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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
was lots of fun. Plim and JeffH rode in to Mississippi Lake on Friday via Coit and County Line roads, explored some trails on the east side of the park on Saturday, and rode out Sunday. Thai rode in on Friday and out on Saturday, and I rode in on Saturday and out on Sunday.

It was raining at Hunting Hollow on Saturday morning, so I put on all may rain gear, but it soon cleared up and the weather was fine for the rest of the weekend.

I saw two bobcats, some deer, wild turkeys, and lots of quail on the hilly but scenic 20 mile ride in, but no people other than a group of backpackers. The single campground at Mississippi Lake was great.

Sunday was warm and sunny. On the ride out we saw some cougar tracks that looked like they were following our tire tracks. My seatpost rack snapped, but luckily it was near the end of the ride. I guess I should have left the kitchen sink at home.

Thanks Plim for organizing it. I thought it might be too late in the season for camping at Coe, but it worked out well.











<img =src="https://images.kodakgallery.com/photos2770/2/63/71/80/22/5/522807163206_0_ALB.jpg">
 

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mmm
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Were you wearing rain gear while riding in close to the entrance? I think I passed you....

But yeah...it sucked less than I thought ;-) 41 miles, 6300 feet over two days. Thanks to Plim for organizing and thanks to JeffH for letting me bunk with him. Also for the awesome boxed wine! Will definately have to do this trip again over three days instead of two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, that was me. I didn't start until 12:30 or so to avoid the rain. You must have gotten rained on on the way out.

Here's the cougar track pic that didn't work before.

 

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Looks like I missed out...

...on a lot of fun:(

Write-up and pics from my bungled:madman: solo trip later (at work right now).

I hope you guys weren't looking for me. Sorry.
 

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It was a great adventure in bikepacking. Next time I will heed Fast Eddys advice and pack a little lighter.

On the ride into Mississippi lake we saw some blood stains on the ground by one of the pig traps, it must have been the Rangers at work that Tahoe BC mentioned. A bobcat walked out on the trail by the Mississippi Horse camp and then bolted off after looking at me and my loaded down bike.

I recommend camping at the north end of Mississippi lake, at the deluxe camp spot with a picnic table with shade, nice flat area to camp, pit toilet and easy access to the lake for water. :thumbsup:

After setting up camp, We had a nice meal of salami, cheese and red wine. After dinner went for a little night hike around the lake.

About 4am Saturday morning it started to rain and that lasted till about 10am. Thai headed back to hunting hollow at about 8:30 in the rain and Mike and I waited out the rain for about hour or so.

We headed off to explor Orestimba Creek road and Mustang pond. While going down Orestimba Creek road I looked up to see the largest deer I had seen in a long time only to realize it was a Tule Elk ! who would think in Coe, And about 1-2 miles later we see a wild pig. On the trail leaving Mustang pound we came across the skeleton of a wild pig and I pick up the tusks as souvenirs.

Not long after this I had a major chain suck on the Merlin that took about 20min to fix (Thank You Mike for the chain tool) Maybe I should have left the tusks.

We headed back to camp not long after this and came across a herd 6-8 Elk and they sure are big. When we got back to camp close to 5pm we found Rob at the camp cooking Chinese stir fry and it was a great meal.

On sunday we broke camp about 9:30 and headed back to Hunting Hollow. We come across some Mountain Lion tracks (fresh in the mud) looked like he was checking out Thai's tire marks ?

This was a great trip I hope to do it again. :thumbsup:
 

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jeffh said:
IWhile going down Orestimba Creek road I looked up to see the largest deer I had seen in a long time only to realize it was a Tule Elk ! who would think in Coe
Tule Elk, very cool, had no ideal they existed out there, quick google seach came up with this.

The herd in Santa Clara County grew from 25 animals that were relocated from Owens Valley in 1978 by Henry Coletto, former county game warden. Today there are about 300 tule elk on the eastern flanks of Mount Hamilton.

``Hundreds of years ago, they used to come down into the flatlands and marshes -- where downtown San Jose is now -- in the summer when things were dry in the hills,'' Coletto said. ``When winter came and everything would green up, they'd move back up into the Hamilton range.''

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/14985594.htm
 

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mmm
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A couple of pictures. I should have taken more but I was probably too lazy. Coe looked really great during the ride out on Saturday but all the wetness kept me from prying the camera out from the middle of my camelback.

1. my bike - i was only there one night so i went pretty minimal on the gear
2. jeffh's bike
3. Plim's bike
4. View of Coe
5. Plim climbing up Coit road
 

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Slowest Rider
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Nice Trip!

Wished I could have gone instead of being tortured in airplane seats all week. :(

From the one time I got to look at weather reports, I gather the rain had the advantage of pushing out the cold weather. A little rain also brightens up the park and tacks down the trails a little too. So it really wasn't too bad to have a little of it.

Looks like a lot of fun at the camp. Sorry I missed it. I'll have to do a similar trip in the spring.

Zignzag - your pictures are showing up as little 'x' boxes on my computer. I'd love to see them.
 

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mmm
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BigLarry said:
From the one time I got to look at weather reports, I gather the rain had the advantage of pushing out the cold weather. A little rain also brightens up the park and tacks down the trails a little too. So it really wasn't too bad to have a little of it.
Yeah, instead of the 28 degrees TahoBC mentioned, morning temps on Saturday was in the low 40s. The cloud covering/fog on Saturday made Coe look gorgeous. I knew I was going to regret not taking pictures but I was hesistant to dig my camera out of the Camelback during the rain. I also didn't want to ruin my riding "flow" as I was aching for an In-n-Out Double Double. :D

The clay/mud did bog down my Cinders are some points but it was far better than expected.

From the usual Skeggs and Demo rides, I've found a certain appreciation for Coe.
 

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My little 2-day loop at Coe

I left Davis at around 9:30am on Saturday and arrived at Hunting Hollow at 12. I hastily loaded my bike and registered and started riding up Lyman-Wilson ridge trail at 12:20ish. I pushed a lot and got to the top at 2:00. I was wondering where my sunglasses were as it was actually starting to clear up and get sunny for a bit when I realized that I should call my GF and check-in with her (I get reception on the top of ridges). I couldn't find either one. I thought that I must've left my sunglasses on the ground somewhere before "the wall" when I took a photo. I didn't care much about them and figured that it would still be there the next day. I rumaged through my packs and found no cell phone. I must have left it in the car like I always do.:madman: I contemplated whether to turn back and get it or to just keep going. I was afraid that my gf would start worrying big time as we agreed that I'd call her as soon as I climbed out of HH and got cell phone service. I painfully turned around knowing that I will most likely run out of daylight and never make it to Mississippi lake. Heck, I even thought of just going back home due to my frustration at myself for making such a stupid mistake. I rode down to my car and found my phone sitting on the driver's seat:madman: :madman: :madman:.

I then decided that I might as well keep riding until dark and see what happpens. I probably rode more of Lyman-Wilson the second time as was panicking. I got to Wilson camp at around 3:30, quads burning from mashing and calves trembling from pushing. My phone rang and it was my girlfriend on the other end. I told her what happened and that I will most likely just find a place to bed down pretty soon before it gets dark. I had no illusions of making it to the lake to meet up with Plim and the others. It was the most disappointing thing. I rode up to Wagon road and checked the map and decided that I would setup camp on a hilltop on the spine of this ridge just southeast of wilson camp off of Wagon rd. I might as well pick a spot with a view as a consolation since this trip's gone downhill fast. I rode to the actual spot and was not disappointed. there were 3 oak trees on this hilltop with a small but flat top. It was overlooking **** Hunter's Gulch to the SW and to the east was Vasquez peak across a valley. Perfect! I get to see a gorgeous sunset and the sunrise, best seat in the house. I pitched my tent and "cooked" dinner and watched the sunset.

I tried to sleep but the wind picked up, good thing I brought the stakes for the tent otherwise the tent might have been blown off the hill. I regreted camping on the ridgetop pretty quickly but I didn't really feel like moving out in the dark and looking elsewhere for a more sheltered spot. The fluttering of the rainfly and the coyotes howling around my tent kept me up. I also saw and heard countless planes fly over. I probably slept from 11pm to 2:30 am then it was in and out of sleep until 5:45 when I decided to just get up and just enjoy the pre-dawn scenery. It was beautiful and finally peaceful. The wind had died down and it was so still and actually not frigid. I watched the beautiful sunrise, took more pictures then made breakfast.

I loaded my gear and started riding at around 9:40 and decided to ride out via wagon to Phegley ridge trail. It was a short climb to the singletrack that I thought must be fun (albeit short and overgrown in parts) if my bike wasn't so heavy. I think I had about 50 pounds of gear plus 30 pounds of bike (and I only weigh 130 pounds!). I was surprised that I had not worn out my granny gear after that ride as I was on it 99% of the time. I've never ridden a loaded bike before and I've found that it's definitely harder than I thought.

I finally made it out a little after 11:00. All in all it was still a great experience. Learned some lessons (what to bring and what not to bring/forget in car). I saw a ton of wildlife. Huge coyotes running up and down the hills and milling and howling around my tent. I saw a bobcat, raptors and several wild turkey. I'll definitely come back for more pain in the spring/summer though and maybe then I'll be able to make it to Mississippi Lake.

Some pictures:
1.my loaded bike
2. before "the wall" on lyman-wilson
3. self-portrait on lyman-wilson ridge trail, the slopes of Osos ridge in the background
4. getting dark at Wilson camp
5. The camp before sunset
 

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bailout said:
I left Davis at around 9:30am on Saturday and arrived at Hunting Hollow at 12. I hastily loaded my bike and registered and started riding up Lyman-Wilson ridge trail at 12:20ish. I pushed a lot and got to the top at 2:00...
Holy Carp! I just thought you decided not to come at all with the rain. Sounds like you had an epic of your own. Dang, I'm sorry you couldn't make it out to the lake to hang out with us.
 

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A couple of years ago I realized there were some trails at Coe that I wanted to see that were really far from an entrance. In late 2004 and in 2005 I got in better shape, partly so that I would be able to reach these trails on a day trip. Even being in better shape, I couldn't make it. Coe is just too big. This year my fitness declined. I realized the only way to make it to those trails any time soon would be a bikepacking trip. I wanted to do the trip earlier in the year when it was a little warmer and with a bit more daylight, but I couldn't find the time. I thought about waiting until spring, but trails are harder to find in the fresh green grass and full streams make travel in Coe more difficult. Finally, I sucked it up, realized it was now or never, and posted the ride invitation.

I pretty much expected to be alone out there, and didn't look forward to it. To my surprise, others actually wanted to come, even with the reports of sub-freezing night temperatures and the forecast of rain. Thanks to Jeff, Thai, and Rob for coming (and a shout out to Amiel for trying to make it but spending a lonely night on a ridge top). Not only did your presence mean I didn't stay awake all night fearing rabid squirrels and other menaces, but you are simply great guys with whom to spend a few days in the outdoors, riding and hanging out at camp.

Day One:

The trip started pretty much as planned. We met in the Hunting Hollow parking lot, packed up the bikes, and were rolling at about ten after 11am.

Here's Thai and his loaded bike:

And here are Jeff's and my loaded bikes:


The pictures show that Thai won the lightweight gear award. Jeff and I weren't even in the running. A lot of the bulk for me was weather-related. Because rain was predicted for Saturday, I brought enough warm gear for a full day of riding in the rain. I also brought enough clothing to allow me to change out of that wet stuff and into enough dry layers to keep me warm if Saturday night/Sunday morning hit below freezing. That adds up to a lot of clothes.

We rode to Mississippi Lake by simply following Coit Road and then County Line. These fire roads are gentle enough that riding our loaded bikes wasn't a problem. Sure, it was slow and tiring, but it was completely doable.

Here are Jeff and Thai heading up Coit Road:


It took us about four hours, with about 20 miles of distance and about 3700' of climbing to get to our camp site. The camp site at Mississippi Lake is the deluxe edition. The picnic bench was a particularly pleasant surprise; I did not expect to have such a comfortable place to sit, cook food, etc. Water (in the form of a lake), the nicest pit toilet around (no, there are no *nice* pit toilets, but as far as pit toilets go, this one was pretty good), and plenty of flat ground for tents completed the luxury.

Here are Jeff and Thai, after we got to the camp site and started to unload the bikes. The lake is in the background.


And here is Jeff sitting down for a meal. My cup of cabernet is in the foreground. Jeff found boxed wine in liter sizes, and he and I each packed a box in. Wine with dinner made things even more civilized. Later on we finished the evening with some shots of rum and a little night time hiking.


I got into my tent and slept soundly. I was awoken briefly by the rain hitting my tent early in the morning, but I stayed dry and soon fell back asleep.

(Day 2 to follow in a later post.)
 

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Plim said:
Holy Carp! I just thought you decided not to come at all with the rain. Sounds like you had an epic of your own. Dang, I'm sorry you couldn't make it out to the lake to hang out with us.
Well, I couldn't wake up early enough to save my life that day. My bed seemed extra cozy with all that rain and cold weather outside. I really regret not leaving earlier. I think group rides/camping are more fun than solo adventures.

What route did you guys take to get there?

The ride I did was modest at best. I wouldn't call it epic unless you consider climbing Lyman-Wilson twice epic. I still had fun though. Like I said, lotsa lessons were learned.
 

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mmm
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This picture shows....one of theboxes of wine, a container of rum, two containers of cognac. missing from the picture is one more box of wine and a half bottle of vodka. pretty sweet setup for three people. :thumbsup:
 

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bailout said:
Well, I couldn't wake up early enough to save my life that day. My bed seemed extra cozy with all that rain and cold weather outside. I really regret not leaving earlier. I think group rides/camping are more fun than solo adventures.

What route did you guys take to get there?

The ride I did was modest at best. I wouldn't call it epic unless you consider climbing Lyman-Wilson twice epic. I still had fun though. Like I said, lotsa lessons were learned.
I do call climbing Lyman-Willson twice with a loaded bike epic. Ouch!

We followed pavement from the HH parking lot two miles to Coit Road (like in the Coe Fall Circus), then followed Coit Road a looooong way. A left on County Line Road and a last few miles brought us to the lake. It's not quite as direct as Lyman-Willson, but the gradients are much more friendly.
 

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timehoc said:
This picture shows....one of theboxes of wine, a container of rum, two containers of cognac. missing from the picture is one more box of wine and a half bottle of vodka. pretty sweet setup for three people. :thumbsup:
Hah! Yup, I think we had just about a full bar out there. :D
 
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