Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Morgan-Bear Trail

Finally! The weather and calender cooled down enough for us to go on a hike. And it was beautiful! Morgan Trail is located in the Cleveland National Forest, up the Ortega Highway, about 23 long and curvy miles. We combined the 2 hikes into one and feel fortunate that we started at the right trail head, which is of course, the trail head that made the hike predominately down hill. There were tons of oak and other trees providing beautiful cover to keep things comfortable. (It also helped that the temperature was in the mid to upper 60's.) Then there would be these amazing outcroppings of boulders, some intact, others with huge sections cracked off and laying next to its rock of origin. The flora was surprisingly green for this time of year with the sage being wonderfully aromatic.
The Morgan trail dead ends into the Bear trail, so it was easy to find. This is where we were grateful to be heading in a south-westerly direction (thanks Martine's mom!). The trail was steep, rocky to boulder-y, and full of sharp switchbacks. I will admit, going down this trail was a blast! But I would not want to be heading up!
We saw blue jays, and rabbits, and lizards. That's about it. There were warnings for our old friend the mountain lion, and for rattlesnakes, ugh. We did spot a very interesting foot print, I think bear, Martine thinks horse. Maybe it was the Yeti. You just never know what you will run into in the backwoods of Orange County.
A first for us-signing in at the ranger box. Since Martine is a professional, I let her fill in the spaces. She did a very nice job. We were surprised by all the hikers that had put a "?" as their destination. Is there a secret hike spot we don't know about?

This hike makes it into our exclusive 'Greatest Hits' club. Five miles of undisturbed nature, without one soul in sight. Oh, how I missed being a trail tickler over the summer! I feel renewed and re-energized re-grateful!

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