so turkeys now roaming the Julian-Cuyamaca area descended from an initial population of about 300 that
hunting enthusiasts animal murderers introduced in 1993.
I forgot my camera in the car, so here’s my embarassingly poor rendering of the cows and turkeys we saw.
We saw sycamores, black oaks, and blackberry thickets. It’s a very active site for mountain lions – prints were everywhere along with a lot of coyote and mule deer scat.
The cows have an amazing playground; why they chose to sit in the middle of the trail along the entire route and either give us dirty looks or cause us to walk into the brush to get out of their way or in one case, CHASE US, I have no idea. They are VERY large and appear malevolent as if they know how big they are and were laughing with each other at my FEARFUL screams of “Go away, go away, shoo, shoo, get out of here, you stupid Cow!”
Geez, we don’t even eat meat, so they should have been extra nice to us, don’t you agree?
If I had my camera, I would have taken pics like this…
It was a beautiful hike, not too strenuous for my still-healing broken wrist, and we decided to drive the few miles into Julian and walk around like tourists. Julian is an old mining town and is quaint and cute. We went into a one hundred year old soda shop and had a yummy sarsaparilla.
Now I have my camera again.
We gave this guy a few dollars for his animal rescue, ‘cos his little mini-pony was adorable.