Where’s our peak?
Woo hoo! For us, Vasquez Peak in Henry Coe State Park was our 84th peak of the Nifty Ninety Peak Challenge.
It was supposed to be 10.2 miles rt., but my friend Patricia and I were ahead of the guys and we didn’t have any navigational devices. We thought Ralph was keeping track on the GPS. Every time I looked back to see if he was signaling me we were close, he was engrossed with walking and talking with our friend Tom.Read More
It turned out Vasquez Peak was not marked — and there were several high points nearby so you wouldn’t just know by looking around. About a mile past Vasquez, we all stopped to assess exactly where we were. We had reached Rock Springs.
Our route out and back
We walked out on the Hunting Hollow (dirt) road from the parking area at the Hunting Hollow entrance (fee or State Park pass required). There were five creek crossings, but none even ankle deep and rocks had been placed that made it easy.
We turned left and up the hill on the Lyman Willson Ridge Trail. This was the steepest park of the hike, but we stopped tons of times to photograph wildflowers so we didn’t care. We turned right onto Bowl Trail, which took us past Willson Camp.
Willson Camp, as the name implies, allows camping, but there was no one there. The wooden buildings were in disrepair. The large shed was in the worst condition, but it provided some shelter from the strong wind as we ate our snacks. We appreciated the fact that there was a porta-potty available that was being maintained. The water faucet had been turned off. So this is a reminder to either carry all the water you need or be certain there is a source within the park when you hike or camp here!
Past the camp we made our way onto Vasquez Road, which took us past several high points — one, as I noted, was Vasquez itself and Rock Springs!
It was a great hike and I had the feeling that the display of wildflowers was just beginning. Among others, we saw California Poppies, Buttercups, Vetch, Lupine, Hounds Tongue, Baby Blue Eyes, and Fiddlenecks in profusion! Gorgeous!
I am getting stronger, but can I do this?
Sometimes I feel like I am my own worst enemy — at least when it comes to having the confidence to complete a hike. In this case, we wanted to tackle El Sombroso — near Los Gatos — in Santa Clara County. The problem facing me was that the hike, though rated moderate, was given as 11.6 miles round trip and it’s about a 2,000 ft. elevation gain. Because I have been dealing with leg pain for many months, I was feeling stuck at about 7 miles.
A Nifty Ninety PeakContinue reading “El Sombroso or Bust!”
Susan Alcorn’s Backpacking & Hiking Tales and Tips, February 2021
- Camino news
- ALDHA-Virtual RUCKS
- Bear “Attack” in the Trinity Alps, CA
- Thru hikers’ medical guide
- Safety plea from the father of 2020 PCT fatality
- Grizzlies or humans? The 1,200 Pacific Northwest Trail
- Andrew Skurka offers guided backpacking trips
- “Anish” and Mud, Rocks, Blazes
- Heading for Yosemite soon?
Articles: Read MoreContinue reading “Susan Alcorn’s Backpacking & Hiking Tales & Tips, February 2021”
Amy Racina, contributor
It was a lovely evening at Wailaki Campground on the fringes of California’s Lost Coast. I set up my tent, barbequed some zucchini and the slab of bison I had picked up along the way, and staked down my tent on a nice flat spot. Though showers were expected, I wasn’t worried. I had a good reliable tent.
I snuggled in to read a good book and enjoy some restful dreams. Warm and dry in my tent, I dreamt that I was floating peacefully down a river on a raft.Read More
My mattress was about three inches thick. As my hand dangled over the side, I suddenly felt water. This was wrong. I awoke with a start. It was pouring outside. I realized that there was two inches of standing water inside my tent. Further exploration told me that everything in the tent not on the mattress was saturated: my purse, extra outerwear, daytime clothing, Kleenex, book…
My sleeping bag and pillow were dangling over the edge as well, soaking up the puddle that my tent had become. I had to get up to pee anyway, so I stuck my feet outside my tent to put on the shoes I had left there. They were floating. I got on the soggy shoes and splashed through the water to dry land. The entire tent was now in a puddle about 6 inches deep.
No point in trying to go back to sleep amidst the soggy bedding, I decided. So I splashed back and forth, rescuing my saturated gear and stashing it all in large garbage bags. Loading dripping bags and myself into the car, I snoozed for a few hours and waited for the dawn.
When it got light outside, I hopped out of my car. I was ankle deep in water. I saw that my entire campsite had become a small lake. It was still raining heavily.
So I did what any intrepid traveler would do. I headed for home. It had been a fine adventure.
copyright 2021 Amy Racina
Because Amy is an intrepid hiker and traveler, she has many a story to tell about her adventures. Take, for example, her Angels in the Wilderness: The True Story of One Woman’s Survival Against All Odds.
“This book is a first-person account of a disaster on a solo hiking trip. Author Amy Racina was hiking in a remote part of King’s Canyon National Park in California’s Sierra mountains when she lost the trail. With no warning, she suddenly fell sixty feet, breaking both legs on the rocks below. She survived for four days and nights, battling pain, fear and exhaustion, pulling herself along with her hands and refusing to give up. She was miraculously saved…”