There are two different listings for this meetup: This one is if you are staying in the Costanoa Lodge or tent cabins, so click here if you are camping. Both Meetups will hike and socialize together--our group campsite will comfortably all of us. (There are two listings because the camping one is pre-paid, but the lodge/tent cabin folks will have to make their own reservations. If you're wondering why I, Lee, am not listed as RSVP on this meetup, it's because I'm camping, but I'll be there.)
If you RSVP for this Meetup, make sure you make a reservation with Costanoa at[masked] or www.costanoa.com. You can stay in the Lodge (spa experience) or tent cabins (complete with bed, sheets, and heated blanket). If you reserve a tent cabin, let them know you'd like one near the Ohlone Garden campsite (that's where the camping group will be). Tent cabins are either (1) a queen bed (2) a double and a twin or (3) "family style" that includes two tent cabins--one with a queen bed and one with two bunk beds.
Sorry, no refunds. If you RSVP and we fill up and you can't make it, I'll try to hook you up with someone who wants to go, but Meetup doesn't allow a "Wait list" if payment is required. We'll be out there rain or shine.
Here's the itinerary:
Arrive and make yourself comfortable. We'll have a campfire to hang out at (bring a chair), and a large, group fenced-in area with picnic tables to congregate in. Bring your own food, tent, etc.
Saturday morning (4 miles, coast):
Make breakfast and be ready to leave at 9:00 to hike down to the beach and bluffs. This hike is about 4 miles. We'll hike through dunes, along a short beach, and along on some bluffs--where we'll likely see a sea lion or two lounging on the small beaches below us. A bit of geology on this hike, and a surprise about a shipwreck.
Saturday afternoon (4 miles, mountains):
Leaving around 2:00. We'll drive about 2.5 miles up Whitehouse Canyon Road, then pile out at the end of the road. From there we'll hike about 2 miles uphill (one mile is apparently STEEP), and arrive at the peak of Chalk Mountain. At about 1,600 feet, Chalk Mountain doesn't have many competitors in the neighborhood, so the views are stunning, including both ocean and inland. This hike is reputed to be little known, so we should have a relatively quite hike. If we have time, there are some ridge trails we can explore and extend out hike a bit without having to worry about "coming back up" too much. I'll head back/guide those who just want to do the 4 mile hike, but if others want to extend the hike they are welcome to do so.
Dinner, campfire, etc. Sunset is about 7:10 PM.
Costanoa has dry saunas in their "comfort stations" for those who haven't sweated enough on our hikes :-)
Sunday morning (3+ miles or 14 miles):
Breakfast, pack up and leave by about 9:00. We'll need to be cleared out of the campground as checkout time is noon and we won't be back by then.
We'll drive to Waddell Creek, where we'll take a quick stop to see how the highway department is managing erosion from the steep cliffs along inland side of the highway and also maintaining a source of sand for the beach.
At 10:00, we have two options:
• Most of us will probably enjoy a three mile stroll along the Rancho del Oso nature loop. When that's done, we'll either enjoy relaxing on the beach or maybe get in a few more miles up into Big Basin Redwoods State Park and West Waddell Creek State Wilderness. I hope to have a short talk by the lead interpreter of the center, Morgan Dill (more details on this as they develop).
• Those up for a challenge can join the docent-guided "Hike to Berry Creek Falls." This hike is "seven miles each way over moderate terrain, so wear good hiking shoes for a long fourteen mile hike."
Here's a link to a Google Map showing all the locations we'll visit.
Kids are welcome, but please make sure they can "keep up" with our "no one left behind" pace. You are also welcome to bring your kids on only one of the hikes and find something else to do if you think both day hikes would be too long for them.
OK, so what is the pace? I try to describe it as somewhere between nature hike (that stops every five minutes to look at a rock or flower) and a jocked-out death march. No one is left behind, and I encourage people to join us who are pushing their limits, but I also ask you to please be realistic about your own abilities.
Dogs are not permitted in the camping area, nor in most of the areas we will be hiking, thus they are not allowed.
"Can I not spend the night, and just show up and hike?" Nope, sorry. I think we'll have enough people who want to camp/lodge that we won't have enough space for daytimers. Plus I need to get back enough to cover the cost of the campground reservation :-)
"What if I can't make it Friday night?" You're welcome to show up on Saturday morning and spend Saturday night, but we need to reserve the group campsite for two night, so there is no discount for only staying one night.