Round and about

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It was back to business as usual on the trail and this weekend’s hike took me to Round Valley regional Preserve to share a hike with a friend.

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I picked Round Valley Regional Preserve near Mount Diablo because it is a pretty flat trail.  Well mostly flat if you don’t count the 1,100 foot climb up and around Hardy Canyon. The whole hike climbs about 1,500 taking you through canyons, chaparral, meadows and the remnants of a long forgotten ranch.

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My hiking partner for the Day Jenni and I started out on the hike up the slopes of Hardy Canyon. The route was do the majority of the climbing early and then head out along the grasslands of Miwok Trail and the return trip on Murphy Meadows Trail. The temperature was warm with few breezes sifting through canyon. I have made this hike a few times in the past but I planned Hardy Canyon as the start of this weekend’s hike. Going up the trail in a different direction changes the scenery a little, the light is at a different angle with the different time of day so things can seem different behind the lens.

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Sunlight filtering through the trees and the vista across the canyon made for good photo opportunities early on in the hike. Cresting Hardy Canyon Pass we explored rocks and withered trees lying just off the trail. A steep decent down the canyon put us on Miwok Trail and the flat portion of our hike through the former ranch.

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Scattered about the park are old and weathered pieces of farm equipment showing their rust from years in the elements. Half buried in the dirt the equipment tells the tale of some of the history of the park. the equipment is in remarkable condition with no vandalism or breakage.

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Turning on to the return route on Murphy Meadows Trail the fully exposed trail heated up quickly as we walked along the hard dirt road. Squirrels stalked us from the edge of the grass watching our every move on the trail. One last climb up a steep hill and were back at the parking lot finishing off our 8-mile hike.

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It was a good hike with good company. Next weekend’s hike will tun op the heat as temperatures are expected to hit triple digits in the valley again. Will have to plan my hot weather b=death march as I get back in the swing of things on the trail.