August 1, 1999

Coastal Range Walk

Just back from two nights in the Coastal Mountains. Not that big a deal, that's where I grew up from 15 and folks live there.

Quite hot and dry (news?). The animals were uneasy. Saw lots of deer in the day, even though the nights had good light. Went on two good day walks and one night walk. Nothing.
Night walk w/o flashlight as usual, however the road and shadows were clear from the glow. The dog ran free and wasn't scared at all. No night bird calls. It was strange; hot, dry, dusty, just the sound of my boots on crushed rock and the sigh of the light wind in the trees. Night is a grand time to walk, especially if nobody is shooting at you.

Went up to the top of Buck Mtn. on Saturday. Not even many tracks up there. I think the animals are holding down low in the shade. Even the jacks held tight until I was about on them.

Went on another good day hike. Something for you to check in your area. A large timber holder has let motorcycle clubs and mtn. bikers cut trails through his holdings. This time of year, no traffic due to fire danger. The other quiet time is during the winter rain season. There are miles of these trails and they are fun. The lanes leave a quiet, close feeling and often offer good little side hikes to look at local geography, flora and fauna. The dog didn't get excited on that one either, so not much out there.

Went up one little canyon. A night bird started calling from each side of the canyone - one on each side. The birds were active in general. The quail were working themselves into a tizzie. Probably hard to find water. No prints or other sign of our BHB's.

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