Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hiking the Redwood State Park

My weekend will be in multiple posts, because I did so much activity instead of running.

I was able to get away for a much needed weekend vacation to California to visit my friend, Ashley. Our plan was to hike and skydive all weekend long and I couldn't be happier. It would be the first time that I have hiked (OK, I did the bottom trail at Pike's Peak in Estes, CO), especially with my ankle injury. We spent Thursday and Friday discussing which place we would hit first for hiking (also dependent on weather). It was decided that we would hike Big Basin, which is part of the Redwood State Park on Friday, skydive on Saturday, and then climb Mission Peak (view from her backyard) early on Sunday morning before I fly out.

We packed up our hiking gear (our little Dakine backpacks), ate some vietnamese delicious sandwiches (I bought some cookies, too), and headed out to see some Redwoods. We passed by Saratoga, which I would love to go back to when I have more time. Ashley is talking me in to coming up once a month, it's a tempting off for sure. Once you get in the mountain, it's about an hour of crazy, narrow roads until you reach the parking lot. However, the ride up it was worth it, because it is so beautiful.

Our hiking route was this really great 4 mile loop that takes us by the Sempervirens Falls, around the Opal Creek, and back up to the ranger station. I'm not sure how much I burned calories wise, but I felt great afterwards. For the most part it was flat, but there was a couple steep areas. I was so amazed by the width of the Redwood trees. They were a sight to see.

Ashley told me about these Banana Slugs that are huge and bright yellow, but we didn't see any. I did see the holes they dug.

The Sempervirens Falls were beautiful and Ashley was happy to see a good running waterfall.

We learned that this was the first ever State Park and then hiked up this really steep part and then just sat down for a 20 minute rest to enjoy the view. There were 2 deer that came out to eat and showed no signs of fear. I think they know we aren't going to shoot them in California (Texas maybe...just kidding).

Our next path was the Sea to Skyline route, which was narrow and steep. At times, I had to focus on the ground and quit looking at the trees, because I didn't want to fall to my death. We started to hear thunder and then it hailed on us, but not bad. They were soft and melted when they hit the ground. The trees kept us safe from what was going on above us since we saw what they looked like later on when we left the park. It was a rough walk back since we were now tired and cold. I needed to go to the bathroom, but most of the toilets were locked. Finally, I was able to get in to the handicap bathroom close to the ranger station.

This is what the hail looked like if you weren't saved by the trees.

As soon as we got in to the car, we turned on the heat and drove out to the famous Highway One; the highway that runs along the Pacific coast. It was beautiful.

We stopped at this English Pub, because it was packed and had London Buses out in the parking lot. It looked pretty cool and an adventure to check out instead of going somewhere that I have been. What we found out when we got there was that it is a B&B, packed with kids, not very English afterall, and very touristy. These people next to us kept having the same argument over and over. Ashley and I ate our Fish & Chips plate and drank our 1 beer (I had Tangerine Wheat and it was delicious) quickly.

We high-tailed it to Half Moon Bay Brewery (much better) to catch what little we could of the sunset. I was sore the next morning, but not as bad as I am today from Sunday's hike (later post).

1 comment:

  1. I grew up in Kuwait - spent 16 years there!
    I'm going back to visit my parents and to meet up with my sister. I'm going back to the scene of where I first fell in love with running, my old 5k loop and the stadium I used to visit most mornings back in HS. :)

    I LOVE Indian food!!! It doesn't hurt that it's mostly vegetarian as well ;)

    Which one's your favourite Bond movie?


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