Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Inspiration Point's New Look

I hadn't run the San Roque side, Jesusita to Inspiration Point route in at least six months. I knew it was trashed but not what I expected. Lots of garbage was piled up at the trail head. Who was nice enough to walk the burnt hillsides to pick up all this crap. There was a burnt out bike frame, a motorcycle, and dozens of broken bottles. I soon found out who was responsible for cleaning up this massive dump, Rick. Rick said he hiked here all the time and couldn't let all the trash just sit by the trail. The photos only show part of the mess, Rick had piles of bottles and cans and other debris bagged up and ready for removal. Thanks Rick!

It is nice to know that even with a devastating fire poison oak can survive. Most of all the bad poison oak areas on lower Jesusita are still going strong. Even ones that burnt up are actually sprouting again pretty rapidly. Maybe its not because it's a indestructible plant, maybe because it grows near the water. The shade along the trail is surprisingly intact while compared to upper West Fork and Tunnel Trails. The trees and brush are definitely singed in a lot of places but it looks like some of it might survive.

Past the last ranch along the trail, the trail leaves the canyon and the brush along with it. The area below Inspiration Point where the trail switches back and forth is in the worst shape. The trail is very loose in a many spots but still very safe. The lower sections of Jesusita it is hard to notice any difference in the trail itself from before the fire. This will certainly be a different story after the rains come and along with it, big problems.

Inspiration Point was clearly a battleground to try and stop the fire. There are small areas of brush still standing surrounded by large areas of nothing. Using dozers the fire fighters created a fire break at I.P. which heads directly towards the city. Probably 1/4 mile in length, this steep fire break ends at a steep overlook of burnt out canyons and almost above Spyglass Ridge Rd. and San Roque Canyon.

Looking toward the mountains Cathedral Peak is mostly bare of all its brush. It will be interesting to see the peak when that trail re-opens. FYI the drinking fountain near the last ranch along the trail is still working! Dave

Years of Garbage Piled Up At The Trail Head Good Samaritan Rick Picking Up After Everyone
5 Gallons of Broken Glass

New Signage at The Trail Head
Jesusita Trail Near the Top
Lower Jesusita Still Has Some Shade
Inspiration Point

The New Trail Extension At Inspiration Point Spyglass Ridge
Cathedral Peak
Tunnel Trail Zig Zagging In The Distance The Bridge Is Gone In Need of A Tow

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