DAY ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY NINE
Saturdays are generally my days with my boys. My wife tends to work on Saturday and so it's a man's world for a few hours. This morning Dad the Provider decided time for new shoes had come so I promised the boys new shoes but they knew I had to go hiking and were cool with that. I picked a hike that I thought they might like and off we went.
We got to the North Fork of the San Jacinto River and were met with this sign about the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog. I tell the boys we can't go in the creek or jump around on the rocks and it hurt me to do so. What else is the point of going to a creek if you can't hop around on rocks or enjoy it in any way?
We hike back a ways without going too near the creek and it's a nice area with some shade and the sound of the water.
We find some manmade water basins and some pipes and wonder what they could possibly have been used for but don't come up with any good answers.
We also come upon this wall that might have been some kind of dam or water diversion.
This is pretty much the end of the road here so we head back and I'm going to check out what I think is a trail on the other side of the "river".
On the other side of the river is a more strongly worded warning about the frog and the creek, I mean, "river". Since I'm not planning on entering the water I guess I'm OK to hike here.
There is a trail here, after all, and not a word about IT being closed.
Although the signs along the creek do detract from the beauty of the experience.
The sound of the water soon returns me to the proper frame of mind.
I would think if they wanted people to stay away from the water that some trail maintenance might be in order. The trail here is in very poor shape and gets very difficult to follow.
There are tons of blown down and toppled trees everywhere. I hope no frogs were hurt.
I make my way back I walk across this rock covered with dirt and pine needles. This cannot be the way they want you to go. I can just see this as an accident waiting to happen.
What could have been a great outing for the boys turned out to be a little disappointing because the creek is closed. I understand the desire to save rare and endangered species although sometimes I wonder if it is just natural selection at work. Some genetic mutations perish when their usefulness within an ecosystem has passed. That may be the case with this frog. I don't know.
What bothers me is that if we close off nature to the children of the current generation, who will be around to defend wildlife in the future? If we can teach kids to love nature without harming it then we have a greater chance of protecting it than if we just close it off. A good trail that allows people to enjoy the beauty of the creek without disturbing the sensitive habitat of these little frogs would be a good start here. Let's hope that's the route we take or else more than just frogs will become endangered in the future. Our very love of nature might die off and then what will we have lost?