Horse Creek

March 27, 2004

This hike is not frequently on our hiking schedule, but it is definitely a two-thumbs-up hike on a sunny, spring day. Max helped seventeen other hikers discover the delights and surprises of this trail which is near Sea Lion Cave. There is an extensive 17 mile system of loops originally built in 1992 with additions made up to 1997. (Map available a Mapleton Ranger District). These trails are also horse trails. We saw no horses and only a few other hikers (summer may bring out more horses?). We started at the Horse Creek trailhead and hiked mostly the outside perimeter for about eight miles and were well rewarded with dazzling ocean views and numerous sightings of whale spoutings.

After a few stuttering showers on the drive over, the sun and blue sky greeted us at the trailhead and emerged brighter and clearer as the day progressed. The trail loops up, around, down and back up through the hillside forest. There are numerous ocean views along the entire loop. Open grassy meadows dot the route, some even with a bench facing the the ocean. The forested sections offer a cooling canopy and variety. Not many wildflowers were in bloom yet. There are two stream crossings, one required fording. (Reportedly you can leap across in the summer.) The hikers good naturedly negotiated the above-the-boot level fording by wading across with boots on or in bare feet. Others used a smal1, bouncy fallen tree as a bridge. Then this very pleasant and cohesive group again very good naturedly hiked up the grossly-underestimated-in-elevation-gain last section of the loop. (1,000 feet, not 500 feet as per trip signup sheet.) The reward at the top was one last lingering rest in a grassy meadow complete with a bench and stunning ocean view before returning to our cars. What a great way to kick off the hiking season! Thanks to Max for leading the way. Thank you also to the drivers and to a fun group of participants. Non-members Jacki Lukowski and Craig Renkert. Members Max Brown (route-finder/co-leader), Daniele Delaby, Walt Dolliver, Jim Duncan, Sharon Duncan, Anne Hollander, Yuan Hopkins, Ken Kodama, Bonnie Manheim, Nola Nelson, Effie Neth (sweep/co-leader), Margaret Prentice, Barbara Schomaker, Sheila Ward, Tom Woxell, and Mel Zavodsky.

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