Friday, February 23, 2018 
February 7, 2018
Kennedy Ridge Trail
Up to the 1st Picnic Trail Using Rice Canyon

We started off this day knowing it would be a challenge because we know this trail well, what to expect at each hairpin turn, the views and valleys, the beautiful manzanita that we loved.  Now we can see the whole trail above us, the sinuous curves such a contrast to the dark slopes on each side, winding up the side ridge leading up to Kennedy Ridge and the rock pile with the lone oak tree blackened at the top.  The rain, now over a month past, has encouraged the grasses and we are seeing Bush Mallow, Paeonia californica, and wild cucumber. The soil is dry and toasted a stark reminder that we are still in a drought.

The drought has been tough but this is tougher.  We truly miss the coastal and white sages, the manzanita, scrub oaks and buckwheat. The fire, so hot and encompassing in this part of the forest, burned at such a high temperature and furiously that it left white ash which indicates a fire that consumed all the organic material.  The white ash outlines look like the fallen tree trunks.  Black ash indicates a fire where the heat was insufficient to completely consume the litter and other organic materials at the soil surface.  We are seeing a lot of white ash on this trek compared to other areas.  The skeleton trees will be with us for a while.


The views are still stunning and we love our valley.  We are anxious for rain and growth spurts.  The waiting is really hard!

Hiking back through Rice Canyon, past the dead lands and skeletal trees, we hear the river running and this eases our hearts.  The dogs bound into the water and life is good!

Happy Hiking,

Beth & Laura
Bodee & Lucy our Four Pawed Companions

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
John Muir

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