Saturday, July 16, 2011

Henry Coe Backpack

I'm a bit behind on my little blog, so I'm going to post a number of events which took place in April & May!

April 22 - 23, 2011
Henry Coe State Park, home to my first ever California backpack! It was an easy 2 night, 10 mile weekend, but it was LOVELY. The hills were lush and green, wildflowers were abundant and people were scarce! Devin and I chose to visit Henry Coe State park because of it's proximity to home. We left after work on a Friday, drove an hour and a half and hiked a short distance to our first camp before the sun set. 

The second day we awoke relatively late, ate some oatmeal and began a gentle climb up to a high ridge, we would follow this ridge for most of the day. The sun peeked in an out of clouds and fog throughout the day warming us just enough from the frequent breeze. Around 5:00, our legs and hips growing weary of the packs, we arrived at a wee lake and decided to call it a day. After deciding where we would pitch our tent we threw down all of our gear, pulled out our camp mats and sleeping bags and lay reading in the lush tall grass until the sun slipped behind the hills, allowing the fog to roll in and embrace us entirely.

The third day we awoke to what sounded like rain and stayed curled up in the tent hoping it would stop. After eating breakfast in the tent, we decided we might as well get going and we packed up our soggy gear and made our way out. The views this day were so different from the day before, the fog moving in and out, offering us only glimpses of the valley to our side, or a spot of sun off in the distance. The trail meandered through lush oak savannah, all the new growth glowing bright green. Our shoes squished with each step, sox saturated with water that was absorbed from the blades of tall grasses. Slowly we descended from the ridge until we reached the valley floor from which we started the day prior. The sun broke through the remaining fog that afternoon, shining on our backs as we completed the 10 mile hike. 

What I liked most about this trip was being up high for most of the trip, allowing us to see parts of the bay area we're not used to seeing. Once atop the ridge the we could see far east over hills that I've only seen when landing in an airplane, and to the west we saw the rich valley of the south bay where fields of garlic were growing.

There's a chance that Henry Coe State park may soon be closing due to the state budget crisis, which would be a huge shame. To donate to the park visit the park's website, it's well worth the donation to keep this park open and available to the public. How lucky we are to have so many verdant parks in the San Francisco bay area.

Above photos from here and here.
My own photos coming soon . . . iPhoto is being a real turd right now . . .

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