Firstly, I want to reach out and thank Mohamad for allowing me this opportunity to be an “Around the World” guest author on his blog. This has been truly an honor.
There are several trailheads to Black Mountain Open Space Park. We made a few attempts, looking for a certain one. Each time we got close to where it should be, the GPS told us to “turn left now” into the side of the mountain. Recently, in another attempt to find this trail entrance, about a quarter of a mile past the ‘false left turn’, we spotted the entrance and went in.
What a wonderful day to be at an open space park, for there were clouds overhead, providing periodic shade. We were the only ones here and were excited to go check out the trail.
I have always liked the signage on trails. There’s just something about a wooden sign with letters carved and painted…..reminds of days long ago.
And just look at that trail in the background. This amazes me because of where I come from, Michigan. There, trails were through forests with plenty of shade. However, I am discovering, the trails in California are much more desert like.
Meanwhile, back at the kiosk, we find the typical warning of mountain lions. They are very prevalent in this area of southern California. That too is something we did not concern ourselves with in Michigan.
Caution: Mountain Lion Habitat
If you encounter a mountain lion:
- Do NOT run, crouch, bend over, or turn you back
- Appear larger, speak loudly and calmly, wave your arms slowly
- Back away from the area slowly
- If attacked, fight back
It’s a good thing the mountain lion is not on the prowl for prey during the day.
There was also this posting for dog owners that I found to be amusing.
Many trails are available at Black Mountain Open Space Park. Hikers, bikers (bicycles) and horseback riders all injoy the opportunity to explore and discover the beauty of this open space park. Sharing trails with horses is also new for me and I love it.
This park is currently 2352 acres with the ability to expand in the future. There is a series of chaparral and sage covered hills, ridges and canyons.
As we started out, I was amazed at the view below. How small everything appeared. I am still getting use to mountain life.
Black Mountain Open Space Park is located in the Rancho Penasquitos area of northern San Diego. The “centerpiece” is the 1554-foot (474-m) summit of Black Mountain, with a 360-degree view of the area. On a clear day, the horizon to the west offers an ocean view – to the north and east are mountains – to the south is downtown San Diego.
As we set out on our hike, I was leading the way. Before long, we switched and my adult son was in the lead.
As we continued, I glanced over at the view below. I was amazed how quiet it was up there, considering the highway was so visible.
In 2017, Miner’s Ridge Loop Trail was closed, due to a higher than normal reading of arsenic was detected at Black Mountain Mine and adjacent Miners Loop trail.
Rerouting of trails took place because 3 sections did register higher than normal naturally occurring arsenic readings. The area reopened in 2018, leaving the Black Mountain Mine site closed to the public.
We were injoying our little trek. As we rounded the next bend, we were excited to see shade ahead of us and headed for it.
Just as we reached the shaded area, my son stopped and made a sound I had never heard before. He was waving his arms and saying words I could not understand as he began backing away from where he was headed. I instinctively began backing up also. All I could think of was….we just woke up a mountain lion! I could see we had disturbed a small bird from the tall brush ahead, but why would my son react the way he was?
Our adventure was over and we headed back to the car. Along the way, he shared with me, what caused our journey to end. As he was walking, he saw something hovering at eye level, just ahead of him. As he got closer, he realized it was a huge spider web, with the spider waiting for us. And THAT is what I thought was a small bird. No! It was a huge spider and its web was multiple layers of webbings. Certainly my son and I would have been caught in its webbing, spun up and cocooned inside more webbing, as the spider prepared us for a future meal. Okay, maybe I exaggerated a bit…..but it was a huge spider.
Thank you for reading along,
I would love for you to visit my personal and educational blogs:
Branching Out – exploring my world and sharing the experience
HempRen – hemp vs marijuana