27-Aug-2011 -- As we were in the area on a short brother-sister reunion weekend, a confluence visit seemed like the perfect excuse for getting out onto the landscape. Given the time of year, and the 107 F temperatures in the afternoons during this week, we awoke before 5:00am and began our journey in the dark. We arrived on County Line Road a bit too early, and sat there for about 10 minutes until it became light enough to walk without flashlights. We began on the open space trail and were soon on the chaparral.
I had visited this point before, but on each visit, I had made at least one wrong turn. My goal for this visit was to finally make all the correct turns on the trail system to the confluence point. In other words, I sought to maximize the trail time and minimize the off-trail up-and-down-the-ravines time. This can be pretty nasty, as the gash on my palm a few months ago from one of the spiny bushes will attest. And I am happy to report that except for one tiny overshoot of 10 meters past the turn-off into one ravine, we met my goal. We took all the correct turns. We emerged from the ravine and began the major ridge climbs. The trail was slippery, with deep cuts from this summer's rainstorms, and we were already becoming a bit warm even though the sun had not yet emerged. We left the trail at the appropriate point, descended to the final gully, and did the required wandering up the other side. Much to our delight, we were able, after nearly 30 minutes, to zero out the GPS unit and capture the photograph at the same time!
The footing was a bit uncertain, so we took good care. The temperature was over 80 F already as the sun climbed but was not yet shining on the confluence site. The confluence lies squarely on a large bush, at least it did today, and we just about had to lay on top of it to zero out the GPS receiver. But it was worth it. We saw no animals or people on our journey. We tried to take some different photos since this point has been so well documented. We could not locate the geocache that I found a few years ago. Perhaps it has been removed. The haze was not as bad as it could have been toward Los Angeles and we could see past San Bernardino.
After experiencing confluence centeredness, we descended to the gully without mishap and gingerly picked our way up the other side, arriving at the ridgetop trail about 10 minutes later. Now we were in the sun and it was definitely becoming hot; about 88 F (31 C), even though it was still before 8:00am local time. Fortunately, we had brought water and sunblock. The view was magnificent as we descended to the main gully, and then chose the correct path up onto the piedmont and cut to the north. We arrived back at the vehicle with a total hiking time of just under three hours. A magnificent way to start the day, indeed!