Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wunderlich Park

The Sunday hike, like my bees, was not to be deterred by the weather! I asked my friend if she'd be interested in joining me for a hike. She selected Wunderlich, and I was absolutely interested after reading the Bay Area hiker review. (And the creators of Bay Area Hiker? LOVE you!)

Arrived around 11:30 or so, and the rain was really coming down. So much for the forecasted "10% chance of showers"! We decided to wait a bit, but then thought, let's go for it, there's plenty of cover. From the parking lot you can see the Historic Folger (as in coffee) stables. They are under renovation, I'm sure it'll look great once it's done. Interesting section of bay area history.

We headed up the Alambique Trail, a gentle climb. The trail gains a total of 1000 feet, but with the easy rise and switchbacks, it's not as brutal as Sweeney Ridge. It's oak and redwood, with great views along the trail.

Moved over to the Meadow Trail. On a clear day the views must be fantastic through here. I was amused by the careful placement of park benches, very "You should enjoy this view."

I didn't think we'd had much rain - I'd estimate that it was just a gentle sprinkle for a few days. However, the trail begged to differ. It was slushy throughout, and boggy in others. We made it through the hike with no falls, just a few trips & slips.

Poor Mel - her pants were wicking the mud and water up!

Really pretty wildflowers through the trail. Also saw some California Coffeeberry.

The trail is mostly covered (going to be great in summer!) and had a low amount of traffic. This may be due to the weather though, so another visit will determine for sure.

There's plenty of places to stop and enjoy the scenery, and a selection of loop trails. We kept a pleasant pace through the trails, with little baby A sleeping peacefully on her Mom for the first half. The second half she woke up & became interested in us & the trail. She saw both of us sipping water from our camelback packs & then became insistent on figuring it out. I loved seeing her gnawing on the spout. Monkey see, monkey do! She was a great hiking companion. The towel was there to act as a canopy from the rain. It was pretty wet under the redwoods!

We stopped at one point on the narrow trail to let a runner pass. "Thank you! What a cutie!" she called out. "Did you see the baby?" I called back.

She started to laugh, then slipped in the mud! We were on the ridge part, and I suddenly had a flash of this poor runner falling down the side of the mountain. Man, I need to keep my comments to myself!

This isn't the first trail I've hit lately that is open to horses, but we saw plenty of evidence of them, and on the way down saw this horse. As we turned down a switchback (we were heading down the Bear Gulch Trail) we saw three other riders pass on a trail above us.

Overall, a great trail. Nice coverage, great views, and well marked trails. Our total hike was about five miles and took about two hours. Took another quick look at the Folger's house, and then headed back to the car.

From there we headed to Roberts Market to pick up treats and then back to the urban environment.

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