|Jeep Trail - gates open - a bad sign|
|On a bulldozer at the top of Bulldozer|
On the run everything looked normal as I ascended the Beast. Once I got to the top, I began to see signs of the burn areas in the distant.
However, the first sign of the fire that I encountered was actually a new trail that connects what I call Jeep Trail Medium to Jeep Trail Long. It's only .3 of a mile but if Strava is to believed, has 359' of elevation gain. (I walked down it.) It was created by a bulldozer, hence my naming it the Bulldozer. I assume it was created as a fire break or as a way for vehicles to get through. It has about a foot of sandy soil on the surface and will need some time before it turns into a decent trail. However, it definitely is a legitimate new trail.
|Bulldozer - looking down|
|Lord of the Rings type devastation near Bresa De Loma Drive|
|A little to the left of the picture above|
From here, I could also see (little) Mt. Whitney, which had been burned up to the trail that wraps around it on the south side.
|Mt. Whitney in the center, burned up to trail|
I then ran between Frank's Peak and Mt. Whitney down to Attebury. There were burn areas around here and another new small trail (.1 of a mile), which I named Shortcut Trail.
|Shortcut Trail to Attebury (burn areas to the right) |
with Doublepeak in the distance.
Overall the fire resulted in a lot of singletrack being turned into fire road. Additionally, the fire roads are now a lot plusher on the feet, as the bulldozers left 6 inches or more of sandy soil on top. Here is a link to my Strava run: http://www.strava.com/activities/142224427.
To end, I wish to thank all the firemen who worked to subdue the Cocos fire. As I ran through the burned out areas, I imagined the fireman out in the middle of the trails, with limited options of egress if the fire turned. It certainly takes a brave person to work out in the back country in the middle of a firestorm. Great job!