Trash Mountain a sad sight indeed

Several miles up from Smith Creek. The burn extends to within a half mile of Smith Creek.

My 42nd annual ride up Trash Mountain left me in a sad mood on what should have been an uplifting occasion: perfect weather with a cooling onshore breeze (tailwind no less), and a newly paved road to the summit.

Instead, I saw a continuing eyesore, trash everywhere, spilling down slopes. This was my first close-up of the devastating fire that engulfed the mountain last August. It’s worse than I thought.

Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of trees were cut down after the fire. I’ll especially miss the giant manzanita that lived several miles from the summit next to the road.

Manzanita tree in 2010

Now the mountainside looks like a disaster area. It’s barren where there used to be welcome tree shade. Reminds me of Mt. Diablo.

The irony is that the road is in the best shape ever. Only three small patches were left unpaved from Quimby Road to the summit.

There’s another stretch of road, about a mile and a half, that’s not new, but that’s it. Smooth, fresh pavement for nineteen miles. And beautiful new culverts.

What should be done to clean Trash Mountain? My suggestion is to recruit residents who live on the road. I think some do clean near their property, but I doubt that it’s a coordinated effort.

Another thought is to dedicate a day for cleanup, the same as we do for coastal cleanups, Coyote Creek cleanups, and so on. Put up signs at the base of Hwy 130 and invite the public.

With some coordination, it could be cleaned within an hour. The heavy items would take longer and require some extra effort.

As for the road itself, I think all that’s left is striping. Thanks to O’Grady Paving in Mountain View.

Note that the observatory parking lot and approach is still closed. There’s a water spigot at the summit, first building on the right.

Halls Valley descent no longer bumpy.

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