Spending our time untethering the mind, getting the fidgets out, exploring the in-between ideas, and learning kintsugi.

Skyline Ridge OSP, a trail through two ponds, Aug 2022

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Light and shadow under the live oak trees, a bench on horseshoe loop trail

From Russian Ridge parking lot on Alpine Road, this 4 mile hike starts by the Alpine pond, takes the Ipiwa trail at David Daniels Nature Center, to Sunny Jim trail, to Horseshoe Loop trail around the Horseshoe Lake to Sunny Jim trail and back on the Ipiwa trail. Had read about the hike, thanks to Jane Huber. The trail is along top of the ridge at about 2200 ft, but the climb and descent is only a couple of hundred feet. Much of the Ipiwa trail needs attention, it is a bit rocky and exposed and the spectacular west views are giddying at times. When the fog lifts, you can see the Pacific Ocean. We noticed deer, turkey and rabbits. The Horseshoe loop between Lambert Creek trail and Tree Farm trail is pretty as a picture. During right times of the year, the ponds offer migratory bird watching opportunities. There are a lot of trail intersections and all well marked.

From David Daniel Nature Center, looking at the Alpine pond.
Where Ipiwa Trail goes through grassland. There is a beautiful old oak that marks the end of the tree cover.
Through rocks
Vista point on Ipiwa trail near Butano view trail. The overlook is dedicated to trail builder Gene Sheenan and offers a spectacular panoramic view of the Santa Cruz mountains.
Continue on the mostly exposed and mostly dry Ipiwa trail
Sunny Jim Trail starts to go down to Horseshoe Lake. Here, the view looks back up.
Horseshoe Lake, another small pond
There are benches galore, here we are near the intersection of Sunny Jim and Horseshoe Loop Trail. There were dozens of bees buzzing around us among the yellow wild flowers.
Very picturesque bench, next time bring a book to read or a podcast to listen to
Upper Horseshoe Loop trail, looking down at the lake
Some stunning multi stem oak trees and beautiful play of light and shadow
From Sunny Jim trail
A herd of deer on the Sunny Jim Trail, hard to see in the picture.
Back to the Alpine pond
Some turkeys as we walk back to the parking lot

Written by Sachin

August 29, 2022 at 6:47 am

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