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Sweet Singletrack

Since I hadn't been there in a while, I convinced the others to head over to Pescadero Creek for a tour through the redwoods. This was intended to be a bit of a change of pace and it turns out that we really enjoyed it!

We started off our "hike" in Portola Redwoods State Park. To get there, turn toward the coast at the junction of Highway 35 (Skyline) and Alpine Road. Bear left at the only real junction (following the sign) to the park. We stopped in at the ranger office to pay our $10 day use fee (ouch!), get the ranger's recommendations (any trails), review the historical material and then headed out. The few people that were there seemed to be near their cars in the parking lot, so we pretty much had the park to ourselves.

We headed out on Iverson to Pomponio which was the first of many beautiful singletracks through the forest. I think we ended up stopping for pictures, downed trees and map checks than we realized. The wildflowers were growing everywhere with different types growing in different microclimates and we stopped to look or take pictures in most of them.

There were a few fireroads with the obligatory steep hill, but we managed to get though that (some more easily than others). Eventually, we seemed to get to the top and started heading down only to find this was another canyon and had to make our way up the other side. While the grade was moderate, we maintained a good pace over the longish distance until we reach a very lightly used parking lot a the "top". It turned out that that was one more ridge to climb which turned out to have a few very steep sections with very tight switchbacks. After that, it was all downhill!

This was a really fun ride due to the "new" trails, the beautiful scenery, great weather and the almost total lack of people on the trail. I think we saw a total of 3 people spread out over about the entire trip.

The downside of this was a touch of poison oak, but not in the usual place. Somehow, I managed to get a spot of poison oak on my chest just under my sternum. I have no idea how I could get it there an not other places. I also felt weird surface pains on my chest and back as we were riding as if a leaf had gotten into my shirt. I couldn't find a leaf or anything else, but I had several bites on my side and back when I got home. Very weird!

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