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653. Purisima Loop (01/17/09)

Hikers (18): Arlene, Brian Gu, David, Diane, George, Gerry G, Guillermo, Harvey, Hima, Jeff, Jim S, John, Linda L, Paul, Praveen, Russ, Stacy, Steve
Distance: 15 miles
Rating: 3 difficulty, 9 beauty
Park info: Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve near Woodside

Write-up by Russ

What a nice day for a hike! And most people got to the hike early and got to parking, except Arlene. We found out later Arlene was waiting at the wrong parking lot. Oh well, no time to waste.

1-2-3 INCH!

We did the usual long downward trek to the Purisima Creek Trail. This is always the easy part. Coming back up to the parking lot is the fun part. Everyone managed to find the turn off to the fairly steep Grabtown Gulch Trail. Maybe the hike really is a level 4. At the intersection of the Borden Hatch Mill Trail, INCH'ers had the hard core option of going up to the Bald Knob area and beyond. But for the leaf, people just needed to head down the Borden Hatch Mill Trail. Another downhill?...maybe this should be a level 3 hike?

Everyone had run into Arlene around the Higgens parking area. I got to hear how she parking in the wrong parking lot originally, but found the right parking lot after we had already left. She did find my map, but since I neglected to indicate which direction to do the hike, she ended up going in the opposite (and easier) direction. No time to hang out to chat, it was time for the dreaded Harkins Ridge Trail. I remember this being a fairly steep climb up to the ridge. But at the top I was thinking, that wasn't so bad. It was certainly time for a lunch break. Then off to the Soda Gulch Spring, which is another downhill. I knew I had to enjoy the downhill before heading back up the Purisima Creek Trail.

I was walking up the Purisima Creek Trail with Diane M and she was saying it didn't seem as bad as before. I was thinking that as well, but wanted to reserve judgment until we got back to the car. I knew once we saw the chicken wire fence on the right side of the trail, we were practically back to the car...and there it was. It was actually about another quarter mile back to the car, but the hike was over just like that.

When I got back to the car, people were asking if I had seen Linda? What? Why would I have seen Linda? Last time I saw her, she was way ahead of me and heading up Harkins Ridge. Turns out Linda had missed the Soda Gulch turn off and ended up at the same parking lot Arlene went to originally. And I had just finishing telling Stacy that it was almost impossible to get lost on this hike. I guess almost is right. After George drove off to look for Linda, she came walking to the parking lot along Skyline Blvd.

Whew, my perfect record of not losing anyone remains intact. In the end, I decided it really was a level 3 hike. Kudos to Harvey, John, and George for going the extra distance and doing the Bald Knob area!

Milestones:
Steve's 510th leaf



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