Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bolinas Ridge Trail - March 20, 2010

Location: Point Reyes, CA
Length: 9 miles
Elevation Change 1,000 ft
People: Mike (Dad), Jeremy, Vitor, Serena, Josh, Jamie, Chris, Mocha and Lucy

We went to visit our friend Jamie for the weekend and get in a great hike. Friday night we arrived at Jamie’s and her boyfriend’s, Chris, mountain home around . They have an incredible home they are renting right on the edge of the Point Reyes National Seashore area. The house has one room, bathroom, living room and kitchen with a wraparound porch. Off the back side of the house and porch is an awesome little solarium at the top of a set of stairs that give a fantastic view of the city of Point Reyes.

Upon arriving Jamie informed us that there had been a mountain lion around that had eaten 2 of her chickens just a few days before. So we all opted to sleep inside the house and solarium. Mocha and Lucy became fast friends… in a sense (more to come on that).
The next day we took it easy while we ate fresh eggs from the chickens in the yard and caught up with Jamie and what is happening in her life. Then we discussed which trail we should or could take. Jamie’s house was literally right next to the Point Reyes rim trial which was one of the few trails that allows dogs. But we ended up going with the Bolinas trail outside of the National Seashore area.

The trail is a one-way hike so we dropped off the majority of people and Jamie and my dad went to drop off a car at the picnic area at the end of the trail. The beginning of the trail was on a farm road walking right through a herd of cows. I haven’t had much experience with cows, other than driving by them on the 99 in McFarland, so to walk by the cows I realized how huge they are and how small I am. Of course to Lucy, Jamie’s dog, thought they were just giant dogs that were meant to play with. Despite all the yelling we did at her she decided to chase the cows around the field.

The cows did not like this at all, especially because there were calves in the group and they started to charge Lucy. Chris got a hold of Lucy and we walked as quickly as possible through the cows. I am proud to say that Mocha started to follow Lucy’s lead but with a quick holler or two to her she stayed on the dirt road and left the cows alone.
The trail meanders up the pasture for about a mile where you have to walk through fenced areas and more cows. We managed to make it to the mile marker that told us we were on the right path. We followed it the rest of the way cow free, thank goodness. It meandered along a hill crest where there were views of the coastal mountains on both sides. Since we were still in the wet season everything was green and there were ponds and puddles all over the place. At one point we came to a grove of eucalyptus tree which were the thickest I had ever seen them get. Serena and I got a chance to hike quite a while together and chat it up. It was really fun to catch up and get to know each other.

Shortly after the eucalyptus grove we climbed a rolling hill and came to our turn off, 6 miles in. The turn off then took us 1.5 miles straight down the hill side on a fire road. I have never hiked such a steep trail! Serena and I went down it together and we had to stop a couple of time because our toes kept hitting the front of our shoes. Once we reached the bottom we found the dogs, Jamie, Chris, Vitor and my dad down by the river enjoying the scenery. We all continued together along a flat trail to a parking lot where we found Jeremy and Josh waiting for us because they didn’t know where to go from there.
From that point we traveled another 1.5 miles on a nice flat trail that was right next to the river. The dogs enjoyed being able to run along and not be hindered by cows. We ended at a nice little picnic area where Jamie and my dad had left the car. We pulled out the cooler and started frying up some burgers. I proptly pulled out the Renu Poison Ivy soap and washed all the exposed skin, just in case, because I don’t remember seeing a bunch of poison ivy, but knowing me, if there was even a leaf out there it would make me get oozing sores all over. The BBQ was a great way to end the hike, good food, good friends and the dogs finally calmed down enough to be normal. After that we all piled into the and headed back to Fresno.

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