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Six Sure-Fire Wildflower Hikes

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Identifying the Mystery Plant

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Pigs, Pigs and More Pigs...

How Green is Your Gear?

Celebrate Earth Day 2000/California Trail Days and National Trails Day at Arastradero Preserve

Wild Lit

Note from the Literary Editor

Monte Bello - Devavani Chatterjea-Matthes

After a Measured Cup of Warming Brandy - Tim Bellows

Comings and Goings - Christopher Woods


From the Editor

Park News

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The Trail Companion

Spring 2000

Trail Center Notes

Trail Construction and Maintenance

Castle Rock State Park, Feb. 26th

The long Castle Rock Trail project finally came to a close one year and two months after the first day on the trail. We had hoped to finish up at the beginning of the month, but rain forced us to cancel twice.

George Taylor at work on the Acorn Trail -- click for larger image [350Kb]
George Taylor at work on the Acorn Trail -- click for a larger image [350Kb]
Photo by Geoffrey Skinner
Although the weather was still fairly nasty on the 26th, nine volunteers braved the elements to dig the last 100 feet of trail and close off the old trail. The crew on trail DE-struction broke up the old surface, laid down large amounts of debris, and even reassembled fallen trees that had been cut into sections after having blown down on the old trail. Even though it wasn't actually raining, clouds cloaked Castle Rock Ridge and the trees all dripped as much as a good rainstorm, making for cold, muddy conditions. Since most everyone was wet and chilled after working doggedly to finish up as quickly as possible, we decided to skip ribbon-cutting ceremony. Ranger Miles Standish was surprised that we accomplished so much in such rotten weather and was particularly impressed by the log reassembling. He congratulates us on finishing and thanks all the Trail Center volunteers for a job well done.

      A huge thanks to all of our Castle Rock volunteer: Harley Adams, Rich Allsop, Logan Ames, Liv A. Ames, Delia Anghelescu, Jim & Heather Bartos, Ann Bell, Eric Bonesteel, Joseph Chanteloup, Mel Chaplin, Alan Cheng, Patrick Chrysler, Kimberlyn Coker, Joel Covell, Dave Croker, David Crosby, John DeGrange, Diane Drudive, Norm Dulleck, Michele Dulleck, Marcos Enriquez, Gabi Estill, Doug Fawley, Kevin Gong, Elise Gratton, Marla Hann, Cristina Harris, Bill Harris, Scott Heeschen, Jessie Helmick, Tom Heng, Bill Henzel, Benoit Hudson, J. Jan Janik, Tracy Jen, Jack Kamin, Todd Kaplan, Bob Kelly, Megan Kelly, David Kison, Justin P. Knowles, Juan Koh, Su-Lyn Kuok, Ashley Ledbetter, Innie Lee, Ronald Levesque, Peter Linebra, Al Lisin, Carolyn Littlefield, Jimmy Llidaras, Steve Maciejewski, Joan Mancini, Heidi Markus, Frederick Martin, Jemie Martinez, Steve Masterson, Walter Moeller, Ling Lee Ong, Tim Oren, Pat Oren, Reed Palmer, Reed Palmer, Suzette Pelouche, Harley Pelouche, Tony Pinkham, Ingrid Quigley, Dicter Rencken, Paul Richards, Alan Ross, Robin Rotsko, Nick Rotsko, Frank Rowand, Cathy Sewall, Tony Sison, Geoffrey Skinner, Diane Solinger, Matthew Talesfore, Katherine Thomas, Mack Tilling, Keith Tsang, Sandra Unthank, Edythe Y. Unthank, Evan Vancil, Rebecca Wang, Paul Watkins, Deirdre Watson, Vicky Wei, Jermiah Westerman, Vince Wilder, Boyd Wise, Erich Wood, and Peter Yau.
     We apologize if we missed anyone.

Arastradero Preserve, March 11

We began our spring project to reroute a section of the Acorn Trail on a beautiful spring day that couldn't have been more of a contrast to the final Castle Rock event. Although we had a small crew again, we accomplished everything we'd planned in preparation for California Trail Days in late April. Part of the crew transplanted California purple needle grass, a bunch grass (and the California State Grass), while everyone else grubbed out poison oak. While the poison oak wasn't really thick anywhere, we wanted to remove all of the low-growing vines to allow the volunteers on CA Trail Days to begin work on the trail tread. Rich Allsop reported that he hadn't done any wholesale poison oak removal in about three years and that he really enjoyed the opportunity (he only got a small rash on his wrists).

Great weather, great lunch spot at Arastradero -- click for larger image [343Kb]
Great weather, great lunch spot at Arastradero -- click for a larger image [343Kb]
Photo by Geoffrey Skinner
      Treats for the day were watching a pair of black-shouldered kites and several red-tailed hawks at lunchtime, and wildflowers blooming along the trail route, including giant trillium and Indian warrior.

Donations and Grants

Thanks are in order for a number of organizations and companies that are helping us out this spring:

     Thank you for helping us support our parks and open spaces!


Plans are underway to resurrect our map offerings! We are working with the Peninsula Conservation Center to install map racks near the building entrance or at the top of the stairs. The staff reports that visitors have often asked them about maps ever since we went out of the retail business. While we won't stock all of our former offerings, thanks to the PCC and Trail Center volunteers, you will once again be able to pick up a variety of maps in one stop. We hope to have the racks up and filled within the next couple of months.


While we are continuing to leave the office unstaffed, we expect the door will soon be open again as we share our space with Committee for Green Foothills. Our neighboring organization has just received a large grant and will be adding staff. We plan to share the office on a temporary basis for now.

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