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708. Coyote Ridge (01/09/10)

Hikers (33): Alan, Barbara, Bill R, Colleen, David, Diane, Ernesto, Gavin, Hans, Hima, Igor, Isai, Jane, Janice, Jeff, Jinglan, Karl, Karri, Katelin, Kim M, Linda, Mark E, Mike, Nick S, Rich, Robert, Ross, Rufina, Russ, Sparky, Stacy, Steve, Susan
Distance: 16 miles
Rating: 2 difficulty, 7 beauty
Park info: Harvey Bear Ranch County Park in Morgan Hill

Write-up by Steve

Harvey Bear is in "Phase 3" of their development Master Plan. Unfortunately, I had printed out maps from the end of "Phase 1", which were missing the major additions of the Calaveras and Savannah trails, both of which were part of the planned hike. Luckily, we had a group of 33 expert orienteers. What could go wrong?

1-2-3 INCH

I had highlighted the approximate location of Savannah Trail on the map, but didn't even notice that Calaveras was missing. It runs parallel to the reservoir road, so I had just highlighted the road. Most people still took the Calaveras Trail, with the rest taking the road. Both work out just fine and both delivered the promised "Reservoir Views".

At the far end of the park, many people also tried the optional "Phase 3" Mummy Mountain Trail, which is slated to open in April. The trail does not (yet) touch the Mendoza Trail, which is where I was trying to pick it up. Luckily we eventually stumbled across it not too far off the Mendoza Trail coming from the west. The other end of the trail is not so ambiguous, and hits the Coyote Ridge Trail in a jumble of boulders. The finished trail will be a welcome addition to the park in the summer, as it features quite a bit of shade. They've even built some stone steps along the route.

We had at least three people miss the southern-most part of the hike, although they staunchly denied it. Still, they could not explain how they managed to get from near the back of the pack to near the front without passing anyone. Hmmm. Back at the parking lot, Barbara and Sparky came in late via New Road--God only knows what happened there, but I heard there were some emaciated cows involved. When the last of the first groups drove off, Ernesto was left behind to wait for his carpool partner Hans. Besides them, Jeff, Gavin, Jinglan, and Nick were still out. I would later learn that everyone made it back in one piece, with Jeff getting back just in time to avoid getting a parking ticket at 5:30pm. Even the easy hikes can have some excitement.

Hima's 160th leaf
Karl's 30th leaf
Karri's 1st leaf
Katelin's 1st leaf
Ross's 210th leaf

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