Monday, August 15, 2011

Into the great wide open

There is something about hiking Morgan Territory that appeals to me.  It is a secluded spot-you never see more than a handful of other hikers, it's quiet- the sound of cars and civilization quickly fades as you descend into the canyon trails, and there is just so much grandeur in the wide open spaces- views of grasslands and hills, groves of trees and sunshine.  Sunday's hike would take us agin to the territory once again as we tried out a different section called the Manzanita Trail.

I read about this hike in a book on local trails.  It sounded good, it was close, the book said it was partially shaded for summer, panoramic views and I quote "aerobic but not steep".  Well they had two out of three right.

Alice and I hit the trail a little after 8:30 and cool breezes greeted us as we headed out on the trail, working our way down a canyon trail.  The morning winds were painting a magnificent picture in the clouds that greeted us overhead billowing high above the hillside.

Heading down we realized that there must be an up eventually but we made our way along the dirt and gravel trail meeting the occasional hiker, jogger, dirt bike rider and horse rider.  It is a trail that attracts an odd assortment of visitors.  But would be stranger was nearing the canyon floor, we turned onto the Manzanita Trail leg of the hike and were greeted by some of the most ominous looking trees I have seen on a hike.

Withered branches and dark shadows lined the trail as we made our way along.  We thought this would be a perfect Halloween hike as some of the trees looked liked they were lifted from a Tim Burton movie.  Nearing the canyon's end we were greeted with steep trail sections that would lift us out and back onto the trail that would lead us to the parking lot.
Hiking Morgan Territory is always fun.  Besides being a free park to visit the quiet and solitude of the trail adds to the beauty in the hills and trail.  We will make our way back to Morgan Territory and explore some of their other hidden treasures on the trail.

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