Fire Trail

The fire trail starts at the end of Winding Way in San Carlos, California. It's called the fire trail since the fire marshall has marked its three entrances with warning signs: No Parking. Presumably during a fire, fire trucks might come through there, but it seems unlikely and unwieldy and cumbersome and just not that obviously helpful.

Meanwhile, we all go for walks on the fire trail. The pictures won't look like much to anyone who hasn't been there, most likely, but in the off chance anyone is interested in the landscape of the peninsula south of San Francisco (by 30 miles), here you go.

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    The oddest house in the oddest location has curved whalebones as part of its spine. I have been spying on the construction of this house ever since they declared a deep canyon's empty lot to be suitable as the space for a house.

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    Here's the SUV needed to move parts of the whale up to the construction site - and really, this is meant as a shot of the construction site.

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    A view of the whale house through the fall colored oak trees

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    Dappled sunlight on the flooring of the top floor

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    The beams are now in place for the top floor, and for now, the oak trees seem to dominate, but that won't last.

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    This picture doesn't do it justice - here is the long, curved main beam that will make up part of the doubly twisted incredible roof.

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    The serpentine spines of the new house on Winding Way

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    The fortress ... your guess is as good as mine as to the intent of the architect of this house on Winding Way

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    The garage of the Fortress has teeth at the top ...

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    Continuing up the road, we pass one of Kathi and Marianne's favorite houses - the pink house.

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    NThe next notable house is the enormous wooden house, here captured with is garden in bloom. Note that at this stage, Winding Way is almost at its steepest and most difficult long stretch.

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    The lovely tall swaying grasses lend softness to our trek up the hill

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    I love oak trees ... here is one leaning over the road we're on

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    Finally, we reach the beginning of the fire trail

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    And at the beginning, we see a gentle slope heading down into a small canyon.

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    The path is lined by oaks, and we walk through the dried straw left from the shearing given the path earlier in the summer by folks from the county.

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    For some reason, I love this gnarled wood tangled in the fence

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    In the heart of the canyon - the hills are a late summer riot of color, and this is why we love the fire trail - being in the midst of this canyon and yet so close to home. That is, it's hard to believe this little bit of wilderness exists so close to home.

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Marianne Mueller
Last modified: Tuesday 25 September 2001