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October 30, 2016

Maple Canyon–revisited, with the Canyoneers

From my post last week you may recall we were to be in Mexico this weekend…  Well, we’re late, we’ll leave Monday.  I see The NAT’s Canyoneers are hiking Maple Canyon this week.  Maple Canyon is not mentioned in Jerry Shad’s Afoot and Afield nor in my new (signed) copy of Diana Lindsay’s Coast to Cactus.  So instead of heading south of the border, I joined the hike, meeting at the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.
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As a reminder Maple Canyon is/was my secret entrance into Balboa Park.  When the park is the venue for an event, and there is little to no parking, such as Saint Patrick’s Day.   Maple Canyon offers an easy access point.  It’s not a long hike, but The NAT will make this into a 6-mile morning walk – how?  I’ll let you know!  And since this is a new adventure for The NAT you’ll hear it here first Smile.  

I did not count those interested in joining in.  We were divided in groups by guides who would shout out their intent … “The first 20 who want to move fast and hard follow me!” - some 50 people followed.  We similarly divided ourselves behind leaders offering history and botany.
My group, history, headed straight to the main street El Prado and across Cabrillo Bridge on Laurel Street.  Some readers might be interested to know the tower at the Museum of Man is again open to the public.
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Kate Sessions has a park in her honor on Mt. Soldad, but her monument is here in Balboa Park.  A local school teacher and self taught Scientist and Botanist known as “The Mother of Balboa Park”.
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My group descends to the Quince Street footbridge that connected residents to the trolly lines.
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Yes Love Locks are showing up here too. 
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To add both distance and variety we exit at the Maple Street Trailhead and head up Dove Street to the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge.
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Returning to the park at the Marston House, the group is led down into Marston Canyon and across the Upas footbridge.
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The white ‘fungus’ on the cactus is really bug poop from the cochineal.   Well documented in the book ‘A Red like No Other…’
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I admire the irony as the hike ends at the Rose Garden just across the footbridge from The NAT.  Had I known I might have taken some rose petals to drop in Maple Canyon.
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Unless one of the Canyoneers is reading my blog, one of my 6 readers talked!  Maple Canyon is no longer a secret Sad smile.

The trails within Balboa Park are numbered and color coded.  But you need your reading glasses to read the trail name …
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Details and maps of the 65 miles of the trail system can be found on their website.
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