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Monday, August 6, 2012

New Track 612: Twin Pines Big Spring Alamo Mountain

Sammi chillin at Twin Pines, elevation ~6700 Feet

Day #628 * Hike #741 * New Track #612
Saturday August 4, 2012
Twin Pines - Gorman, CA

Big Spring - Alamo Mountain
My Tripometer: 2.5 Hours  * 1.25 Mile * +100 Feet

 Lunch Time!

Directions:
Follow the driving route from my previous hike to Day 628: Little Mutau Trailhead.  However, when you reach the 17.9 mile mark, turn right on the dirt road towards Dutchman.  Travel only 0.4 miles and then make a sharp left up the road.  Twin Pines is another 0.4 miles up.  The road is a bit rough but any front wheel drive car should be able to handle it.

 Great Spot to Camp!

I came up here several years ago and camped here with my wife and kids; and Domino (this was before Sammi).  If you are going to camp next to your car, this really is one of the coolest and isolated spots to go to.

 I see someone has been shooting bottles

Hearing the occasional gunshot in the area is not abnormal.  I ran into a couple of guys who were hunting wild pigs.  I didn't even know they existed around here; probably not at this elevation.  The circled around the camp and told me how a dry lightning strike hit a tree the night before.  It caused a fire but the Los Padres Fire Service was on the job and with a real long hose, the put it out.

They seemed excited to see me and shared their findings.  They found a Chevy Avalanche over the side of a cliff.  They hiked down to it but nothing was worthwhile in there.  They estimate that it happened only a few months ago.  The Avalanche is now part of the mountain for life.

They also told me of a place called Big Spring, which is just below this spot.  I had seen it on the map and I was intending to go there anyway.  I will detail more about that spot later in this post...

 Various ways to hike; doesn't go anywhere

 Views of Mt. Pinos across the way

I hiked less than a mile here but due to the elevation and my exhaustion from the earlier hike today, I felt spent.  Nevertheless, I wanted to extend this experience into a hike so I included Big Spring...

 The road to Big Spring

Directions:
Following the directions above, just before you reach the top of the hill at the 17.8 mile mark, you will see this cut off to the left.  The road is feasible to drive but I chose to park on the main road and walk down.  The decision was made easy by the other guys.  The advised that the road is narrow in spots but I should be okay.  When they left Twin Pines, the barely made it up the hill to get out.  They could have easily remained on the main road out but decided to take the steep side shortcut to get out.  Their 4x4 was challenged but eventually they made it.

 Views from the road walking down

 Sammi drinking from the spring

I didn't try the water but it sure did look good.  It was cold and Sammi couldn't get enough!

 The rocky ledge and trees above

 Further back, another amazing spot to camp!

 Animal Trail...

The other guys trekked down this route to the southwest for about a mile.  They claimed they encountered a bear den.  They marked the location by GPS on their phone.  There was large scat near the den and both dudes fit into the sleep away quite easily.  I may have to return here some day to check into this finding.  However, the time was getting late and I was satisfied with my hiking progress for the day. 

 Fresh Pines up here; clear-clean air.  Love It!

Views heading off Alamo; a long car ride home awaits...

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