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Creek Running North
July 15, 2005
Eight miles, 1700 foot total climb, backpack thermometer oscillated between 95 and 100 degrees F. I cut it shorter than I'd planned. Most of the route was in the sun, and without breeze. I found what shade I could. Twenty five miles west a bank of fog hung outside the Golden Gate.
Every step I took kicked up fifty grasshoppers. Buckeyes and pipevine swallowtails flitted overhead. The rains fed grasses, the grasses fed groundsquirrels. There were more squirrels than I've ever seen before.
I stopped at the hike's midpoint, once in a grove of oaks by a dry stream and a mile along on a steep, shady stretch. Acorn woodpeckers tapped amiably in the live oaks at the second rest. A mile from the car, two harriers wheeled against an impossible blue sky: the ground squirrels whistled alarm and dove for cover.