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39. Berry Creek Falls (07/26/97)

Hikers (5): Eric, Kim, Peter, Taylor, Wendell
Distance: 10 miles
Rating: 3 difficulty, 10 beauty
Park info: Big Basin State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Write-up by Peter

Another INCH newbie -- welcome aboard, Wendell!

We picked a nice summer day to head back to Big Basin State Park, site of the first ever INCH hike. The Eggs were kind enough to volunteer to drive, and the rest of us piled into the back like children. Once we got going down the twisting, winding road heading south from Saratoga, Mrs. Egg started giving Mr. Egg an earful for driving too fast. Hee, hee!

As usual, it was chilly down at Big Basin, so we wasted little time and hit the trail. We headed out on the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, and worked our way up through the switchbacks and out towards Berry Creek Falls. This being late July, we weren't sure if there would be any water at the falls, but sure enough, there it was, as beautiful as ever. The platform overlooking the falls is one of the all-time best spots in the world to have a nice, relaxing picnic lunch. The problem is that you always end up sharing the space with about a dozen other people, so it loses its charm.

After a short rest, we resumed the hike and headed up the hill towards the upstream waterfalls. For some reason, I was not as scared of the little steep trail going up the side of the Golden Falls as I was last time. Maybe I'm getting better at this heights thing!

After passing the falls, we arrived at the turnoff for the Sunset Trail. This trail had been closed on our last visit and we ended up taking a long fire road back, but it was open this time. Decision time. I was more inclined to take the longer trail back, but the weaklings among us prevailed, and we ended up taking the direct route back to Park Headquarters.

Even so, it ended up being a decent 10-mile hike after all. On the way back, we also initiated Wendell into the INCH Full Moon tradition. I liked his comment: "Is that what he does instead of shaking hands?"

Milestones:
Taylor's 30th leaf
Wendell's 1st leaf



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