When I visit the Plateau I usually hike in the morning and start in one of the dirt lots past the visitor center. I switched things up for today’s hike and started at 4 pm at the visitor’s center parking lot. I purchased an annual individual day use pass for $45 that allows me free day use at 11 locations in Riverside County including the Santa Rosa Plateau.
I grabbed this map from the Santa Rosa Plateau website and outlined our route in green.
Plateau employees were setting up for a concert in the open area between the visitor center and the Granite Loop Trail. It looked like it was going to be a pretty cool event just from the early stages of set up.
This hike was truly special to me since my son Brandon, who just turned 18, went with me today. He is joining the army and will be leaving for basic most likely before the end of the year. Days like these where we can soak in each others company are rare, so I especially enjoyed today’s outing.
Brandon just got a camera for his birthday so he brought it along and we spent the afternoon laughing and taking pictures of random awesome things together. Photographing blades of grass, wheat, and ants is actually a lot more fun when you have a companion that is along side of you doing the same thing. 😉
It was pretty hot when we started our trek but there was a nice breeze that was about ten degrees cooler and felt amazing. The breeze was not helpful when trying to take photographs of plant life but it did make the trip pleasant.
I was taking a picture of a thistle when this yellow moth randomly landed on it as if asking for a portrait.
The bird in the photo above is a woodpecker with his head in a tree hole.
I could stand here and photograph these clouds all day!
The majority of the times that I have been to the plateau the Adobe Loop Trail has been closed. This was the first time that I have gone that it was open and we jumped at the chance to go exploring. The loop did not disappoint!
Pictured below is a broken down cattle shoot for loading and unloading cattle into trucks and trailers.
The door in the building below is usually shut and locked. Someone quite obviously kicked in the door and broke it. People make me sad. 😦
Spiders are NOT my favorite! Taking photographs of them is both creepy and thrilling! We saw 7 different tarantulas on our hike back! EEK!
Brandon made fun of me for taking a picture of our shoes. You can see that it deterred me from including the picture in my blog!
Now to play with Nikon’s nifty camera effects!
We got back to the visitor center at about 7 pm. There was a concert in progress as we approached with people EVERYWHERE! Face palm as I flash back to seeing the concert get set up at the start of our hike. It truly had not occurred to me that the concert would be there when we got back!
Let me set the stage for you so to speak! 😉 The band is on stage having just finished a song. The lead singer is getting the audience involved by asking questions that lead into their next set. About 100 or so people dressed pretty decently sit in seats in front of the stage, 50 or so people scattered around the trail behind the seats and the decking where alcohol can be purchased. Now here we come. Covered in dirt from toe to knee. Covered in sweat from head to toe and wearing backpacks looking as though we just survived and outing with Bear Grylls. We were so out of place it took everything in me to not laugh out loud at the awkwardness of it all! I dodged several puzzled glances as I walked the fastest I have ever walked in my life! LOL We practically ran through everything and out to the parking lot and car! Super fun trip with a crazy funny ending!
Until next time…happy trails!