Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Marshall Canyon, the Palmer-Evey, and Ol' Mr. T(arantula) x2...

There is no doubt, autumn is my favorite time of year to head up to the local hills and canyons for some mountain biking. The air, especially in the morning, is nice and crisp. This particular morning was especially inviting following the little bit of drizzle we have had the past two nights. The trail through Marshall Canyon was nice and tacky. The rain had brought the fragrance of the woods out from the leaf litter of the ancient oaks and sycamores. It wafted up from the decay of poison oak leaves beginning to pile up alongside the trail. Even the soil of the trail has a scent, pulled to the surface by the moisture, and released to the air. The same conditions also made the way through Marshall more quiet than normal - a few trail runners/walkers, one equestrian, and three fellow travelers on knobby tires to exchange greetings with was it. The creek babbled on about something off to my left, then right side, as I crossed it again and again, but the damp leaves did much to shush my bike as it rolled along.

Once I left Marshall Canyon, I continued along the Palmer-Evey through Claremont Hills Wilderness Park to Potato Mountain. Without the enveloping protection of the canyon oaks, the air got colder, and I actually wished I had brought my vest during the descent back home. Instead I pulled up my arm warmers and got on with it. It was a beautiful morning.

the old stable with fallen trees
has become a requisite photo op stop

this massive branch blocking the trail fell since i was last here (2 weeks)
there is a well trod detour to the right, so i didn't really have to attempt
to ride through or over

clouds wreathed the upper slopes of the mountains, i stopped to watch

first encounter with ol' mr. t(arantula) this one was confident of its superiority, stubborn, playing possum (your guess is as good as mine) and didn't twitch as i moved my wheel right up next to him

this second one, which i calculated to be slightly smaller, and a little more reddish was not going to take any crap from me and quickly struck an offensive pose with abdomen and front legs held high. there was no doubt, this section of the Palmer-Evey belonged to him

masses of buckwheat paint the hillsides in rust


  1. I was wondering when the tarantulas would come back. Last year, I usually saw them in the evening. I'll have to be careful not to run one over, because they often move slow.

  2. Really nice pics and commentary. You have a great schedule to get out mid-week, mid morning and ride. =) I need to get my lights going so I can get some night rides through Marshall and Claremont going. Top of Potato at night is pretty spectacular.



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