These are photos from a hike I took on 4/25.  My intention was to scout around any trail closures for our very popular Tar Water Creek hike.  I started at that famously remote parking lot called "Tar Water Loop" in Pescadero Creek County Park.  Upon arriving I discovered that the South end of the Tar Water Loop was closed due to a slide.  I was going to investigate but changed my mind and since I had thought about it before, decided to head off towards Portola State Park on the "Upper Coyote Ridge" trail with the intention of finding an alternate route to the Honor Camp and to Tar Water Creek.  You know that I'm headed off into the unknown bolstered by the fact a hiker had just emerged from that trail as I was inserting a foot into my hiking shoe.  He did not report any difficulty so after a false start on South bound Tar Water, I instead backtracked to the Upper Coyote Ridge Trail.  The UC Ridge Trail was plenty unkempt with lots of tripping opportunities plus a few downed trees to straddle over.  This one in the following photo though, deserved and got a detour to get around it.

Yep, park maintenance has their hands full this year.

Along the way, a beautiful display of the wild Iris

It has been several, maybe five years since I was last on the Upper Coyote Ridge Trail, but I said to myself , "If Ed Lange can find his way through this maze, then I should be able to do, also.  My first junction was with Coyote Ridge Trail where I discovered I was actually on "Upper" Coyote Ridge Trail.  I continued R and downhill finally coming to the trail head in Portola State Park.  A road!  Damn.  Not to fear, another trail head was visible across the road with signage indicating a route to pickup Pomponio Trail.  Things are looking up as Pomponio Trail is the one that goes to the Honor Camp.  Yay!  So I make it to the Honor Camp road on Pomponio and detour up to the Honor Camp.  At the bridge leading to the Honor Camp, there used to be a warning sign.  Now as you can see in the following photo, clearly not posted anymore.  My first thought was vandalism against the San Mateo County Sheriff but on second look, where the sign was attached, it was clearly and expertly cut down, leaving a beveled cut thus indicting something only a craftsman would have done.  But why leave the sign?  Were they on foot with a battery operated saw?

I did go up into the Honor Camp to determine if any significant damage had been done.  There was sign of chain saw activity so apparently, they are still keeping the road open.  Inside the Honor Camp, things looked weather beaten but except for an annoying high pitched alarm, nothing major was awry.  The primo picnic area we had used on previous hikes was still serviceable but in need of a good whisk broom to clean off all the debris.

Then on to Tar Water Creek but on the way, surprise, surprise.  There was a petro leak across the trail, way before getting to where the petrol leak is suppose to be on Tar Water Creek.  This wasn't crude oil, more like regular oil and water mixed together.  Not the tar looking stuff as previously seen on the creek.

Then, when I did get to the Petrol viewing place, the creek looked like a freight train had been driven down it and the crude oil was all but gone.  Closer inspection revealed tiny tiny gobs but nothing significant.  It appears Mother Nature reshaped the course of Tar Water Creek or maybe it's a matter of warmer weather to coax the oil back out.

The rest are just flowers and more flowers.

Last years crop

Close up!

This years crop.

Close up.

Poking into the trail:

Too pretty.

So the hike as stated, is 8.3 miles and 1500' of climbing.  A regular fun 2B hike.

Opp's, just discovered that I picked up a tick.  Not surprised as a lot of the trails I hiked were overgrown with grass with no option to avoid.  Ticks sit at the tips of grass waiting for hikers and deer to pass by.  I did get a hitchhiker.  Damn.  Right leg on the back of my calf muscle.

From 6/14, same Tar Water area, a scouting hike

Camp Pomponio Park Entrance on Alpine Rd.  I have no idea what city that address is for.

Ancients, asserting themselves.

New growth....

I tried to capture the shimmering irredescant oil on the water, but alas, no luck.  Nice reflection though, on Tar Water Creek.

Doting the "i" on an otherwise pedestrian sign.

The bridge leading to Camp Pomponio.

From my garden, last years planting, this years perinnal flowers.


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