March 9, 2013 - STS to Last Chance

It was a cool morning but the storms had passed and the sky was very blue   That's one of the signature features of the Santa Cruz Mountains: the blue sky and the redwoods. It still amazes me even after 17 years living in Boulder Creek.  The crew was 10 strong so we decided to split up and Dale took one crew to investigate a report in the East Ridge and Pine Mt. area and I took the other to STS at Gazos with the plan to meet on Last Chance Trail.  

The report on STS was there but someone took care of it already.  Luckily it was less than a tenth of a mile past Gazos.  We then headed out to the Maddock's cabin area to look at a bridge with a missing plank.  On the trail to the cabin site we came across a 7" oak and a 10" redwood.  The oak was bent around 4 other trees and for once as it was cut it went in the guessed direction and pinched the tip of the saw.  We got the saw loose and finished clearing the trail.
After reaching the bridge across Maddock's Creek we measured the plank for another day and headed back across Opal Creek to where we parked on No. Escape.
Opal Creek Crossing

Kathy knew of a tree down on Blooms Creek Trial and that was on the way to Last Chance Trail and a few cuts and the trail was cleared of the 20" oak.
Dale's crew found nothing and were already on Last Chance when we met up just after noon and time for lunch. 
California Milk Maid
Lunch by East Waddell Creek.
Redwood Violets
Painted Lady Butterfly
Maybe an old American Dipper Nest

Link to a video:

Kathy was able to find a pair of American Dipper after crossing the Creek with one sitting on a nest and she was able to photograph them.

It turn out to be a nice day with some wind with a cool breath and the wildflowers were starting to bloom.  What else could we ask for?  We put in 72 hours and I would like to thank Dale P., Dale S., Janie, Bill, Herman, Peter, Mike, Janette, and Kathy.

See you on the trails.


Birds of the Day
2 Common Raven Corvus corax
1 Red-breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis
3 Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
1 Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus
2 Hutton's Vireo Vireo huttoni
2 Chestnut-backed Chickadee Poecile rufescens
6 Pacific Wren Troglodytes pacificus
2 Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa
4 Varied Thrush Ixoreus naevius
1 Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) Junco hyemalis [oreganus Group]