“Don’t worry,” I assured the least enthusiastic member of our entourage. “This hike isn’t that long, it’s just a little steep at the start,” I said, vaguely remembering a visit a few years earlier.
The trail marker was encouraging.
Old Sled Trail, Carson Falls, 1.0 mile
“One mile! How hard can a mile be?” I chuckled confidently.
Turns out that “one mile” can feel like three pretty quickly.
Used to the chilly fog of our San Francisco neighborhood, the dry heat knocked us back. The sound of cicadas, freshly emerged from their long slumber, reminded me of hot summers in my childhood.
The half mile climb from the trailhead to the fire road not only had steep stretches, but the little-used trail offered slippery gravel underfoot, and poison oak at our sides.
“Look at that view! Check out all these wildflowers!” I said, shaking off the dirty look I felt on my back in light of my overly optimistic description.
Scenic views, including the falls—plus the end of the return stretch being downhill—added up to a good adventure for everyone.
Hitting the trail together involves balancing varying levels of energy and enthusiasm. Staying together, nudging each other forward, reminding others to stop for water, or calling out when you need the rest of the crew to wait up are all part of the experience.
May your trail buddies be patient, persistent, and stick together when the trail gets rough. Keep putting one foot forward.
This week’s Hike Notes, Carson Falls, leads readers along a short but moderately strenuous trail in the Mt. Tam Watershed to Carson Falls, home of a rare yellow-legged frog.
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Hike Notes 133: Carson Falls
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