August Hike with Chris: Cerro San Luis

Cerro San Luis: August, 13 2017, Lead: Chris Only one hiker participated in this hike, which took place under overcast skies, but it went well. The duration of the hike was approximately one hour. The lemon grove and new trail construction were of interest, as were the various points of interest (including several other City open space areas) that are visible from the trail....

June Hike with Chris: Guidetti Ranch

Guidetti Ranch Hike, June 25, 2017, Lead: Chris Thirteen hikers met up on June 25 for the final Guidetti Ranch hike of 2017.  The day was beautiful, and started off with a large gopher snake sunning itself in the road right at the parking area.  Various native plants were still flowering, including sticky monkeyflower, deerweed, Indian paintbrush, Indian pink, and pearly everlasting.  The Pismo clarkia was still blooming vibrantly, while the Indian Knob mountain balm was winding down.  The views from the top of Indian Knob were much admired by the group and included a mule deer buck that was hanging out in the small cave below the peak.  The day was capped off by the smoke trail from a rocket launch at Vandenberg AFB on the way back.  All in all, it was an excellent...

June Hike with Chris: Reservoir Canyon

Reservoir Canyon Hike, June 17, 2017, Lead: Evan, Sweep: Chris We had a total of 18 people join us today. A few apparently pulled out due to the heat (I don’t blame them). Attached is the sign-in sheet and group photo. We started at the waterfall taking the new trail up to the section that returns to the canyon, thereby bypassing the flooded eroded section on the original trail.  I have never seen so many SLO Mariposa Lilies, Calochortus obispoensis.  There were still quite a few flowers in bloom, including California-fuchsia, Columbine, Club-Haired Mariposa Lily, Golden Stars, Toyon, Palmer’s Spineflower, just to name a few. We also had the opportunity to observe a Common California Kingsnake on the side of the trail. The canyon was more pleasant than expected with the water nearby and plenty of shade.  As we ascended toward the “Goat Herder’s” homestead we felt the heat.  At the Eucalyptus we talked about the hermit that lived at the location then returned down the way we came.  5 people decided to continue to the top so we filled up there water bottles and said our goodbyes. All in all,  it was a great...

May Hike with Chris: Cerro San Luis (Lemon Grove Loop)

Cerro San Luis hike, Lemon Grove Loop, May 20, 2017, Lead: Chris; Sweep: Evan On the warm and beautiful Saturday morning of May 20, 12 intrepid hikers turned out for the Lemon Grove Loop hike at the Cerro San Luis Open Space.  On this easy-to-moderate hike, of approximately 2.1 miles, items for discussion included trail safety (drink plenty of water on a hot day!), wildflower and other native plant identification, wildlife sightings, geology, and a bit of ranching history.  Leaving the trailhead a few minutes past 9:00, the group first stopped to check out the City’s new information kiosk panels.  These educational panels, which discuss trail etiquette and various aspects of local natural history, are nicely done and are a real asset to the hiking and biking public.  ECOSLO docent Evan Albright provided some interesting commentary on plant use by Native Americans.  The trail’s namesake lemon grove, which includes about two dozen newly planted lemon saplings, was discussed belatedly by hike leader Chris (who was so “in the zone” that he initially walked right by it without pointing it out!).  In addition, new trail segments and various local landmarks, including several of the City’s other open space areas (Islay Hill, Terrace Hill, South Hills, Bishop Peak), were pointed out.  All in all, it was a fine day for a hike with a great group of outdoor...

March hike with Chris: Felsman Loop

Felsman Loop hike, 3/18/2017 Lead: Chris; Sweep: Evan On Saturday, March 18 the Felsman Loop hike was attended by 12 engaged, enthusiastic hikers and three well-behaved dogs on leash.  After some introductory discussion about ECOSLO and its relationship with the City of SLO’s Natural Resources program, as well as potential hazards along the trail, we set off from the Patricia Drive trailhead a few minutes after 9:00 AM.  Although low clouds obscured the view of Bishop Peak, the group’s spirits were high as we ascended towards the cattle pond, which was full to the brim for the first time in years.  Early topics of discussion included the coast live oak woodland and how vibrant the trees look thanks to all the rain this winter; and of course, wildflowers and other native plants.  In this regard we were lucky to have Evan’s expertise on the hike.  A partial list of species identified includes California buttercup, golden-yarrow, Indian paintbrush, sticky monkeyflower, hummingbird sage, checkered mallow, shooting star, filaree, and blue dicks.  Additional topics of discussion along the trail included the geology of the morro’s and SLO County, and locations where dacite quarried from Bishop Peak over 100 years ago can be seen in the downtown area.  Toward the end of the hike, the group split in two, with one group preferring to spend some extra time on plant identification.  By noon, the clouds had even cleared enough that Bishop’s summit crags were visible from the trailhead.  All in all, everyone seemed very happy and it was a successful...