Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

On the weekends I don’t mind driving for a good hike. I honestly need to hit up the more local hikes but I decided to head down closer to Santa Cruz to check out the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. I found it easy enough after battling traffic and paid $10 for the privilege of going on a hike. Kind of state shock there. You know, paying $10 to go to a park. I’m just a tad cranky about that. My tax dollars, not supporting what matters to me. Again.

So after shelling out $10 (yes, I’m going to hold on to that little tidbit, stupid broke California), I went on a hike with I think the whole population of Santa Cruz County. This place was packed solid. It was a really nice day so I didn’t need my jacket that I stuffed in my camelbak and there were people just picnicking and hanging out with their families and pets. I always hike alone and never feel weird or unsafe but everyone was in a group or a couple and they stared a lot at the lone girl with the camelback. In fact, one lady ran up to me and asked me if I was alright because I was alone. Um, not really a good mood enhancer.

So it is kind of hard to enjoy a peaceful hike when there are people all around and staring and being really damn annoying. I guess they don’t know about the free parks? This one is beautiful so I can’t really blame them for wanting to have a nice weekend day. There is a river here which people were floating on and having a loud good time.

So the trails. Yeah. They seem like they were all microtrails. I hate that. Go 0.1 miles on this trail to go 0.2 miles on this trail and so on. Then I started a steep ascent and decided I kind of hated trails without switchbacks lately. I know I bemoaned them in MO, but I really don’t want to walk directly up a mountain. Sure, it might be fun for some, or coming down for others but I’m not in shape. I’m a pretty bad hiker (yet I keep doing it) and it makes me cranky.

Telling the trail to screw itself and turning back half way into my steep climb was the best idea ever. I just wanted to relax and that wasn’t happening. I just wanted to be alone, but not a freak of nature for being alone.  I drove an hour and a half to have some peace and quiet and I couldn’t even get that.

So I headed back the way I came, happy with my decision. Some old guy with about 10 other people tagging along stopped me to ask me if there was ice cream the way I came. On. The. Trails? Yes, I’m serious. I said there was ice cream up by the visitors extravaganza (go go broke state park) where he parked and he seemed confused. Like someone told him if he went into the trail system there was a magic ice cream tree or maybe he just assumed since I have a few extra rolls the only way I would hike would be to get to an ice cream tree. Or maybe I’m just being cranky because I paid $10 to tell people there were no treats to be had but the beautiful view and the nice day.

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About The Author


I'm Shannon and I love to bake, hike, play video games and have fun. I currently live in the Bay Area with my husband and cat.

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