After two days of rainy weather, the sun came out to paint a very different
picture for our Friday picnic. I chose an outing to Laurel Hill in Coyote
Valley, starting from the fairly new Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve.
Though only about 4sq miles in size, we found it quite delightful.
The hills were a lovely green, the air crisp and clear. The park is
comprised of rolling hillsides on the west side of the valley above a patchwork
of farms, orchards and empty fields. A very good trail was constructed that
makes a winding 5mi loop around the property with view benches and
picnic tables sprinkled throughout. We saw plenty of deer, a few
rabbits, cattle and even a posse of vultures picking
the bones of a medium-sized mammal. In order to reach Laurel
Hill, we had to leave the OSP trail near the southernmost part of the trail,
following an old ranch road through a chained (but unlocked and unsigned) gate
to the highpoint about half a mile away. The highpoint is nothing
special, but has decent views looking west and north.
Interestingly, it appears David
Sanger was up at the summit shortly after us and passed by while we were
picnicking at the northern view spot back inside the OSP. Small world...