Always be alert
By Austin Explorer on 9/22/2019
Distance: 4.24 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 4 minutes
Coppertone and I returned to China Camp to map out more of the trails. We parked at Bullhead Flat, across the street from the ranger station. Our plan was to head west along Shoreline Trail and turning around at Miwok Meadows which was the easternmost extent of our previous trip.
Like our first trip to the park, hikers were far outnumbered by cyclists. The ratio today may have been 5 to 1. Every cyclist was friendly, so no problems of that nature were encountered. One or two did not adhere to slow down doctrine when passing by hikers. Thankfully they didn't catch a rock the wrong way and crash into us. If you really hate sharing the trail with cyclists, even when good natured, this park may be one to avoid.
We were hoping for a bit more of a bay breeze but our jackets got no use today. The temperatures were moderate enough but very little wind provided any cooling opportunities. Shoreline Trail is high enough off the shore that tree cover is fairly consistent. Views of the shore are more sporadic through breaks in the trees here and there.
Near our turnaround point at Miwok Meadows we crossed North San Pedro Road to do the loop around and over Chicken Coop Hill. On the far side of the loop a dead tree has crashed down on the trail, completely covering it. We picked our way around the obstruction at the tree's trunk without too much trouble.
What stopped our progress more, in terms of time, was a rafter (a.k.a. flock) of turkeys crossing the trail. The seven individuals were cautious of our presense but did not seem overly concerned provided we remain quiet and still. Obviously, these birds had not gotten the memo about this being Chicken Coop Hill. No mention of turkeys in the name!
We doubled back to the trailhead along the same trail. Coppertone noted that it seemed that every single cyclist we encountered was headed from west to east. Neither of us could really recall an exception to this rule. This meant our return leg meant less spinning our head around at the sound of an oncoming bike. We're not sure if this was pure coincidence or if there is an unwritten rule somewhere.
Because of chores and other responsibilities we had to attend to we did not complete Shoreline from the ranger station to the eastern boundary of the park. That will have to wait for some other time.