June 21, 2009 Portola Redwoods State Park

The announcement

Sunday’s hike will be much easier. We’ll leave here at 9, the usual time, and head up over Highway 35 and down the ocean side along Alpine, across from Page Mill, to Portola Redwoods State Park.

This is part of our mad dash to leave our indelible mark on as many of the state parks that are about to be closed as we can before Da Terminator terminates our access. Laura has given us the handy link, http://www.calparks.org/takeaction/sos-weekend.html, which tells us that we need to be wearing green, or a green ribbon this weekend in support of our parks. Green where we cannot see is only worth a half credit. We’ll let Grey do the usual group picture honors that we’ll post to their web site, so make sure you warsh (not just wash) your face before you come.

This is a moderate to upper-end moderate hike, taken at a leisurely pace (everyone stays together), up the hill behind the ranger station, then down a fire road, looking for thimbleberries and huckleberries all the way. Perhaps Tom will make another unannounced visit to join us, like last year. I’m always amazed we even catch up to him when he does this.

After the hike, well be having a picnic. Yea!

We’ll have a small cooler with us, but your should plan on bringing your own if you can, if you have something that needs, well, cooling. The way this works is that you bring food and drink for yourself and, if you feel up to it, bring along something extra to share. Like a salad, or chips, or your signature dish, etc.

We’ll gather at one of the many picnic tables, engorge ourselves, see if we can convince Ronnie G to show us his special bird-attracting dance he did last year, and I’ll see if I can avoid getting lectured to by the Ranger again.

The hike is pretty much all enclosed. Plan on 2 to 3 hours for the hike and an hour for the picnic. Towards the end of the hike, we’ll be near the creek and we may try to find the elusive Tiptoe Falls. And, yes, there will be pictures taken along the way.

The hike
Fifteen people—we’re still getting some good sized crowds for the hikes. And why not? Especially when you get to wait to see who is going to report getting poison oak in the next day or two. Bets are on Grey, Charlie, and (most likely) Kevin. Kevin who grabbed hold of a furry, urushiol-oozing limb of significant dimensions and with the subtle grunt of a trained weight lifter, hove his weight in poison oak timber aside of the trail.

It was a toss up in percentage of reaction between admiration of the mighty slayer of fetid flora, and the repugnance of needing to be sure to stay well out of range of Kevin’s touch for the rest of the day. Add to that the curious sight of Grey leading the pack in the hike. Or Charlie’s fashion competition with Grey. Or Jan’s cajoling or daring the back group to keep up with her. Of wondering about the state of Dave’s nether regions when I jumped off my end of the giant see-saw and hearing the loud oomph of Dave hitting solid ground on his end.

Those were just a few of the many tales that day. The weather was ideal. The berries were mostly unripe. The climb eventually ended. But oh boy, the picnic. Salads. Brownies. Chips. Dips. Exotics foods which I can’t spell. Beer. Wine. Fizzy drinks. Sandwiches. Fruit. And that was just in front of my position on the picnic bench.
There was a whole giggling gaggle at the other end of the bench.

There was no bird-flying lesson. No lecture from the ranger. No visitation of jaunty jays.

Pictures are HERE.

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