Reaching the ocean

With the whole Ironman thing behind me, I find myself spending more time out on random hikes.  Couple of months ago I bought a new pair of hiking boots because I lost my old one during my dive trip in Channel Island.  I actually like the new one a lot.  Very sturdy and comfortable.  I can even hook on crampons if I need to.

This past weekend I went on a 2 days backpacking trip with 4 other friends at Big Basin (BB).  Despite the fact that we workout daily, the reason we chose Big Basin was that it’s closed to home and the route is easy to break us back into the habbit since most of us haven’t carried 30-34lbs for 2 days and walked for miles. 

On Saturday we drove to BB headquarter.  Paid our fee.  Parked our car and started the hike.  From BB to the campsite is around 5 miles on rolling hills terrain.  There was not any major climb and mostly in the shade.  We started around 10am and reached our camp site (Sunset) at around 2.30pm with a lot of breaks in between.  There is no water at the campsite but there is a creek near by so instead of carried all the water in for the whole day we took our chances with water in the creek.  We filtered the water with regular pump and UV light.  For me I added inodine tablets in just in case because there are a lot of activities around the area so I don’t want to take any chances.  Some of us actually dipped in the water to cool off after a long day of hiking.  The cold water felt so good on my skin.

At night it was a bit windy but not super cold.  I would say the weather was in the 40s.  I had my thermal under garmens and a fleece sweater on.  Some of us brought insteant noodles/pho, some brought freeze dried foods, some even brought wine and sake.  It felt like we were dining out in our backyard more than backpacking.  Perhaps that explained why my bag weighted ~32lbs (including my camera gears which is around 10lbs already).  Once inside the sleeping bag it was warm and cozy. I slept like a baby.

Engineered and built by Duc

Table – engineered and built by Duc

We didn’t get up until 8am on Sunday.  Made our breakfasts, cleaned up and packed.  We didn’t leave our campset until 10am.  The sun was up high and warm.  I was in tee and short.  Sunday we hiked 8 miles from camp to Waddell beach (27 miles north of Santa Cruz along highway 1).  It was a long hike but mostly downhill and flat.  We reached the beach around 3.30pm with lunch and photo stops.

Now here’s the fun part.  To get back to BB to get our car we took buses – from Waddell beach to Santa Cruz downtown to BB.  Each leg costs about $2 (what a deal!) with 30 mins lay over in downtown.  It took total of 3 hours to get back to BB.    During our lay over in downtown we were approached by local hippies asking us for marijuana.  With a huge backpack on our back and badly smell of sweats for 2 days, we fit right in the town.

It was definitely a great trip to get back in touch with nature and away from the city for a couple of days.  I am planning to do more of these soon.

Complete trip photos



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