|A mountain lion journeys along the old stage coach road.|
The trusty old Recon camera, however, had a short series of very interesting photos taken three mornings earlier:
|7:00 - young doe crossing old stagecoach road near Railroad Stream in westerly direction|
|7:19 - older doe crossing road in westerly direction, looking down road|
|7:31 - mountain lion crossing road in westerly direction|
7:40 - Cowboy V walking down road from the south
7:43 - Cowboy V going back on road the other direction
I am not showing these last two photos just to give Cowboy V a little privacy.
I remember that morning. I was outside in the yard when Cowboy V pulled up in his truck to say he was going to check the cattle in the lower pasture. I looked at the time - 7:00 am - much earlier than I usually see him. As he drove one mile down to Pasture 1, the wildlife must have heard his truck. Cowboy V had to get out of his truck and walk the last section because a big oak had fallen and blocked off the stagecoach road. Having reached the end of the road with no cattle present, he shortly turned around and returned to his truck. The mountain lion that passed that same location nine minutes earlier was probably quietly watching. And may have left the track on the edge of the creek for Naiad and I to find three days later.
|Cattle at same spot on old stagecoach road later in the day.|
|Two bucks on the old stagecoach road a month later|
|A big-shouldered lion at another location on the old stagecoach road in March.|
|Deer on the old stagecoach road in May of the 21st century.|
|The Navigator and his Wingman check out the old stagecoach road in June.|
Lower Page Mill Road is memorialized as Old Page Mill Trail on the Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve leading south from Alpine Pond, past the Native American grinding rocks, and continuing approximately 2 miles until it ends at a tributary of Lambert Creek. At a sharp curve along this section of trail, I have been told there used to be a hotel and stagecoach stop, and today you can see broken dishes, and the vines of hops and cultivated grapes clambering up the large oak trees.
From the tributary crossing, the "turnpike" twisted across the future Kenyan, Monotti and Big Dipper Ranches until it reached the canyon of Peter's Creek and eventually rejoined Upper Page Mill Road near today's entrance to Portola Redwoods State Park. Of the two parts of the loop, Lower Page Mill Road had a more gradual ascent from the redwood forests along Peter's and Pescadero Creeks, so that was the direction the oxen teams hauled the loaded wagons to the lumberyard.
|Naiad and I exploring the 145-year old road on two feet in May.|
|My Middleton neighbors, Lori and Josh, join us on a June hike down the stagecoach road.|
|Peter's Creek at the Middleton Tract with one of the many people working to protect it.|
|Ferny pools along a tributary of Peter's Creek - the Secret Place|
Up Next: Let's take a break from history. Next up is the sharp-tailed snake.
Sheri Jansen-Olliges, From Timber Barons to Tree Huggers: the Story of Middleton's Redwood Community, 2012.