A Brief History Of Lawrence "Larry" Moore Park
|A Trail in Larry Moore Park, March, March, 2018, © B. Radisavljevic|
|Part of New Playground, November, 2018, © B. Radisavljevic|
The River Walk Trail Entrance
|South Entrance to Salinas River Walk at Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic|
|Bench at South Entrance to Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic, June 3, 2019|
To take the trail get up from the bench and turn to your right. You will see the trail heading northeast in this photo. It curves slightly parallel to the river until the trail seems to end just past some benches and a river access pass through. You will notice that one of the benches is broken. Maintenance in the park is almost nonexistent except for the playground, playing fields, and restrooms.
Here is the river access just before the trail turns. Notice the broken fence between the bench and the river access pass through. I took this photo and the one below looking west from the east.
Above you see that the trail is turning. It will soon lead to the footbridge. The trail from the south turns onto the bridge by the elderberry tree. I was coming from the other direction when I took this photo.
Not long after crossing the footbridge you will come to a fence that borders a riparian mitigation area. Most of what's behind the fence looks like what's below. Lots of poison hemlock is in bloom there in June.
|Riparian Mitigation Area that Borders Trail, Poison Hemlock in Bloom, © B. Radisavljevic|
The trail then parallels the fence until it crosses the park to the east and reaches a dead end. At this point you can turn south toward the southern exit to the Riverbank Tract or you can turn north toward the Veterans' Memorial Bridge underpass that takes you on a trail that continues north and east to 13th Street. Here's a view of the intersection on January 9, 2017.
I took the photo below on June 3, 2019. You can see farther down the trail to the north here. It goes past the Kohl's store. A block wall separates the commercial area from the trail. Near the trail intersection you can see the shopping carts the homeless leave there as they go back and forth to where they like to camp in the riverbed. You will find these abandoned carts scattered through the park.
There is a vacant lot beside that sign that leads to the J.C. Penny parking lot where some homeless folks park before walking to where they plan to camp in the park. Some hikers also park in the J.C. Penny lot because it's close to the park trails going both north and south.
|Trail Intersection at Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic|
Although you can't see it above because the trees hide it, the fence for the riparian mitigation area borders the north side of the east-west trail from the river. If you were standing where the north pointing arrow is above, looking back toward the river, you'd see this.
|Looking West Toward River and a Homeless Encampment (illegal at the time), © B. Radisavljevic|
In October 2017, I left my house during some construction in search of some quiet and spent some time photographing the park entrance from the bench by the trail entrance. You can see all those photos and the video I made that day at What I Observed from my Bench at Larry Moore Park.
|Rocks at Park South Entrance, October 2017|
|Rocks at Park South Entrance, January 2012|
Larry Moore Park is a Great Place to Photograph the Sky
|Sunset behind Trees, © B. Radisavljevic|
I also made a poster of this pastel sky from the park. I made it part of my blog post on Medium: What a Glorious Gift is the Sky! The blog contains other views of the sky, mostly taken from the Veteran's Memorial Bridge in Paso Robles. If a photo seems not to have loaded, just click it to make it appear.
Here's one more. It's hard to stop.
Below is another interesting sky effect framed by one of the park trees. Some people call this a buttermilk sky.
I like the pink contrails in this one.
|Pink Contrails over Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic|
I could share many more sky photos taken at Larry Moore Park, but there simply isn't room. There's much more to see here than sky. The sky will probably appear in many other photos I will share below.
Accessing the Salinas River from Larry Moore Park
In the poster photo above you can't see the steep part of the path. Here is what it looks like looking up from the riverbank or riverbed, depending on the season. Perhaps by now you will recognize the bench at the top near where this path begins.
|Access Path to Salinas River, © B. Radisavljevic|
The more official designated entrances meant for accessing the river look like this and are found along the main trail fence. I think these pass through "gates" are designed to let people in and keep horses and vehicles of all kinds out.
After entering at one of these access "gates" you will find your own way down. If you are fortunate, you will find a path through the brush somewhat like this one.
Take a Short Walk On the North End of the Trail with MeI made this video to test the camera on my new Galaxy Note 9 phone last November (2018). So it's an autumn walk. It will show you some plants in the park I haven't featured below and autumn views of some I have, like the jimson weed.
Fauna at Larry Moore ParkI confess I've paid more attention to the flora than the fauna, since the fauna are better at keeping out of sight. I've seen birds, ants, bees, gophers, squirrels, hares, tadpoles,lizards, and cottontail rabbits. I've not yet seen a snake or any deer in the park. But that doesn't mean there aren't any.
|Not exactly in the park when I took the photo, but I took it from the riverbed just south of the park. Squirrels tend to roam, so I'm sure this one got to the park when I wasn't looking.|
|Birds I See Often at Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic|
It occurred to me when I saw a very shallow pool unattached to the rest of the river that it was tadpole season and I might find a few. So I went to explore. I expect we will later see frogs or toads in the park if they can survive after the river dries up.
People also walk their dogs in the park, and they don't always follow the rule to keep them on a leash. Many people let them loose in the riverbed or after they are into the park. They are not supposed to do this. Here are a couple of posts from my Paso Robles in Photos blog related to dogs in the park.
As I walked in the park today I saw a rabbit rush into the brush before I could even aim my camera. I stepped over many anthills of red ants. A lizard skittered across the path in front of me a couple of times. And I also saw this.
|Had to Shoot with a Zoom - A Black Cat in the Park, Hunting, June 3, 2019, © B. Radisavljevic|
|Tuxedo Cat in Tree by Salinas River, © B. Radisavljevic|
I love to photograph the plants in the park during every season -- in and out of the riverbed. Some of the most common plants there are jimson weed, telegraph plant, poison oak, poison hemlock, and milk thistle. Milk thistle and poison hemlock usually grow next to each other in the park. Click the link to learn more about them.
Flora in the Park
|Milk Thistle and Poison Hemlock in Bloom at Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic|
Poison oak also grows abundantly at Larry Moore Park. So be careful, especially in winter when the stems are bare and there are no leaves to warn you of danger. One of the places you really need to watch out for is under this spreading cottonwood (or is it a willow?) tree near the center of the park between the street and the trail. There is open space all around it. See that shady place under the tree? Poison oak loves to grow there.
|Poison Oak Loves to Grow in that Shady Space Under Tree, © B. Radisavljevic|
|Poison Oak Growing Under Tree in June, © B. Radisavljevic|
Today I found a jimson weed flower in bloom and a several potential forests of the plant. Learn more about jimson weed here. The mustard adds some happy color to this photo.
Below is an enlargement of the blooming mallow plant we saw in front of the bench when we entered the park.
|Mallow in Bloom at Larry Moore Park in June, © B. Radisavljevic|
I don't often see poppies in the park, but I did on June 3, 2019. This bit of color was snuggling up to a baby oak tree.
I photographed this cottonwood tree near the river on May 22, 2019. If you have allergies, I suggest you come at a different time of year. The seeds were still flying through the air like snow on June 3.
|Cottonwood in Bloom May 22, 2019, © B. Radisavljevic|
|Cottonwood "Snow" on Ground, May 22, 2019, Larry Moore Park, Paso Robles, © B. Radisavljevic|
|Elderberry Tree in Bloom in June, © B. Radisavljevic|
These are just a few examples of the flora that grow in Larry Moore Park. It has both willow and cottonwood trees. Elderberry trees seem to be everywhere. And, of course, there are oaks. It would take another post to show you all the flora.
|Restrooms at Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic|
Vandals have thrown many tables in the creek and in other places where they don't belong and torn them apart. There has been a huge problem with vandalism in the park in the past. Many hope that since the city now owns the park it will patrol more often.
|Amtrak Heading South. I used a zoom lens so the train is really not in the park but across the river. © B. Radisavljevic|
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