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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back in 2018 I downloaded and followed the Coe Monstercross. Drove to some school in E SJ, 109mi or so, FS mountain bike. First Mt Hamilton climb, first Ashram Coe entrance, nice ride all around.

Yesterday I was going for a Bay Trail CCW on the road bike, last minute decided it would take too long (~24h) and instead went to do Coe Monstercross on a road bike (race, 25c tires). Figured the climb and all asphalt sections would be a lot easier and faster, and the fireroads on Coe would be OK.

What I didn't re-compute in my stupid last minute change was that on the Bay Trail there would be plenty of refill options, but from Hamilton to Hunting Hollow none (had no filter, no iodine). Also not considered was Coe's temperatures at end of July! Stupid!

First signs were that GPS was discharging twice as fast, and a yellow spot on the screen. Early on external battery recharge, and some doubt about the reported temperatures (maybe the battery is pulling a Note 7 trick?), but pressed on.

Next I am starting to ration the second bottle of water before reaching Coe proper, just on the sequence of gates leading to it. Luckily one of the properties had an accessible spigot from a tank, so at least a 2 bottle refill was feasible before trying to cross Coe. Obviously not enough, and temperatures rising. Race bike definitely not for Coe, even some fireroads needed walking, deep sandy/dusty soil, or tire slashing sharp stones. Bottom two Bear Mountain grades had to be carefully walked. Dead cow carcass at last one was ominous.

After many detours got to Coit Rd. No longer sweating despite the effort and temperature, rationing the last 1/3 bottle of water (as if it would help). Pee is a thick, deep orange liquid, very little. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Cell phone without service (Verizon, even) for a long time, no way to call or inform where to look for the body. Follow the buzzards, I guess. I have a SPOT, sent a few "will be late" but reticent to send the "come get me" (no way to get there by car, would need ranger assist), and high threshold for the S.O.S., just not yet a lost cause.

Long story short, I walk a lot, then things get better, fire roads down to hunting hollow, water at fire station, 10min lie down.

Very stupid. I checked photos from 3/2018 and I had a camelback with 3L of water on me. Mountain bike,too!

1. No last minute drastic change of plans
2. No Coe on top of Summer
3. No road bike at Coe
4. New SPOT protocol - several "will be late" means watch, be ready to assist
5. Neuralyzer so I can do that again (with proper bike and water)
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The good news is you got back okay and learned something from it. Many would just leave it at “had a crap ride, bonked” and not learned from the experience.
 
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I am now thinking it was instant Karma for crossing the Ashram property - those guys are GOOD! :)
Sounds like a normal Henry Coe summer ride. Lots of walking. Never enough water. Much longer than expected.

What do you mean about Ashram property? Good at letting you pass, or catching you? I suspect most people living remote have trespasser sensors galore.
 

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Careful, seriously. We lost a trail runner in Pleasanton Ridge early in July, most likely in some manner precipitated by heat. They still haven't found him.
 

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Glad you survived! You must have passed by Lost Spring on the way back? In my experience, it is better to drink unfiltered water which may or may not give you the runs later in the week than to risk severe dehydration in the moment- or risk your dignity by calling for a rescue or crashing out because your brain is too dry :)

Sounds like you managed just fine at the edge of adventure and disaster- which IMO make the most memorable adventures!

Question: If you did not have a SPOT device, would you have done anything different that day (route choice, gear, etc.)?
 

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That dude didn't die, he disappeared intentionally.
I hesitate to say this, but I've always thought that was possibility.
Many, many years ago I was in a 'dark place' and wanted to to just that.
Either way, gotta be brutally tough for his family. Condolences.
I'll just leave this here.
https://tinyurl.com/findphilipama

Chris Thoburn is Philip's running buddy, and he has been the volunteer SAR director responsible for coordinating the search. I met (a severely sleep-deprived version of) him and Philip's wife in my volunteering.

Edit: They might've found him. I hope the family finds closure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Glad you survived! You must have passed by Lost Spring on the way back? In my experience, it is better to drink unfiltered water which may or may not give you the runs later in the week than to risk severe dehydration in the moment- or risk your dignity by calling for a rescue or crashing out because your brain is too dry :)

Sounds like you managed just fine at the edge of adventure and disaster- which IMO make the most memorable adventures!

Question: If you did not have a SPOT device, would you have done anything different that day (route choice, gear, etc.)?
I was very miserable way before Lost spring, which had a full basin and a trickly flow in. I considered filling one bottle, but horror stories of super bugs and lifelong effects scared me, and I figured by then it was mostly downhill to the fire station.
The SPOT doesn't ever modify routes or choices, I don't risk more because of its marginal extra safety. From its logs I know it is not to be relied on in canyons or under tree cover. Break a leg, but do it on an open fire road :)

It wasn't really a well thought ride, I was going to do a Bay Trail CCW, weather was fine, plenty of refills in the way. Mistake (big one) was the impromptu change of route, without much thought to the complete change of weather, terrain and water availability. The bike was intentional, kinda wanted to compare to the MTB in prior solo. Definitely a NO.

Agree with memorable adventures - I was swearing "Coe never again" but now I have to do it again, maybe a CCW for a change, but with water and not in summer.
 

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That dude didn't die, he disappeared intentionally.
There was a guy that disappeared about 15 years ago on a hike in Briones. They looked for weeks and didn't find him. About nine months later his body was found by another hiker about 100 yards off the fire road. Just because this person has not been found does not mean he is not there or that he intentionally disappeared. If nothing else, give the benefit of the doubt for his loved ones who could end up reading this thread.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There was a guy that disappeared about 15 years ago on a hike in Briones. They looked for weeks and didn't find him. About nine months later his body was found by another hiker about 100 yards off the fire road. Just because this person has not been found does not mean he is not there or that he intentionally disappeared. If nothing else, give the benefit of the doubt for his loved ones who could end up reading this thread.
There was a cow that made through a cattle guard, but just couldn't make the first walls of Bear Mountain:
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Wait.... Aside from breaking the golden rule of never riding Coe in July, you rode 25c from Ashram to Hunting Hollow???? Including Bear Mountain. That, my friend , is a feat! Your tires derserve a shout out.
Having done the Monstercross myself, this ride sounds horrendous.

Cheers
 

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There was a guy that disappeared about 15 years ago on a hike in Briones. They looked for weeks and didn't find him. About nine months later his body was found by another hiker about 100 yards off the fire road. Just because this person has not been found does not mean he is not there or that he intentionally disappeared. If nothing else, give the benefit of the doubt for his loved ones who could end up reading this thread.
Yep, for those not following the news, the body of the trail runner at Pleasanton Ridge was just found yesterday (after three weeks) under a tree at top of a ridge where he couldn't easily be spotted. He was 2000' off the main trail. He looks to have followed a faint animal trail instead of turning on the main trail. Maybe he sought shade under the tree and the heat was too much?
 

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Yep, for those not following the news, the body of the trail runner at Pleasanton Ridge was just found yesterday (after three weeks) under a tree at top of a ridge where he couldn't easily be spotted. He was 2000' off the main trail. He looks to have followed a faint animal trail instead of turning on the main trail. Maybe he sought shade under the tree and the heat was too much?
Too bad. Hopefully it at least brings closure to the family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Another thing I noticed later, was that that I didn't see this red cabin (2018 photo), this time.
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Google Earth excellent time machine solved the mystery - it was not my disorientation (still had water), but the SCU fires that consumed it:
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Interesting. During a Hard Coere 100 I had noticed a cabin at top of a mountain, before getting to Bear Mountain, from The Narrows. @Moe Ped identified as being the Albert Einstein papers rebuilt cabin. Could this be the same, viewed from a distance? I also didn't see any from the riverbed at the bottom of Bear Mountain this time.

Circa 2017:
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Roof shape and color look different.
 
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