Trailing Cleveland

The Cleveland National Forest, that is! We learned about a hike outside of Temecula that we were curious to try, so while we were staying in the area this past spring, we decided to head down the road and see where it led us.

No sooner had we parked and gotten to the trailhead when this bunch of signs stopped us.

Hmm… a sign telling people they can’t shoot their guns out here was a little unsettling… while the combination of the US Forest Service marker with a “No Trespassing” sign was downright confusing. Bob called the number on the sign and got an assurance that it was okay for us to hike there, but to stay to the road as there are private residences along the way.

This little stream was running fast but was so narrow in spots that it was easy to hop over. No taking off the shoes and socks for this one!

It was mid-April, and spring flowers were blooming all around us.

It was precisely the type of hike we love: except for one truck that came along, we were the only people out here, the views were stunning, and the climb a good aerobic workout.

But after a few miles, we discovered why the big No Shooting sign had been posted. This seemed like a lot of shotgun shell casings for hunting…

Other evidence suggested that daytime wasn’t the most popular time to visit this spot:

We couldn’t come up with a single good reason why this was there:

But knew that whoever had lost it probably left some DNA behind, too…

Clearly the residents along the road were fed up with the partiers who came out here, which is why they posted a No Trespassing sign at every turn of the road.

We’re in favor of the other wild nightlife… evidence here of, maybe, a bobcat, which we knew were in the area…

…but even more obvious proof of other animals roaming the hills:

And perching where they could:

And just to give you an idea of how big some of these gorgeous plants grow…

We’d planned to get back onto this trail, but as fast as winter had gone by, spring was speeding past even faster, and we didn’t make it back. Maybe next year!

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About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
This entry was posted in and Critters in General, Birds, Flowers, Hiking and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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