Wednesday, June 3, 2015

JMT Training Hike 2: El Capitan Open Space Preserve

El Capitan Open Space Preserve is home to El Cajon Mountain. I usually refer to it by the latter name, to avoid confusion with the other El Capitan up in Yosemite. It's a brutal 11 mi hike with 4000 feet elevation gain, usually in high heat with no shade during this time of year. I won't attempt it without bringing 5 liters of water. The trail is extremely difficult for two reasons (in addition to the heat): it goes up and down on the way up, so you have to go down and up on the way down, and much of the ascent is a very steep grade.

So why would I subject myself to this? Because of the flowers.

Mariposa Lily
Mariposa Lily

Scarlet Larkspurs
Scarlet Larkspur

Scarlet Larkspurs
Scarlet Larkspur

Scarlet Larkspurs
Scarlet Larkspur

Indian Pink
Indian Pink

Purple Sage
Purple Sage

Purple Sage

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Flowers by the Trail
A flat part of the trail... maybe the ONLY flat part of the trail.

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Scarlet Larkspur

Scarlet Larkspurs

Scarlet Larkspur

Scarlet Larkspur

Scarlet Larkspur

Scarlet Larkspur

Dodder on Laurel Sumac
Dodder, an orange parasitic plant in the Morning Glory family, parasitizing Laurel Sumac (the green leaves)

Dodder, in Bloom
Dodder flowers

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Parry's Phacelia
Parry's Phacelia

Parry Phacelia
Parry's Phacelia with some Caterpillar Phacelia in there too

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Not a flower

Indian Pinks
Indian Pinks

Woolly Blue Curls
Woolly Blue Curls

Woolly Blue Curls
Woolly Blue Curls

Woolly Blue Curls

View from the Trail
The view about 3.5 mi into the hike... actually this is a lousy picture of it. My lens doesn't do scenery well, and it was far more beautiful than this picture shows.

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Scarlet Larkspurs

Scarlet Larkspur

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Showy Penstemon
Showy Penstemon

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Weed Mariposa Lily

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The View from the Trail

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Purple Sage
Purple Sage

White Sage Flowers at Dusk
White Sage flowers at dusk

Chapparal in the Setting Sun
Good night, El Cajon Mountain!

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