620. Griffin Loop (05/31/08)
Hikers (17): Arlene, Blinky, David, Diane, Gavin, George, Janice, Jeff, Lily, Nani, Russ, Sabine, Scott, Stacy, Steve, Walter, Wennie
Distance: 10 miles
Rating: 3 difficulty, 9 beauty
Park info: Audubon Canyon Ranch near Stinson Beach
Write-up by Steve -- Pictures by George and Steve
Pictures from George.
This was Russ's hike. Most of us showed up early to get parking because the notice said it "fills up by 10am". Our efforts were greeted by a closed gate, as the place doesn't even open until 10am. The rather laid-back crew took their sweet time opening the gate, but wasted no time hitting us up for donations (recommended $15/car). Even with the late opening there were maybe two other cars besides ours when it opened. . .and the hike leader (Russ) didn't even bother getting there until after 10am.
Anyway, it was a foggy hike, so couldn't see much, but that made it pretty cool in its own way. Quickly hiked by all the bird lovers (screw the egrets), and up a few short grades, to get to Bolinas ridge. From there we picked up the Coastal Trail.
Waited at the far point of the hike, where I used the time to wring out my dew-drenched socks. When George and David showed up, we detoured a very short distance to visit the über-cool and extra-secret GoGo point, where we enjoyed awesome views of the fog. We had already decided to walk down the "official trail" (a.k.a. paved road) only as far as the the next intersection with the Coastal Trail. And that we did, happily getting away from the cars, bikes, and hard ground. The Coastal Trail had been very wet on the way up (with the grass dumping all of its accumulated water into our shoes), but bone dry on the way back. Apparently the hikers had knocked it all off, with those in front taking the tsunami-sized portion of it.
On the way back, we caught up to Russ (and many others). Russ had made the executive decision to turn back early to ensure everyone would get back by the 4pm closing time (hence making this officially a 10-mile hike instead of 12). They were comfortably back by 2:30pm (and then called the hike a three). In other travesties, Nani decided to run off and do some extra hiking section, thus screwing his waiting carpool mates to the tune of an extra hour. For my part, I anticipated the hike was going to be a cake walk and wanted to get more out of the long drive, so planned a hike in nearby Cascade Canyon and White Hill Open Space (recommended donation: $0/car). That was an equally fine hike, with great views (no fog by then), and some steep trails as well. The extra eight miles rounded it out to a good day of hiking.
Janice's 180th leaf
Lily's 20th leaf
Sabine's 90th leaf
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