Perl Charles Trail 1A
Needed a quick hike close to home, as I have guests visiting this weekend. Did not think I would be able to get out at all, so this hit the spot. Planned to hit the trail at dawn (6:10), but lady in front of me at the Rainbow Donuts on 7th St. was buying four dozen, and was not sure what kind she wanted.
Yeesh. Got to the Myrtle St. trailhead at 6:25, had a few sips of coffee, then hit the trail at 6:30.
I've been through here many times before on my mountin bike, so it was nothing unexpected. Bushes along Highway 51 were rich with tiny yellow flowers. It was actually quieter down there, right next to the freeway, than it was up on the hillside a half mile away where 1A and 100 intersect. Joe says it gets quiet after the Z-switches, but honestly I could could hear the traffic all the way to the VOAZ shortcut -- and it was not even rush hour. The switches will get your heart rate up, but are nothing too strenuous.
Anyway, as you are heading north up the freeway side of the trail, about where the trail crosses the draw south of Hill 1784, there's a bunch of plastic tubing laying about. Hundreds of yards of the stuff. Not sure what that is about. Looks more like an incomplete irrigation project than random trash.
After the Trail 100 intersection, Trail 1A was all new to me. I was moving with a quickness, even jogging bits of the trail, short climbs or shallow descents. (I figure it is easier to jog up a not-too-steep 10-25 foot climb, than it is to walk it, as you are up on your toes.) I Hit the VOAZ shortcut in a little over an hour (of moving time). Had a couple of people ask me if I needed help, but told them nope, I was just marking my times on my map. Saw some very nice ocotillo blooms in this area.
After Trail 1A curls east and south around Hill 2068, it crosses a wash. Just after that wash is the Trail 304 intersection. This is really the only part where Trail 1A is not obvious or marked. You should turn west/right onto Trail 304, as a couple of hundred feet later you will start seeing 1A signs again. What follows is a short but rather steep climb to a saddle with a bench. Moving time 1:27.
Took a breather, then began a shaley descent. The whole trail to this point was pretty decent, but after this became more iffy for the next mile or two. Noticed the CCC fort Joe mentions, but skipped checking it out as this morning was all about pace. (And getting home to start the BBQ.)
Completed the loop at 2:08 and made it back to my car a few minutes later. Felt great afterwards -- engergized, rather than tired.
Time In: 9:20 a.m. Duration: 2h 50m. Hike time, minus breaks, map reading, etc.: 2h 20m. Distance: 7.0 mi. Pace: 3.00 mi/h.