Friday, February 9, 2007

Cruikshank Trail - May 2006

May 2006
Cruikshank Trail – Upper Cruikshank Camp – Big Sur
5 miles, 1,200 elevation gain
Terri, Jo, Julie

This hike started with a bit of elevation – looking at houses with spectacular views of the Big Sur Coast. The I-want-to-live-there fantasy cabins. Early on we encountered a snake in the middle of the trail. He was coiled up, but wasn’t moving, even when poked with my hiking stick. He seemed injured, but not dead. Josephine really hates snakes, so she wasn’t happy with this development. We finally leapt over him to continue up the path. Quite a sight to see – a new sport: snake jumping.

The hike had beautiful wildflowers but like most Big Sur hikes the trail was overgrown and bushy. Other dangers along the trail were an active beehive, poison oak, lots of ticks and strange sounds coming from the forest. At one point we heard something crashing through the woods. I didn’t realize Jo and Terri were a bit freaked out, so I said, “Oh it’s probably a mountain lion and you know what to do…” Then I proceeded to demonstrate my technique for scaring off mountain lions which involves yelling and “appearing larger than you are”. I ended up scaring the heck out of Jo and Terri (though no mountain lion appeared).

Our lunch spot and turn around spot was Upper Cruikshank camp – a not very appealing backpacking camp. I followed the trail down to the creek below which was much more scenic and would have made a better lunch spot. The return out was uneventful. We zipped past the beehive, did constant tick checks and the snake was fortunately gone. I don’t believe we saw any other hikers on the whole hike.

Lesson Learned: Be careful where you practice your mountain lion defense or you will be teased mercilessly around the campfire.

No comments: