TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Breakfast at Black Star

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Hiked up Black Star Canyon Road last Thursday (2/4) with breakfast in my pack. Despite the crowds at the bottom canyon (and the awful graffiti, which is sparse but there, not to mention the barbed-wire electrified fences), Black Star Canyon is wonderful, which is why I chose it for breakfast. Once you begin the climb up, the crowds and graffiti and barbed-wire electrified fences fall behind and the canyon opens up to this awesome playground that most people don't venture.

IMG_5640I left early enough to avoid the crowds at the base of the canyon. There were just a couple of others on the trail during the first two miles. And after that it would be several hours before I saw another person. My intent was to possibly have breakfast on the boulders above the falls and then afterward spend some time at the “Indian” site. The weather was wonderfully chilly which made the climb up that giant switchback road very enjoyable. Once I got above the clouds, it warmed up some – but not enough to take off any layers (except for the gloves and beanie). I’d say that the temperature was perfect. Also, the clouds were absolutely magical, softly, silently swirling about in the sky.

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IMG_5698After 4.5 miles I took a sharp turn off the trail and headed down a single track straight into the canyon. There’s a lot of overgrowth, and a couple of places I needed to duck to avoid a branch. In the end, the trail dumps out at the dry creek bed where massive boulders are strewn about above the falls. Being that the creek was dry, I ventured further than I had before, through a small cave made from the boulders and down to a nice long flat rock, perfect for breakfast. When I finally landed on that rock, I felt so miniscule compared to all that surrounded me that it made me nervous. In fact, the rocky canyon ledge that hovered above nearly took my breath away. It was frightening almost, sitting there beneath this huge cliff that could squash me in an instant. I settled myself down with some breathing and prayer and then in awe took in the massiveness of this place. After some while, I hiked back out and up to the Indian village to have breakfast.

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IMG_5737The Indian site of course was the perfect spot for a meal. . It is no wonder why the Tongva-Gabrieliño people chose this spot to do the same. It’s perched out over the canyon with awesome faraway views. There’s shade and grass and boulders scattered all about. It is said that the Tongva-Gabrieliño people came here during the summer because of the cool weather. They grinded acorns in this spot which was their main source of food up here. I sat just a few feet from some of the grinding holes to partake my breakfast. Across the canyon I could see Baker’s Cross. The spot was ideal.

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Brought enough so to have choices: Dubliner cheese, peanut butter Larabar, couple of beef sticks, bag of cashews, bag of dried fruits and nuts. Ate about half before packing it up and heading back down the mountain. In all, I hiked a little over 11 miles with 2,842’ of gain.

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