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Steph and I joined Lindsay and Jeremy on a 7.5 mile hike and backpacking trip to Henry Coe State Park.  We all met at Jeremy’s place and drove to the park from there.  It was only about a 45 min drive from San Jose, so not too far away.  The park itself was gorgeous, and it wasn’t hard to find our way around.  On the drive up to the park we saw a tarantula crossing the road.

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I hadn’t realized they were around here, and this one was huge.  We then got to the park and set out on our hike.  We walked along some really pretty fields for a while and sat down to have lunch.

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While eating we got to see some Woodpeckers putting acorns into holes in the oak trees.  It was pretty amazing how many holes they had filled up with acorns.

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We then got into some hillier forested areas.  We got down to a dried creek bed at a place called “China Hole.”  There were some small pools of water there, but not much, and nothing flowing.

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There were some frogs, turtles, and decently large fish.  After hanging out for a bit there, we hiked down the dried stream bed to the next road.  There were a few puddles along the way, but nothing major in the way of water.  We ran across a recently dead dear.

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We had one huge hill to climb before we made it to the campsite.  Past that hill it was just a short walk through another field and we got to the Lost Spring.  There was only a drip coming out, but beneath the drip there was a large basin of water.  That water was what we used to cook with that evening and the next morning.  We also filtered some for the hike back.  We set up camp and then had a nice dinner.  During dinner we saw a deer walk by, but didn’t get any pictures of it.

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After dinner Lindsay led a meditation session, where both Steph and I had our legs fall asleep.  Then we played a game of Hanabi and a game of Boss Fight.  We did well in Hanabi, but there was a little bit too much table talk.  The game of Boss Fight was ok, but there wasn’t enough agency, or depth to the game.  We then got to sleep, as everyone was very worn out.  The next morning we got up around 10am.  We had no idea that there was a 6.1 earthquake in Napa at 3:30am that morning, but we did realize that Jeremy was snoring and his alarm went off at 7:30.  We then got a big breakfast and hit the road.  While filling up water at the Lost Spring, we had a humming bird sit along the edge of the trough and drink water out of it.  We hiked back along the dry river bed, and got to see some pretty wildlife around the few water holes that were left, including a bright red dragonfly, some quail, and a good number of butterflies.

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We had a really good hike back along the river bed, and took another break at China Hole.  We saw another group of day hikers, and decided to head out before they left.  We chose a different, more direct route back, and the day hikers came along the same route.  We passed each other a few times and then made it to the top of the mountain for lunch.

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We were getting pretty tired, so we booked it out, and made some good time after lunch.  We stopped by a Starbucks to treat ourselves to something cold and sweet before going home.

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It was a pretty fun time and the views were amazing.  I would love to do more hikes like this.  It also was a good training for the Grand Canyon hike I have planned for November.  The pack I took on this hike was 40 pounds without the water or containers.  With full water it was getting close to 60 pounds.  I expect to pack lighter personally on the Grand Canyon hike, but to be carrying more of other peoples stuff.  the air was just as dry as I expect the canyon to be and it was more constant a temperature, but not too much cooler.  The water I used was 4.5 liters on the hike in, and about 3 liters on the hike out.  I did a full day’s worth of Soylent, but it wasn’t quite enough for a day’s food.  The apples and peanut butter also weren’t worth their weight.  I’d say it is probably worth bringing the trail mix, and filtering more water.  The Soylent will still be a decent plan, but won’t be enough to hold me over the whole time.