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After a somewhat nervous walk along the road, we turned left onto a lesser road heading up from the creek at a locked gate. The road showed little vehicle travel and once around the first bend in the road we were safe from unwanted discovery and I was able to more easily relax (I don't think Tom or Steve gave it much of a second thought either way). The road climbs at a hefty grade, up about 600ft in less than a mile. After that, the views begin to open up and the walking is fairly easy. We had to drop some down to a wide saddle marked "Portezuelo" on the topo map (spanish for "pass"), before a final pitch up to the highpoint of Manzanita Ridge, taking about 70min all told. The highpoint is found at the junction of four fencelines, roughly marking the four major points of the compass. Despite the short distance from the South Bay, the summit has a remarkably remote feeling since all the surrounding urban areas are blocked by intervening hills, leaving a more pastoral feeling to the expansive views. A chilling breeze drove us off the summit, finding protection from the wind behind a small rock outcrop on one side where we spent almost two hours enjoying some wine and our picnic lunch. The shortcut descent was made a bit more treacherous by our resulting inebriation, but we all got back safely, though not without a few wet feet from the creek crossing at the end.
This page last updated: Sat May 13 12:09:26 2017
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