April 2, 2008

Impressions on Samuel P Taylor SP

This past weekend we ventured to Samuel P Taylor state park. It was surprisingly close to San Francisco, less than an hour drive without traffic, yet felt like we really were “getting away from it all”. We arrived on Friday night and enjoyed dinner around the camp fire before a relatively early night in our swanky new tent. The evening was more than a bit chilly but we woke up in the morning ready for some movement.

There was only one decent length hiking trail loop in the park (See the map) which we decided to tackle. After walking the trail we definitely did it in the right order – the first half (Devils Gulch to Bill's Trail) was uphill through scenic shaded woods while the second part (Barnabe Fire Road) was primarily downhill on a fire road in direct sun. We met some hikers on the fire road going in the opposite direction, who seemed pretty worn out, and realized how lucky we were to have done the uphill work in the shade.

Adding a bit of excitement to our hike was a chance encounter with a bobcat. We had just started along the fire road when suddenly we came across the animal pouncing on what we assume was a lizard enjoying the sunshine. It was around three times the size of a house cat but way more fierce. As soon as it saw us it bobbed quickly away but we got a good look at a pretty impressive looking animal.

- Erica

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