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2/12/2017

Ortega Highway Opens!

I live off the Ortega a mile from the closure. Residents who live
here on the Orange County side of the Highway usually have a seven minute
ride to town. Thousands of commuters from Riverside use the Highway to
get to family, work, schools, church or just to get groceries and fuel.
The road has been closed three weeks. It takes me two and a half hours one
way to work. Thank heavens I've been able to have my daughter stay with
family to avoid the worry of her driving five hours a day. The commute is
brutal.

My heart goes out to businesses who rely on transportation. 
The Tree of Life Nursery, The Candy Store and Hell's Kitchen 
to name a few suffer.
The good news is sources say (Chumo construction) it will reopen 
Thursday the 16th of February, 
while Cal Trans reports to open the 21st.
CalTrans was not on top of the repairs. 
They sent the one engineering camera to Sinkhole Steve.
The press mistakenly called it a sink hole- really they call it a slip out.
The dirt under the road was pushed by creek flow into the river below. 
Speculation: Rancho Mission Viejo graded the road above to allow the sway
to flow towards the highway. Rancho Mission Viejo wants to develop this
way and shut down all available dirt roads that pass through. Are they worried
about the kit fox and her den near Christianitos Road? Or yellow frogs who
are endangered that reside up here? I don't know. 

Positive things I notice from the road closure:
It is amazing wonderland up here.
The hillsides are chartreuse green, wildflowers blooming and no road 
traffic on weekends or fatal motorcycle accidents. Three waterfalls are
pouring out clean water. There's a spring that appeared where I live.

When it opens come on up and go hike. Bring peanuts for the blue jays. I have about twenty here,
not normal I think they are missing hikers who leave them a little treat. Buy a sandwich and some home made cookies at the Candy Shop, and stop and pickup native plants for the next day at Tree of Life Nursery.  Come enjoy a piece of heaven!
Photos taken Sunday at 11 AM