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197. Long Ridge Loop (02/03/01)

Hikers (5): Atul, Eugene, Jean, Peter, Russ
Distance: 6 miles
Rating: 2 difficulty, 8 beauty
Park info: Long Ridge Open Space Preserve near Saratoga

Write-up by Russ

It was the day of the big UCLA/Stanford basketball game and I wanted to have a short hike so I could catch the game. The Man made a surprise appearance for this hike. The logistics for this hike were a bit more complicated than the usual hike. We were supposed to pick up Jean at her place and Eugene said he would meet us at the trailhead. Seemed like a recipe for disaster.

We picked up Jean with no problem, except for the fact that she was wearing her Stanford sweatshirt. Of course, I countered by being decked out in my UCLA gear. We made it to Long Ridge OSP, but wasn't sure where we should park. We found where I wanted to start the hike, but Eugene wasn't there. In the INCH tradition, we said screw him and got on with the hike.

1, 2, 3, ... INCH!

The hike started off with walking on the Peters Creek trail. Naturally we had to pause and check out Peters Creek. Then it was off to do some hiking. I managed to get in some good trash talking about how UCLA was going to school Stanford, but I couldn't get Jean to bet me on the game.

We hit the beginning of the Long Ridge Trail and the fun began. This was the only decent uphill on this hike. Atul took off to the lead, followed by The Man, then me, with Jean trailing a bit behind. Eventually everyone made it to the top of the hill and the view made the work worthwhile. We took a seat at the vista point and took in the view. After a few minutes of taking in the view it was time to keep going.

We continued on the Long Ridge Road heading towards the parking lot at the end of Hickory Oaks Trail. We were wondering if Eugene had parked there and we would look for his car. I think we were all hoping that we wouldn't find him or he wouldn't find us. After walking on the scenic Long Ridge Trail for a bit longer, we continued on to Hickory Oaks Trail. By this time, I saw that we weren't going to get back to the car and back in time to watch the game. Oh well, at least I was enjoying the hike.

We hit the end of Hickory Oaks and there was no sign of my Asian brother in the parking lot. We certainly tried to find him, though I'm not sure why. Time to head back.

We turned around and headed back on Hickory Oaks. We made good time back to the Peters Creek Trail loop. Off we went to get back to the car. It looks like we were having too much fun on the hike because eventually we thought we went past where the car was. No one saw any sign of where we were supposed to turn back to the car. Did we really go past the car? Or was it further up? Where was Esty and his GPS when you need it? After much discussion, it was decided to head back the way we came and see if we could find the turnoff. We wandered around for a bit with some nervousness that maybe the car was in the other direction. But sure enough, the turnoff back to the car was found. We were saved! Time to head back and see who won the game.

It turns out that Eugene parked at the Grizzly Flat parking lot. That is what happens when you don't travel with the group!

Final note: UCLA 79, Stanford 73.

Eugene's 110th leaf

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