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February 02, 2018

Black Mountain Open Space and Blogger Comment Notifications

Happy Groundhog Day!  Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, which predicts 6 more weeks of winter.  Here in SoCal we are still awaiting our first week of winter, so selfishly I hope he’s right!

A visit to Black Mountain Open Space Park  on this warm winter day may not have been my best choice.  It was just warm at the beach but downright hot on Black Mountain!  There are quite a few entrances to the park, and although not my first choice Hilltop Community Park has restrooms. I was drinking my 3rd cup of coffee on the way, and that decision was made for me!

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My 1998 copy of Jerry Schad’s Afoot and Afield does not show the 56 corridor, both Black Mountain Road and Carmel Valley Road are shown as dirt roads.  Use Google or Diana Lindsay’s Coast to Cactus for a better resource.  When I was last here the roads were indeed dirt, with ranches and farm fields.  I took the kids here, where we would rent horses … back-in-the-day.

From the park the Nighthawk Trailhead is located in the southeast corner.  This is the main entrance into the park and connects to other trails along the way.
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The mcirowave relay towers atop Black Mountain are the destination this morning approximately 2.2 miles away.  The arduous trail is steep and rocky.  The primary plant is the sage, and the air is heavy with their pleasant fragrance.
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Eventually it becomes just steep, and then ridiculous and rockier!  Diana Lindsay has a little caveat I missed:  “Cool weather is the perfect time to hike the shade-free slopes.”  There is very little to no shade and not a single rest stop.
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The trail intersections are well marked.  Of course a map would also be handy, download one HERE.
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Oh my … Look at all those beautiful shadows on the Miner’s Ridge Loop trail.  It is indeed getting warmer, but Miner’s Ridge does not go to the top.
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Almost there, and I see this housing project on the east side.  Lots of condos going in down there.
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It’s not possible to enjoy a 360-degree view from the top from a single spot.  Walking around the fenced antenna structures is required.

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This little knoll below is where I took hang glider lessons … back-in-the-day.  This was BF (Before Fran) even – way back-in-the-day!
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The area looks nothing like it did then, there is now even a sign to the parking area.  There were no gliders, nor instructors here today and perhaps hang gliding is no longer a popular sport to learn.
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But the little ‘bunny hill’ looks the same.  It really was a great spot as the rate of descent of the hill and the glider was about the same.  Thus I learned to turn and not stall while never at a dangerous height.
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Blogger Comment Notifications
I like to reply to those who took the time to leave a comment on the blog.  I also want to delete and SPAM comments from the blog.  To do this I need to know when a comment is left.  Google+ Comments has worked perfectly for this since my first blog, but is no longer working.  Google has advised to use Blogger Comments until the issue is resolved.  Sure enough Blogger Comment Notifications does work as desired.  However!, a big downside is that the previous Google+ comments are no longer visible – at least they are all still there!


  1. Another great hike! I can see how you would miss something in Diana Lindsey's book. We purchased her book on Anza Borrego Desert SP. I was very disappointed in the book. It was not user friendly at all. I don't want a book where I have to look in three different places for information on one hike which never did include elevation gain. Also, the map that is included in the back of the book doesn't got with the book. It is a general recreation map for the park. So needless to say, we returned it. We'll stick to A Foot and a Field (outstanding) and online research.

  2. For sure Pam, independent research is really the best, and online is getting easier. After Jerry Schad's death Afoot and Afield has become a bit stale but I still keep a copy with me :) With the rapid growth around here it's hard for any source to remain current, and I thought I knew this area, NOT!

  3. Yep I tried leaving several comments on past blogs and the google plus widget would simple spin and spin... looks like I can leave comments once again!

  4. Hi John, not sure what is going on over at Google but nice to have comments working again. Bu I do like the Google+ interface better.

  5. May not have been the best day but those views are awesome. I've always wanted to try hang gliding. Never been a fan of the Google comment thing.

  6. Yes the views extend to Mexico, the islands beyond Pt Loma, Mr Palomar and the Laguna range. I never did get good enough to try hang gliding from Torrey Pines.

  7. My kind of hike Jeff. I always seem to pick the hottest time of day and hike the sunny side of the mountain.

    Beautiful views. Would be great to live out here all year, but not to be for me.

    Hang gliding. There is no too low to kill yourself. Never tried it, but sounds fun. Nowadays, I just try not to fall when I get out of my lounger 😀

  8. I like the idea of not falling out of the lounge chair.
    I'll be coming out for Carnaval at the Mall, but we camp in Ocotillo Wells as they we be having a Star Party that night. TWO things in one day, gotta get prepared for that!
    Hope to say Hey to you and Yuma at the party.


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