Porsche 914 which used to be there). After it crosses the creek at the bottom of the trail, it connects to a trail called "Giant Salamander".
We hung around the creek bottom a while, enjoying the forest ambiance before starting the climb back up, and I half-jokingly asked "Where's the giant salamander?" Half a minute later, Dave said "There it is."
And sure enough, an enormous salamander, maybe ten inches long and dark with rust-colored spots, swam out into the creek and started poking its way among the rocks. It seemed much more active than the California Newts we usually see at Montebello, and it had a nice vertically flattened tail -- when it disappeared into crevices it almost looked like an eel.
A quick web search suggests that it was a California Giant Salamander.
Neither of us was carrying a camera. Oh, well.
[ 19:01 Aug 30, 2004 More nature | permalink to this entry | ]