Henry Coe this time around was a lovely lovely fresh breath of air. Our first night gave us quite the fright though.
After a couple hours of hiking mostly up hill, switchbacks, and some flat trail, we finally were headed downhill towards a spring that we planned on staying at for the night. Down and down we kept going, until we were in the shade of the oak and bay trees, where we came across lovely ferns and a refreshing chill.
“Do you smell that? It’s a skunk..” I barely took note of this remark from Spencer at the time and responded with a meager, “Oh, woah”.
I didn’t exactly think about why I might smell a skunk’s spray, the number one reason being self defense from a predator. So we continued down the trail about.. 3 more minutes and came to a sudden hault at the sound of a large animal rustling around in the bushes about oh.. say 10-15 feet away from where we were standing. I was hoping my heart would pound it’s way out of my chest, up through my esophagus, and I would die by suffocation rather than being torn apart by whatever that animal, grunting and breathing extraordinarily loud was.
Most of the way, we had been passing huge patches of rustled up dirt where there had recently been a sounder of boar just chillin’. Then we’d walk another 20 yards or so and we’d come across a single patch of disturbed soil. Spencer explained that the alpha male, the most aggressive of the pack would go ahead of the rest of the boar and keep a keen eye out..
When I was coming down that hill and almost died at the sound of the grunting in the bushes, all that was passing through my mind was, “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck fuck..etc” and gruesome images of me being completely demolished by an angry alpha male boar.. Spencer looked back at me, I turned around and we hauled our tired, and scared shitless asses back up that hill until we couldn’t go any more. At that point we both fell on the ground and laughed pretty hard at that ridicious experience. Spencer later said he saw the animal go into the bushes and he’s pretty sure it was a mountiain lion.. Oh great! They attack from above..
We had passed a large flat, meadowy area on our way down to the skunk’s death site, so we ended up going back up to it and staying for the night. Little did we know we were in for another wonderful surprise!! After setting up our tent and eating some tuna and bread and hummus, we made began making a lovely fire. We were starting to feel better from the mountain lion ordeal until Spencer says, “Do you see that?” with a wild look in his eyes.. I look to my left, and about half a football field away or less, there’s a huge black boar, by himself, ears perked, looking straight us. (Side note: Boars are extremely aggressive and will break your legs and attack with their huge tusks for no reason.) As soon as we see this wild beast, we begin building the fire as quickly and huge as possible while glancing over at the boar every couple seconds. I recall trying not to make eye contact with it, to avoid any sort of conflict. “Oh shit, it’s coming towards us..” No. It wasn’t. But that statement definitely made it’s way out of Spencer’s mouth and I almost threw up. Finally Spencer stood up, and broke a huge stick to put into the flames, and that piggily wiggily ran all the way home. We played the ukulele loudly the rest of the night, while occasionally using it as a loud drum to warm off any cats that may have been lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce from above..
The next day was an absolutely perfect one. We woke up, made hot coffee, ate oatmeal, tuna, bread and hummus then passed out for approximately 3 hours. At 1, we began our hike back up the huge hill we came down from. We decided to make our hike easy and go back a short ways towards the direction that we parked and ended up setting up camp on top of a hill that overlooked everything. We played cards until sunset. Which was a lovely one..
The night was super breezy, but surprisingly we barely needed much sleeping bag. The temperature was probably 10-15 degrees warmer on top of the hill the 2nd night rather than down by the water the 1st night. We woke up with the sunrise.
We got home early the next day, drank some delicious beer, ate humongous homemade burgers and passed out. It was epic.