Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Wilderness Adventure at the Santa Rosa Plateau

As mentioned before, I tried to make the most of our time away from home in the city, by taking advantage of country life.  We hit lots of hiking spots and this was a new one.  It is now a favorite.  
The Santa Rosa Plateau is way up in the hills above the Murrieta Temecula area.  The kids and I drove up one afternoon to check it out.  I was amazed.  It looks like what I imagine Southern California looked like a hundred years ago. It looks like what I wished Southern California still looked like.  There are oak trees and rolling hills and long waving grass, and quiet.  Just quietness.  No cars.  No voices.  No airplanes.  (at least while we were there).  We hadn't been on the trail for for 5 minutes when we saw a coyote under a tree right off the trail.  Boy was that exciting.  Maybe those warnings about mountain lions were meant to be taken seriously. 

After the coyote sighting, we stuck to a trail that had other people on it.  After all, I was a mom alone with 3 small children. I have to use some common sense when we are in the wilderness.  There were rattlesnakes to watch out for too.  
But even with a couple other people on the trail, it still felt like we were all alone, exploring this new and beautiful place. With every step, the views were more beautiful.

We saw California quail.  I just love the way they scurry into the bushes.  They are so cute.
We also spent a lot of time trying to identify mammal scat with this handy dandy paper give to us by the ranger.  The boys thought this game was delightful.  No mountain lion poop sighted, but lots of others.  We thought this one was coyote. 
There was so much of the trail left when we had to turn back.  But it was getting close to dusk and I didn't feel like being stuck on the trail at night.  We all voted to come back.  There are lots and lots more trails left.  I'd  to explore them all. Maybe with a strong man around to be on mountain lion watch.
I hope you'll visit the SRP.  It really is a beautiful place.  James thinks it would be good to bring our nature notebooks and draw all the animals we see.  But we'll be waiting for fall before we return.  Unless I get there at the crack of dawn, it will be too hot for kids.  And rattlesnakes like the heat.  
Happy hiking.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Hahaha... love the scat pic. I remember doing that fun activity in De Luz.