Monday, January 17, 2011

Willson Peak (Henry Coe State Park) and Eagle Peak (Toro County Park)

Ok, I know. It's been just under forever that I last posted. Since then, I've moved twice. To two different cities! And I keep doing all these super fun hikes and stuff, and I want to keep track of what hikes I liked and what ones I kinda hated and all that, so I figure I can do that here? I do fully understand that I will probably forget about this by the time we go hiking next though (either Fri or Sun), so yeah. At least I'll have these two officially documented! And with that, I shall get started.

Last Friday Joe and I went up to Henry Coe State Park outside of Gilroy. Prior to this I didn't really realize just how pretty that area can be. I don't think I'm alone when I say that all that comes to mind when I think of Gilroy are outlet malls and lots of garlic. Needless to say, I was very pleasantly surprised. We left from the Hunting Hollow parking lot and headed up the trail to Willson Peak.

Because of all the rain we've had lately (it is January after all) we immediately ran into a minor obstacle.

Luckily we found some rocks that we could climb over without getting too wet. Not yet anyway, on the way back we had to cross that creek several more times, and we both got out feet pretty soaked.

Anyway, you can see the main trail (that we came back on) directly across the flooded creek, but the trail we went up was off to the left.

And that's where the fun really began.

Steep. Very steep. In just under a mile we climber over 1,200 feet, in a about 35 mins. Which I believe is a damn good time for something so steep, because I, unlike that crazy boy I'm with, do not run ultra marathons up mountains for fun. Anyway, while I absolutely want you to notice how steep it is (which is hard to see in pics, I know), you really need to take a good look at the background too. Soooo pretty!! And we could hear frogs calling the whole way up. Most of them from the creek down in the canyon, but we did pass a couple little ponds as well.

Joe was mean though, and wouldn't let me stop there. Mean! Mean mean mean mean mean! Whatever. After not too long we made it to the top! Woo!!

Aw, aren't we cute!

Going back we went the other way, towards Hunting Hollow. The going was slow cuz my knee has been acting up (seriously, I have no idea what I did too it, but it's been hurting a lot lately), so I had to be really careful on the downhill part, which was almost as steep as the going up was.

See what I mean about really pretty?

Parts of it had some nice creepy mossy trees too, which were a lot of fun.

But eventually we made it down the the flat part and enjoyed the wide path in the valley.

And then! Beer!!

This is El Toro Brewing Company (obviously) in Morgan Hill. Really good beer and very decent food too, which is always appreciated after the 7 or so miles we'd just hiked. After food we headed back to Gilroy to go to Barnes and Noble so Boy could spend his gift card (yay books!) and then to BevMo where we spent way too much, but hey, it was cheaper We were saving money! And, come on! Were we expected to not buy alcohols? Psh.

And that was the Henry Coe trip on Friday.

Then on Sat I worked. We were busy and I made $150 and I was happy. Yay!

Then on Sunday we hiked more! Woo!! We had planned on going down to Andrew Molera, but the trail we wanted to go on was closed, so instead we headed to Toro County Park, which is a nice little park in between here and Salinas. We'd been there before, trying to get to the top of... uh... San Simas Peak? I think? So we were going to try to do that again. Unfortunately, niether of us slept well the night before and since I've stopped drinking caffeine, I couldn't even grab a
monster for some quick energy. That whole trip was kinda a disaster. We wanted to go up Coyote Ridge, but the trailhead starts at the youth overnight center, which is closed to non youth overnight people. So instead we headed up Bessie Canyon. The views were pretty enough, but the trail itself was just ugly.

It got pretty steep at some parts, and unforunatly those parts were all rocky and wide and the trail half washed out and despite being only in the 60's, with the sun beating down on us with no shade we were both pretty miserable. I just got to the point where I didn't even want to stop because I was afraid that if I did, I'd quit. So I just turned off my brain and kept going. And then, cows!

Apparently part of the trail has cows on it. And that part of the trail was way better. Much prettier and just nicer in general. A little while later we made it to Eagle Peak.

The original plan was to keep going from there, but we were kinda over it, so we just stopped for a quick bite (I had a cliff bar, he had jelly beans), then headed down the Coyote Ridge trail that we had wanted to go up.

I found a flower! :) You can see the trail we took going off into the trees. I loved those trees. They were all nice and shady and pretty and the trail itself was soooo much nicer. We figured out how to get to the trailhead when we got back, so if we go again we're definetly going up that part. Sadly, I have no good pics of that part of the trail.

Ok, I had one good pic. At the end of that trail we came to the youth center and a little pond, then the trail veered to the right because we're not actually allowed at the youth center.

And then we walked down the road to the parking lot. And I'm tired of writing, and I still have to figure out how to arrange this all pretty on my blog (I started to try to write this in blogspot, but it was annoying the hell out of me, so now I'm using my word processor). I think we're going to do Garrapata next, so I'll try to post about that too. And anything else you guys may be interested in?

Oh, I should also probably mention that I didn't take these pics, Joe did. I have some in my camera, but the cord to download them are still in Marina.