Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bay Area route to SDF is closed

On the evening of Sunday April 23th another slide closed Highland Way blocking the northern access to Soquel Demonstration Forest (SDF). If you are coming from the Bay Area you cannot reach SDF via Summit Rd. and Highland Way.

The situation does not look good. Today, there was a sign posted at the beginning of Eureka Canyon Road, in Corralitos, stating that the road was closed 10 miles ahead. On Monday, when I investigated the slide the road crews seemed hopeful of opening at least one lane. I was a bit surprised to see the sign, and I was wondering if they were just trying to discourage through traffic. I decided to check it out for myself Wednesday evening, and I was very disappointed in what I saw. The slide is much worse. It is bigger and deeper than what I saw on Monday. It is very unstable. I only stuck around to look at it for a short time as I heard branches crackling, and saw mud and boulders 2 foot in diameter flowing down the hillside. The instinct of self preservation took over and I bolted. The road bed appears intact, so lets hope things dry out quickly and the road crews are able to clean it up. Do not try and "hike a bike" this slide! It needs lots of time to dry out before even considering it.

You can access Demo from Corralitos by going up Eureka Canyon Road or by riding up through Nisene Marks in Aptos. You must use an alternate route by going through Corralitos via Eureka Canyon Rd. Or you can park at Nisene Marks State Forest in Aptos and ride up the Aptos Creek Fire road to the top of the Ridge trail. That's about a 13 mile climb.

Meanwhile, don't be a stranger to the Demo. It will only add about 45 minutes to an hour to get there from the Bay Area by going through Corralitos. Since you may not becoming as often, look at it as an incentive to do a loop or two or more than you usual.

I hope to see you at Demo soon!

Daryl B

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