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74. Huddart Park Loop (07/04/98)

Hikers (12): Beth, Cap'n Dave, Eric, Eugene, Jane M, Kim, Marybeth, Peggy, Peter, Russ, Steve, Taylor
Distance: 6 miles
Rating: 2 difficulty, 8 beauty
Park info: Huddart County Park in Woodside

Write-up by Peter

This was special occasion -- not only was it the Fourth of July, but it was also Muffy's birthday celebration hike!

Esteban, Rusty, Muffy, and I showed up bright and early at Huddart Park and staked out a good picnic spot. Now we had nothing to do for the next few hours except play cards and drink beer until everyone else arrived. Not a bad way to spend a morning!

A few six-packs later, the rest of the gang showed up. Aaaaaayyyyyyy!!! In addition to the INCHers, some of Muffy's co-workers also came along (I didn't include their names in the header because (a) I couldn't remember them all, and (b) they didn't actually do the hike with us).

A few six-packs later .... hot dogs ... burgers ... potato salad ... beer ... birthday cake ... football ... Sam kicked my ass at chess ... finally, it was time to hike!

1, 2, 3, ... INCH!

We started out on the Dean Trail and headed down to the creek. I just love walking on the trails here. The footing is soft, the trails are too narrow for bikes and horses, and the redwoods are beautiful! What more could you ask for?

After crossing the creek, we began the uphill climb out from the other side. As expected, we began to get separated at this point. Esteban and Rusty went off up ahead, followed by Taylor and Jane. I brought up the rear with the rest of the pack.

Up at the top, we reached the camp and stopped to catch our breath. There were three trails to choose from at this point. One went downhill back towards park headquarters, one went straight to the far end of the park (our destination), and I guessed that one went a shorter but steeper route to the other end of the park. Naturally, I chose the steepest option. However, before going any further I warned the others that they would have to follow me at their own risk because I was not sure if this trail would actually lead us to where we were supposed to go.

The trail started out pretty steep and then got even steeper. It was not too long before Eugene was cursing at me (so what else is new?). I love it! If he's cursing, it's because he's suffering!! A little further up, we began to lose people. Marybeth and Peggy were starting to look a little green, and Kim didn't seem to be bubbling over with joy either, so Egg took the bullet and offered to walk them back.

Onward .... the trail kept leading further uphill .... no sign of Esteban, Rusty, Taylor, and Jane. I was pretty sure none of them had taken this route. The trail was just a muddy fire road at this point and it didn't seem like there were any fresh footprints along the way. I could tell that Eugene, Muffy, and Cap'n Dave were thinking that I was leading them to their doom. Hey, have I ever gotten anyone lost before?

Finally, the trail flattened out, and before you knew it we could hear the cars zipping along Skyline Boulevard, indicating we had reached the far end of the park. I had actually picked the best trail!! Unbelievable.

We stopped at the famous bench near the road and cooled our heels for a while before heading back. It's always so peaceful in that spot. I could just sit there for hours. In fact I wanted to, but the others wanted to get back and eat cake, so we hit the trail once more.

On the way back, we took the scenic Chiquapin Trail. Switchbacks, redwoods, and deer galore! I think this is the most beautiful trail in the whole park.

Back at the picnic ground, we hooked up with the rest of the gang. They had taken different (and I might add, easier) trails, but the main thing is that everyone had a good time and got back OK.

Now it was time to finish off a great day by heading over to Muffy's to catch the Great America fireworks!

p.s. If you ever talk to any of the people who were there, be sure to ask them about the strange man in the cape!

Milestones:
Marybeth's 1st leaf
Peter's 70th leaf
Steve's 40th leaf



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