1224. Chalk Mountain (07/18/20)
Hikers (21): Baltazar, Brad, Chinyet, David, Ellen, George, Hong, Jim, Karl, Mihail, Mikael, Pal, Peggy, Peter, Qi, Rich H, Rudi, Sandy F, Sophie, Susan CF, Yipeng
Distance: 21 miles
Rating: 4 difficulty, 9 beauty
Park info: Big Basin State Park near Santa Cruz
Write-up by Peter -- Pictures by Chinyet, Mikael, Pal, Peggy, Qi, Sophie, and Sue
It was nice and cool at the beach when we started the hike. Heat-lovers like Karl were grumbling, but I was happy as a pig in slop. I'd planned to make it a Level 3-ish hike with an optional side trip that added ~1300 feet elevation and a couple of extra miles near the end, but at the outset the vast majority told me they were going to take that option, so I upgraded the official hike to include that section in order to make it a Level 4. A couple of people told me they would likely not do that part, but it was OK since it was a spur of the moment decision. Let's go!
1, 2, 3, ... INCH!
The last few flat miles along Waddell Creek took forever. Each time a group of cyclists went past me they kicked up more dust. If the virus doesn't kill your lungs, the trail dust will! I finally reached the end of the trail, where a few of the die-hards (Mihail) were still partying. Sophie gave me a nicely chilled Boont Amber to cool my insides, and then I went across the road and took a plunge in the ice cold Pacific to cool off my outsides and wash all the dust off. Aaaaaaahhhh!!! (yes, there was major shrinkage afterwards, but that's TMI)
Brad's 270th leaf
Mikael's 30th leaf
Pal's 50th leaf
Peggy's 40th leaf
Rich H's 1st leaf
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