Sunday, September 13, 2009

Black is the New Brown

Brown Mountain is Black. Everywhere. I thought there’d be a few spared spots but it’s pretty much torched all the way up to the top. I’d call it 99.9% torched along the 6.5 miles of trail.

The dirt road/trail is still in fairly great shape. There’s a lot more loose rock on it than before but in time that will all get brushed aside by shoes and tires and maybe the NFS will send a road grader up there soon.

There are already a lot of slides coming off the slopes above the trail. It could get really ugly up there come the first rains of the season. Maybe there will be some regrowth in the next few months to keep the entire mountain from washing down into the ocean.

Visibility around the corners, however, is great. Better than ever.

And, actually, it’s pretty awesome to be able to see all the landforms next to the trail that have been hidden under brush for decades. So many little canyons and slopes and rocks and gullies that are all new to me.

Sorry I have no photo evidence but I have no camera. You know what a campfire looks and smells like the morning after… well, multiply that by a million and that’s Brown Mountain… I mean, Black Mountain.

On a positive note, it felt really good to be riding Metamorphosis again and it’s still a great ride up there. Luckily it was pretty cool and foggy up there this morning, though. It will get pretty hot up there when the sun is blasting it. There wasn’t much shade up there before the fire, but now there is none.

I did see one new green shoot punching through the soil. Hopefully lots more will join it soon.

It will recover. And I’ll keep riding it over and over again as it does.

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