This time the thwarting of a walk wasn’t due to lack of trail, but more because of an excess of chronic diseases and ill-working joints that struggle on a sharp climb.
But we choose to test ourselves from time to time and I had my poles. We’ve loved our hikes on Red Hill and thought we’d come up the ‘easier’ backside above Pomo Canyon. The park is on Willow Creek Rd off Hwy 1 at the Russian River.
It wasn’t easier, though we got high enough to see the fog at the coast.
With Pomo Canyon campground already closed for the year, the walk started with a mile on a gravel road. This area is riparian near Willow Creek and open meadows. The Pomo Canyon trail starts zigzagging through the campsites, then straight up to the ridge.
We stopped often to catch our breath and enjoy the massive redwoods and the scant undergrowth of sorrel, trillium and ferns. Douglas Fir, bays and oaks also towered. The quiet was wondrous, no road noise and no fellow hikers.
The trail narrowed as it flattened out near the ridge. I sent myself reminders to check for ticks when I got home. We met a few hikers who came from the coast and shared opinions on the berries – blue (blue flax lily) and white (snowberries).
The trail led out of the woods to a drier area, with meadows and tanoaks in various states of dying . We could see the fog clinging to the coast. A few flowers still bloomed in the late summer, clarkia, thistle and common wild aster (purple). The poison oak displayed its fall color.
When the trail started to go down we figured we had given it our best and were not about to have another climb.
Or just walk on the old Willow Creek Rd, that used to go through to Occidental.
See you on the next trail!
Photos by Mike Millar