17 May, 2009

Hiking Irvine, biking ACF

This weekend we had amazing sunny weather. It was a good weekend to get out of town since HSU had graduations.

On Saturday we caught a ride with Brett at 7:15 AM to Prairie Creek State Park. This is one of the prettiest places out here (it neighbors Redwood National Park) and the epicenter for old growth redwood.

We hiked the James Irvine trail to the beach and returned via Miner's Ridge.

Back in the day, failed miners tried to follow the coast south to civilization. When they hacked their way to the ocean they discovered abundant gold dust at Gold Bluff and Gold Bluff's Beach.
Gold Bluffs & Beach w/Roosevelt Elk

Our comparatively easy hike lasted 6 hours over 9 1/4 miles. We weren't in a hurry since we saw wildlife at every corner; a garter snake, hundreds of mating Polydesmid Millipedes, birds, flowers, albino snails, and so on.

These little guys were everywhere!

The trails here are world class.
The ecosystem is little changed over thousands of years.

Most of the trees on our walk were hundreds of years old. New ones only rise when old ones fall, creating a hole in the canopy. The oldest trees are obvious in their stature and worn appearance. They stood in this forest 2,000 years ago.

Here's a nice page on Prairie Creek S.P.
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Sunday we slept in, did overdue laundry, bought groceries, played tennis, I went went for two mountain bike rides in the forest, visited my friend Drew who graduated, did maintenance on brakes & chains, and ended with a feast. I ate two dinners.

My legs are tired and sore, my belly is full. Life is good.