Mt Woodson: The Fungal Trail

So no art was made yesterday. It happens. About one day every two weeks, I do nothing artistic. No Thing. Yup. Used to be, I’d go weeks without touching art stuff, but I don’t function that way any more. Yesterday I worked and I hung out with friends and I hiked with my kids. That’s not a bad day. If it were just work and nothing else, I’d be upset.

So my vacation is essentially over. I didn’t grade everything. In fact, I need to get one batch of science journals done before Monday no matter what, and I really should finish that assignment that’s kicking my ass. But otherwise, I did pretty well. That said, I am not well-rested and relaxed. It’s been a stressful break…too much to do, too much on my plate, too many things to worry about. But that’s just the way it is sometimes. There are still 8 things on the post-it, but I can’t do anything about many of them. I’m in wait mode. Or I need materials.

I also made some progress on the Grossmont show prep…figured out what quilts needed dowels or slats, made a list…heading over to Home Debit later today. Then I’ll need to start the long process of ironing and dehairing each quilt. Girlchild leaves on Tuesday. Maybe she’ll finish washing her dishes and putting them in the dishwasher by then, but it seems unlikely. I’ve asked three or four times now. So yeah. I love her. I really do. Boychild is stuck here for another two weeks…he’s looking forward to having access to the car and going on longer hikes than we do. Whatever.

So speaking of hikes, I’d never done Mt. Woodson…not sure why, except everyone seemed to say it was hard. And I won’t say parts of it weren’t difficult, because I’m not in good shape at the moment, but I did it. And I was a little nervous about it, but that’s how I get over that. I tell the kids we’re doing it and then we do it and I know I can do it, and that’s the end of it. Easy.

I also wanted to see the infamous Potato Chip Rock after seeing it posted on a million hiking pages. We started on the service road off the 67…one of many places to start this hike (we debated all of them).

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The road was relatively well-maintained. There’s Woodson in the background.

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The problem with roads is that cars drive them, and cars don’t always need switchbacks. So it was uphill. A lot of uphill. A 1200′ gain in 2 miles, apparently. Somewhat painful for the old lady. But a beautiful day…

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Not too hot. A little chilly.

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And beautiful views for miles.

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The mountain has boulders all over it, plus lots of instances of nature having its way with big rocks.

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Roots traveling all the way down…where there are dirt and water, the trees will find a way.

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Lots of butt rocks.

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Oh yeah. That’s a butt.

A view of the valley to the east…nice to see blue skies after four days of rain.

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And way down there, the road where the car is parked.

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More views, this to the northeast.

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Interesting rock formations…

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And an antenna farm at the top…

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Boychild had a doggie friend for a while (his owners were behind us, then in front of us, then behind us).

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There were a reasonable number of people going up this route. It was a weekday, but not all of us were back to work.

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I’m actually fascinated by towers.

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All the weird shapes and protrusions…

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Then we headed down the other side, towards the west.

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To Potato Chip Rock. It’s been there for years and everyone (except us) gets their picture on it. In fact, one of my teacher friends was there yesterday and had her picture taken with her dog on it. Me and the kids? We agreed there was no way in fucking hell we were standing on that. Because it would break.

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There was a line for it…probably the shortest one ever (only 10 or 15 people). But still. Not doing it.

We headed out the ridge towards Poway. There’s another entrance at Lake Poway.

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There’s the view to the south, with that tall peak near the middle being Iron Mountain, the one we hiked right before Christmas.

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Standing on rocks…

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And then we went northeast on the Old Fry-Koegel trail, where we delightfully saw no one the whole way back. We did nickname this section The Fungal Trail though, because of all the fungus we saw. Though this is moss. A plant. In case you didn’t know that.

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But damn, that’s some fungus.

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There were many yellow and white and brown versions…

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Looking back up at Mt. Woodson from the north side.

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This trail was nice. Not too up and down, although probably would seem like a lot of up if we went up that way. Can’t decide which would be worse.

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More fun fungal things…

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And cracked rocks…

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Too early in the season for true spring flowers…

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Lots of shade and a true trail…not a road. The mud wasn’t too bad, considering the amount of water that fell this week.

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Another clump o’ fungi…

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I’m not even showing you all of them.

This tree was burned up the middle, but still very much alive.

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Signs were helpful. We had a map and a compass and a hiking app, but didn’t really need them for directions.

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The fires a few years back definitely left their mark. And there were a few tree parts down over the trail.

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We walked through this beautiful oak grove…

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Gorgeous trees…and poison oak.

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Just under 6 miles with 1200′ of gain. It took us just under 2 1/2 hours. Pretty good for being out of shape. And now I know I can do it. I’d like to try up Fry-Koegel and maybe the Lake Poway version as well. Next time.

I had found some smaller quilts when I was pulling stuff for the Grossmont show. I did the journal quilt thing back in 2005 or so. Got some of them into the book. Not sure where all of them are, but here’s a few things that will probably go up on Etsy in the next few days.

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Maybe. And maybe I’ll get ready for school too. And start working on the next quilt, before days have gone by. Aack. Too much to do. Always. Ugh. It’s true I hate being bored, but there’s a fine line between not bored and overwhelmed. This does seem to be my existence. Oh if only I were a normal person who didn’t come home from work every day and try to figure out how to make more art. Just sitting and relaxing does not seem to be in my toolbox. And that’s probably OK.

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