Sage Exploration 02:

Visible from the kitchen window overlooking the canyon, Goat Mountain became one of my early exploration goals, but it soon became clear that due to being property locked, the fire break was the one and only way to the summit. Being stymied from the start, I turned to other objectives, chief among them was finding the true summit of Ironside. The mountain was a series of bumps dotting a long ridge running east to west, separating the canyon where I lived from the valley communities to the north. The main fire break traversed the wide, lower flank of Ironside. The detritus of granite stones, heavy with oxidization gave rise to the name. It also gave rise to many homes for the local rattlesnake population, a fact never far from my mind. Link had taken me on my first excursions, but we were never able to find the highest point. Whenever we thought we had found it, there was always another place of clearly greater elevation. I started by retracing those earlier paths, finding which was best for reaching the ridge above. What I ended up discovering was a new network of fire breaks hidden behind the roofs of nearby homes. Some of these went nowhere, others cut over the ridge, while still more wended their way toward La Cresta. All of them were covered with garbage. Eventually, I realized that where ever the peak may be, it was beyond my capacity to locate it. Most of the hiking was just scrambling over boulders and listening intently for the telltale buzz of rattlesnake warnings, and so after only a few such adventures, I again turned my attention elsewhere.