Exercise, Hiking

Wunderlich County Park: Alambique, Bear Gulch, and Redwood Trails

July 23, 2011

Another park that is really close. And free! I feel like I have to say that as I was pretty impressed with the upkeep of this park. It is pretty much an equestrian park, but I was so used to that from back in Missouri. I didn’t pass any horses on the trail this day, but everyone was really friendly. So far it is up there for most friendly bunch in the bay area! Lots of people from camelbak users to casual people on dates on this bright afternoon. A perfect place to enjoy the weather.

This trail was seriously all uphill. You were either going uphill or downhill. Not a bad thing as there are no excessive steep parts, but it was an issue at the beginning of the hike. I chose to start out on Alambique and this is a half paved trail for the first mile. It is a bit loud from traffic and very populated. Not too bad of an issue as you get higher up.

Ah yes, I’m still a self portrait dork. I almost busted a gut with the first photo. Which is not really funny at all. Unless you are me, on a trail that goes nowhere but up, and have forgotten your kleenex stash. Then I guess all sorts of things are funny at the time in that instance. Stupid sniffling. I have exercise induced rhinitis, sue me. Oh, and I’m allergic to the outdoors.

Turned on to Bear Gulch on my way to the meadows. I had no idea what was going on except I was still going uphill. Not that big of a deal. You know what really rocks about this park? Each sign has mileage to the parking lot. It actually affected my hike. I felt like adding on, so I would take turns to get in the mileage I desired. I didn’t really have to think about where I was and if I was way too far to make it back to the car without having to eat my emergency stash of nuts and finding some non poisonous leaves to blow my nose with “in the wild”. Only issues I have really. The meadows are really a big open space. I chose to continue on Bear Gulch instead of to the Meadow trail (based on more mileage) and I have to say that Bear Gulch is probably my favourite trail of the day. Wish I had come up that way!

What goes up, must come down, thankfully. So getting down Bear Gulch was pretty nice and easy. It is a regular single track trail with no horses (or horse poop). I’ll come up this way next time as I’m more coordinated going up than down. That whole falling off the side of the mountain I’m prone to. It is like gravity sucks me towards the deep within. Okay, maybe not so dramatic, but there were things to trip over and by the time I got to mile 4 I get tired and start dragging my feet.

I ended up on Redwood Trails to get back to Alambique and the parking lot. I’m really glad I veered to Redwood. I saw a few mammoth slugs on the trail and was ready to write about them. But just as I was stepping over a huge slug (lemme tell you, they were about a foot long!) I was almost sideswiped by a deer. This is a deer who knows all about people, and isn’t afraid. And was honestly huge. And evil of course with the glowy eyes. But seriously, I caught a photo of wildlife! Go me! And then I apologized to the deer for making so much noise and then wondered if the deer was deaf because I pretty much steamroll though nature when I’m “hiking”. There is nothing quiet about a sniffling girl with no kleenex who is wheezing and emphasizing her full body weight with each clumsy step. So really deer, if I was bugging you, you knew I was going to be at your door for about a quarter of a mile. Thanks for the photo op though.

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