Monday, April 2, 2012

The rainy season

All week long as the rains fell I knew the next few hikes would be my typical winter scene.  As the rains fall the trail grows thick with mud and the dry creeks slowly fill with the runoff.  I headed back to take a a spring time view of the winter-like conditions on the trail.

I headed out for a solo trip along making the Coyote Trail to Volvon loop.  It's about 5 miles but the rains would make it an interesting trip.  The same dry and dusty trail I crossed in January's mid-winter season was now replaced with the rain-slicked muddy trail of spring.

It wasn't cold, hiking under the clear sky with a strong breeze but the signs of the recent rains were all around me.  Pools of water lie on the trail shimmering in the wind.  A layer of mud covered the trail and tugged at my hiking boots with each step.  The muddy months had finally come to the trails.

The creek that runs beside Coyote Trail now had water coursing through.  The water was a light brown-almost the shade of coffee with cream as it carried mud from the rain runoff down the creek bed.  Shafts of sunlight lit the water as it tumbled over branches and rocks in the creek bed.  Reflections of the thick canopy of trees reflected in the water ripples.  It was almost eerie in that stretch of the trail, shaded and quiet except for the sounds of the water tumbling along.

Out on the grasslands of Volvon Trail the rain runoff had left the dirt hiking trail a thick muddy mess.  I hiked along the grass edge as much as I could to avoid the bulk of the mud.  Standing water pooled on the edges of the trail as the rain's arrival finally dampened the dry trail.

The rains are predicted to continue through the week as snow accumulates in the mountains.  This bodes well for a trip to Uvas Canyon and the waterfalls trail there.  Mount Tamalpais' Cataract Falls and even Mount Diablo's Donner Falls may even have good life in their falls soon.

In any event the rains are welcome news and cause to celebrate even if they make for muddy footing on the trail.

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