I wasn’t sure if Jerry had time but when I asked about going to Trippet Ranch I got no resistance.
With W9’s gear packed into our school bus/ gypsy caravan/ Toyota Highlander, off we go taking the winding and twisting road that is carved through Topanga Canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains.
It’s a bit of a drive and the recent fires are fresh in our minds.
Parking is no problemo. We have a California State Park pass.
A cooler has been packed with sandwiches and Foster’s.
We start at a leisurely pace. W9 and I are hoping it will be birdy. This part of the trail is familiar. Eons ago we hiked many miles of the park’s trails including portions of the 55 mile Backbone trail.
A pretty Say’s Phoebe is hunting and returning to the rustic wooden fence with its insect prey. .... and that was just about when the bird action sputtered to a halt. Oh, no matter.... this is good. We are moving. It gets a bit tedious for Jerry to simply stand and watch us try for photos. Jerry will take us to places outside our comfort and distance zone and Jerry makes us laugh. It’s the give and take, and compromise. This is why I include camaraderie and friendship in my tags.
The trail is shaded by Sycamore trees in places. Not a straight path. It winds through ravines. We climb and descend. I need to tie my jacket around my waist and recall breakfast was a single hard-boiled egg eaten standing over the sink.
Jerry is leading our merry troop so we keep up the pace.
We come to a road where we find a nice leaking water fountain. There must be birds nearby. We can refill our water bottle. It looks like a great place to turn around and go back to the car for a picnic.
But on we trudge. No birds and lots of climbing. It crosses my mind that this trail will be tedious and slow going on the way back.
Too much time has passed since we regularly hiked this trail. Now a bit of anxiety is in the mix. We are not lost but if we needed medical care it wouldn't be quick or easy. There are a few sips of water left in the bottle. W9 and I decide we will save it to perform the Last Rites on Jerry. We continue our rocky journey.
Jerry says we are almost at a junction with a fire road. It’s too far and arduous to go back the way we came. I turn on my phone and google the Musch Trail. If we can make it to the fire road the way back will be much smoother. W9 and I decide we will sing hymns after the Last Rites.
A Flock of quail flush out from below us and fly up into a distant Toyon bush. The Fire Road comes into view.
The winter days are short and the shadows are growing in the canyon. Dead brown leaves scurry and swirl behind us.