a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Wildcat Canyon and Ridge Trail Hike

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wildcat Canyon and Ridge Trail Hike

SUMMARY: Paradise on earth! With views!
After the trial, we drove halfway home and spent the night with my cousin and her spouse in their beautiful home (drat, I keep visiting people with these beautiful homes, and keep coming back to my messy place! Must fix!). He cooked us a wonderful Moroccan-style fish and carrots meal in a Moroccan terrine. We ate it with fresh, heated olive bread. I was so stuffed that I didn't have room for the amazing fruit salad. (But we finished it off the next day for breakfast and lunch).

(He claims he's from Wisconsin, but I'm suspicious about the accent.)

I slept soundly in a truly comfy bed with nice, thick covers. Sure, might be record-highs for this date in the middle of the day in the sun, but still winter temps at night.

My cousin and I got up bright and early to hit the trail around 8. Probably really headed out closer to 8:30 with various things like me forgetting to switch into my hiking boots and having to go back for them.

The day was perfect. Nominally approaching 70F, with a tiny breeze and very slight overcast. Sunny but warm but cool, if you know what I mean. Absolutely perfect hiking weather, so even on the uphills we didn't overheat, yet didn't freeze when standing still.

The hike showed about 8.5 miles (13.7 km) on my pedometer; best I could map it in mapmyrun.com was about 7.9. Reality most likely somewhere between. (The numbers mark their calculated mileposts.)

We started at about 170 ft (52m) above sea level and got as high as the 1057-foot (322 m) highest point on the ridge, so an excellent workout. Our route took us up gradually, so there were only a couple of short sections where I started to get out of breath.

The one weird thing of the day was that, partway up the trail, my nose suddenly started bleeding. I wasn't working that hard, hadn't bumped it or blown it. Just suddenly blood running down my lip. Fortunately it stopped pretty quickly and didn't recur.

(And I wonder whether the red shirts were the ones who all died on the steep downhills while Captain Kirk fought off the insidious alien intelligence.)

An interesting gate across one yard.
When we passed it the first time, there were excited barking Collies. Not there coming back, but up in the hills we saw people and a pack of Collies off the trail down by the stream. Coincidence? I think not.


  1. Just beautiful!!! I would love to walk my dogs there.

  2. Diana: I didn't mention the ticks. :-)

  3. Awesome pictures!! Thank you for featuring my girl so prominently, you got some great shots of her - especially in the trees. We haven't found any more ticks since the one as you were leaving. Jamela and I are both much less sore this morning - the tail (hers) is still WAGGING! (Jamela = beautiful in Arabic)

  4. I should've spent more time looking for ticks, but didn't. Maybe today.

    Thanks for the correction that Jamela is NOT = "dog" in moroccan; I'll fix that in the post.

  5. Wonderful hike!!!! Even if there were ticks!

  6. Gorgeous, gorgeous photos. The face (and from the sounds of it, the tail) on that lab is sure something, what a wonderful girl. She looks somewhat familiar -- might she have made an appearance or two here before?

    The dog heads in gopher holes are hilarious. And the running up a tree, with Tika and Boost looking on with curiosity... Fun stuff.

  7. Good memory. She has appeared a couple of times: One photo in this post and a link to her photo site in this post.