Henry Coe State Park, as it turned out, is the second biggest state park in the state, not the first. At least according to the Wikipedia. Well, it is still a nice place to visit.
The park has different faces at different times of the year. It is insanely hot in Summer, somewhat rainy in winter, and there are some colors on Fall and Spring. Which makes Spring one of the best times to visit. Many groups actually go there in Spring. Just a couple of weeks before this trip there was another group from SOC doing exactly the same route.
I wanted to go backpacking to this park during the Spring season for a long time. I visited it on numerous day hikes, but backpacking, of course, brings a different dimension in a place. Spring is great in this park. Everything is green. There are flowers blooming, trees blooming, poison oak is fresh and juicy growing; lots of creatures crawling around like ticks and even turtles. Life is, sort of speak, flourishing.
Well, this is the third backpacking trip that I was leading for the former SOC. There was a good crew – 8 people. Some seasoned and some new to backpacking. In retrospect, we did a rather strenuous trail one hot day with backpacks – more than 12 miles with good elevation gain. Also, considering that many trails in Henry Coe just go straight up without any switchbacks, this was quite a achievement.
But it was all worth it (I hope to the people in the group also). There were many wild flowers that I, sadly, didn’t photograph. There were lots of frogs doing their mating thing in the lake after dark. There was even a turtle at China Hole. No mountain lions, though. But I managed to pick up and bring it home a tick. Too bad I had to kill it right after I discovered it.