Springing to life

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Spring is a little more than a week away and finally I see a change on the trail. The recent rains have brought a splash of green back to the hillsides and it is starting to look like spring. I picked one of the lonelier trails at Mount Diablo State Park for my hike on Saturday exploring White Canyon and Olofson Ridge.

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You know you are on a seldom used trail when fallen trees still periodically block the path. The hike to Mount Diablo’s park boundary was a quick out and back, no loop on this hike. I would start out on Mitchell Canyon Road, turn on Red Road and then finish on Olofson Ridge Road taking me to a barbed wire fence marking the park boundary.

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Mitchell Canyon Road is a jumping points for a variety of hikes and trails so the first mile of the hike to Red Road was a little busy with joggers and the occasional maniac on a bike but I still managed to see some of the sights I usually pass  by with out my camera in Mitchell Canyon.  Mitchell Canyon Creek had a healthy current flowing as I made my way to the first intersection and a turn into the solitude of the forgotten part of the park.

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Red Road and the connecting Olofson Ridge trail are a steady gentle climb, winding a dirt trail lined with pine trees to the ridgline. The recent rains had brought the green back to the hillside as I made my way up the trail lined with pinecones. Some wildflowers are making their first appearance in clumps at the side of the trail. The muddy trail had paw prints of a raccoon that recently had passed by on his daily forage for food. The hills didn’t have that dried and dead appearance from earlier this year.

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A vast portion of the park was scorched buy a wildfire late last summer and while some of the park bears the scars Olofson Ridge shows the signs of life as spring approaches. The mountain will surely change more as the months pass and I look forward to chronicling the season’s changes.