Looking at Morro Bay from Cerro Alto

Joe in the Ventana Wilderness

Joe in the Ventana Wilderness
click image for my fine art and photos

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cerro Alto 
Most all the berries are gone , however there is still some Coffee Berry left . Deer , bear and coyote love this food , but as I mentioned in an earlier post , food is in short supply so the critters are adventuring onto busy hiking trails for food . Be alert you might bump into a bear in the evening . .
Remember my dog ran a bear off trail near the summit a few nights ago . If you hike in late evening make some noise by talking , striking brush etc . Carry Bear spray . 
photos below --coffee Berry , deer scat , small bear scat .
in the earlier post see large bear scat .

Cerro Alto cool weather

Cerro Alto  and cool weather .
Finally we have cool weather in the early after noon . 65 degrees and colder  at the summit . I hiked with a couple of friends , Bob and Jim , great hike , much fun . we met a hiking birthday party near the summit .The birthday group is in the following photo and video . The birthday girl is the lady in the blue her name is Courtney , Lindsey is in the pl;aid shirt , the red shirt is Sophia Evens and the you gentleman is there to see to their safety , my poor hearing did not hear his name however he did give it in the video below . All of the group are Cal Poly students . Enjoy !
Note , I asked the group if they had seen the bear scat in the photo below , they responded that they did see it but were not that it was bear scat , so this was a teachable adventure also .

Happy birthday Courtney !

below is a large bear scat , the photo of my hand and the stick indicates the depth of this scat ,
the berry photo is what the bear was feeding on   ( Catalina Cherry ) or Prunus ilicifolia 
it grows wild and is sweet when ripe .
A few days I posted a photo of a medium size scat near the summit that was very fresh and I saw the bear late in the evening . Be aware that there is bear activity on the trails now  especially in late evening . Nap time for the bears is approaching and the food supply is very limited this year and that is why these bears are adventuring out onto the busy trails .

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Cerro Alto and Wild Life

  1. The below posted berries are Catalina Cherries or Holly Leaf Cherry 
  2. ( Prunus ilicifolia )
  3. These are the berries  shown in the bear scat below 
  4. The scat I photographed  a couple of days ago near the summit of Cerro aAto 
  5. There are very few berries left on the mountain and the ones that are left are near the top . 
  6. I also saw a bear near the summit a couple of days on the same day I took this photo .
  7. the bears are moving around after dark .

Friday, September 11, 2015

Cerro Alto and hot weather

Hiking with dogs in hot weather .

I don't mean to preach or lecture , but I feel this subject is very important fpr those hikers that hike with their dogs :
Sierra ( my 3  1/2  year Shepard mix ) have hiked together  daily since she was 10 weeks old , We back pack several times a year . We average over 40 miles weekly on steep trails rain or shine and we have learned a few things about hiking in hot weather  . The photo below was taken in San Diego Co. and speaks for itself .
I have witnessed many times dogs suffer heat exhaustion and stroke while hiking a hot trail .I have seen a dog die of same !
Cerro Alto mountain is in San Luis Obispo  Co and in the summer , can get very hot . 
I hope the following information is of some help :

  • Fitness matters in both humans and dogs . The more fit you are  , the cooler you will hike in warm weather .
  • Dogs can not cool as easily as humans .  They sweat thru their foot pads and thru their tongue .
  • We don't hike when temperature  is above 83 degrees in the shade , you can bet the sun will be at least 15 degrees hotter .
  • Sierra carries   a minimum  of 34 ounces of water  for a 6 mile adventure  . Longer hikes . she carries 64 oz.  Sierra weighs 80 lbs .  on a 6 mile adventure she will,drink at least 32 + ounces and on longer trips it depends on the heat  . I have seen her drink 90 ounces  on a 4000 ft. elevation gain .
  • On long hot hikes I carry up to 180 oz. and have used all , some of which was used to cool Sierra with baths .
  • When we get caught in 100 degree weather , I cool Sierra with water baths done under frequent breaks under shady chaparral  . I bathe her feet also , this helps !
  • Not ---- hunting season is not yet over so when hiking in national forests have the dog wear a bright color vest or back pack . Sierra wears a back pack every day . Two years ago , Sierra was shot while hiking Cerro Alt in August . See photo below .
  • be a responsible dog owner .
Note worthy is the fact that when Sierra was shot with a 30 cal bullet , she was wearing a green color back Pack and was approximately 10 feet ahead of me on the trail .
The bullet traveled approximately four tenths of a mile and struck her in the right shoulder  and did not break the bone .

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cerro Alto morning hike

Cerro Alto morning hike 9-10-15
To beat the heat , I hiked Cerro early am 
7:30 am temperature was 75 degrees .
I enjoyed the morning sounds of birds chirping .
Sierra ( my dog ) was magestic by morning light .
I exited the trail at 10:30 am and the temp was 85 degrees .Perfect !

Cerro Alto

Wednesday 9-9-15

Sotter than hell on Cerro Alto ,so I hiked late from 5 PM to 8:15 pm .
I climbed slowly  the temperature was 92 at the start . The decent was beautiful with dark trails and red sky . The 80 degrees breeze felt good in the dark . The night sounds were enchanting and spooky at  the same time . I hiked the last mile with a lighted head lamp . I feel so lucky to have sierra to watch my back . 
I had the mountain alone .

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cerro Alto

Cerro Alto  on Labor Day 2015

Cerro alto Mt . located on Hwy 41 between Morro Bay and Atascadero Ca. 
I expected this to be a busy day on the mountain and found it to be hot and quiet but 
definitely an eventful and beautiful evening . I started my hike at 5 PM and descended  the mountain at sunset exiting at dark with a lamp lighted .
I met only two hikers and they were at the summit , My dog Sierra loved them .
Two young school teachers from south county SLO
They will introduce themselves in the short video below .

video Introduction below

upon descending the mountain I enjoyed beautiful sunset images .

I am also including a couple of shots I enjoyed today 
The bear scat here is a berry shown with my finger pointing at same .
Near the top and after sunset Sierra stopped me on the trail and started growling and barking 
as she does when she encounters a predator animal . sure enough , I looked up 
in time to see the rear end of a bear running away into the bushes , a scare , yes but 
always a welcome experience !